De and I will be doing two ebook related panels at Escapade:

eBook Hardware: Show and Tell, Upcoming Toys: Kindles, nooks, Sony Readers, iOS things, Android tablets, etc. What do we have, what are we looking at getting? Whether you’re thinking about getting started or you’ve been reading for years, join us to talk about tech toys. (Friday at 2 pm.)

eBook Software: Primarily an introduction to Calibre, but let’s talk about some other software that we might be using. We can talk about exporting from archives, choosing file types, that kind of thing. What helps you get the most out of your ereading device? (Saturday at 5 pm).

In the hardware panel, we'll be focusing on the different features of the various available devices and how they compare (e.g., e-ink vs. LCD screens; multifunction tablets vs. dedicated readers.) At the Software panel, in addition to highlighting Calibre, we'll also be talking about DRM, and what it means to you.

If you're coming to Escapade, we hope to see you there!
I bought my first e-reader a few months ago, a Cool-ER from a company called Interead which went bust the week after I bought my toy *sigh*. It was basically a clone of a Netronix-type of reader, so similar to the Cybook. It died this week; the screen is "cracked" internally and although you can see it's still trying to work, about three quarters is covered by a black blob that makes reading impossible, and it isn't refreshing properly. I feel a bit of a fool; I was carrying it in a soft cover to protect the screen from scratches, but in hindsight I should have used a rigid cover to protect it from physical damage. With the vendors out of business I very much doubt I'll be able to do anything about this.

So I went and replaced it with a Sony PRS-505 from trusty old eBay. It was being sold by an Owd Goff who had covered with skulls and roses. Since I have tendencies that way myself, this made it more appealing to me, but less appealing to the general public, so I managed to get it for £65 (just over $100). I have named it "Wanton Rose", since all my computers are named after G&S references and that seems to fit very well.

comparison )

For $100, though, I'm very satisfied with my new toy :-)
My SO recently got a Sony Daily Edition and has started looking for a cover for it. So far the ones we've seen in stores -- whether for the Sony or not -- have seemed ludicrously expensive for what they are. I ran into the same issue when I got the iTouch as a reader.

I was wondering if anyone had some other solutions or had seen places online or elsewhere that had covers for $10 or less.
Just wanted to share a tip for anyone who happens to still be using a Kindle 1.

Last week the wireless delivery system on my 1st gen started acting wonky. When I called tech support, I found out, through the course of conversation, that Kindle techs have been given authorization to offer 1st-gen owners $75 credit towards the purchase of a new model. You don't even have to send back your 1st gen-- they send you an address where you can recycle it, but if you want to, you can keep it too!

With holiday sales now in swing, $75 is nothing to sneeze at. I don't know how long they're going to be doing this offer. But if you can, find a reason to call tech support and while they're troubleshooting, ask them about this. Remember, you don't have to send your 1st gen back to them, so you can just TELL them something's not working and they should be able to declare it "malfunctioning" and give you the deal. I got the offer from a tech after being escalated past the first customer service rep who answered the phone, so you may need to get to that 2nd tier of support.

I was happy enough with my 1st gen, but now that I have the K3... omg. It's amazing.
Here in the US, this week starts our bargain shopping season.  I thought I'd throw up a post for people to post any ebook-related deals that they find.

I'll start.

Best Buy has the B&N Nook Wireless on sale for $99.99.  They are already sold out online but the ad says that each store is guaranteed to have at least 10 in stock to start.

ETA:  Best Buy has these in stock online.
Pandigital - Novel Digital Book $139.99
The Sharper Image - Literati Digital Reader $119.99
Velocity Micro Cruz Digital Reader $159.99

CVS has the Shift3 LookBook Wireless Read on sale for $118.88.  It looks like they still have them in stock online.

I just posted in my journal the journey I took from not wanting a reader to shivering in anticipation of it arriving via FedEx.  I saw quite a few readers in the process and I give my opinion on them.

ereaders ho!

This is probably one of the greatest uses of the DS ever, well, except for the games.

Make no mistake about it, the DS (and the DS Lite and DSi) is primarily a game platform, designed to allow you to play the games you have come to love in a palm-top manner. It's not too different from the Nintendo Color, the Nintendo Advanced and many other such palm based games. But just as you can use the PSP that you play games on to watch DVDs, you can use the DS to read your ebooks.

But it doesn't come without some work.

Full review behind the cut tag )

It doesn't really have as much versatility, but you are using a game platform to read a book. Think about it. It's a cool hack and it gives you a decent ereader. It is up to you.

Anyone want me to post a review (with experiences) about my Nintendo DS Lite as an ebook reader?
Seems like Amazon has dropped the price of Kindle 2 to $189 to undercut the Nook.

The ebook reader wars begins.....
The prices of Nooks are going down. According to Engadget Best Buy and B&N will be selling a wireless only Nook for $149 and the current Nook will drop to $199.
Forgive me if this has been asked before, but:

Anyone have any experience with the PRS-600 series, especially regarding battery life with a memory card inserted?

I'm looking to see if mine is average, or chewing through it's battery quicker then 'normal'.

According to Gizmodo, Borders are going to start selling Aluratek Libre ebook readers for $120, seriously undercutting the prices on ebook readers. They are getting closer to that $100 price point that most folks want to pay for an ebook reader.
I occasionally get asked about my ebook reader, and put together a list for someone at work who's considering buying one, but had no idea where to start looking. For people whose concept is, "Um, there's the Kindle? And maybe something else? What's better" I made a list of what features are available.

The first place to look:'s Which One Should I Buy? forum. They post reviews, make comparisons, and answer questions about price, delivery options, customer service problems, and anything else that people might care about when trying to decide which device to buy. (It's perfectly reasonable to start a post with, "I'm a mountain climber; what works above 6000 feet in the cold and I can operate it with one hand inside a heavy glove?" Or, "I read a lot of short stories; what's the best device for 1200 tiny files instead of 150 novel-length books?" I dunno what the answers are, but people would chime in with advice.)

This is a bare-bones outline, not a detailed consideration. I'm perfectly willing to ramble on at length about pretty much any of these issues, but the main purpose here is something that people can look at and say, "THAT detail! That's what I care about—which device does that best?"

Lists of Features )
Other commentary )


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