Reading eBooks

Reading eBooks

I buy lots of ebooks, it’s great to be able to download a book instantly or jump around though an ebook by keyword or phrase. But there’s always been a problem for me –reading an ebook from beginning to end like a physical book.

Typically, if I download a short ebook, guide, report, whitepaper, after skimming it on my computer screen, I will decide if it’s worth printing to paper (recycled of course). If the book is less than 100 pages, I can print out and staple all the pages together. For a book around 100 pages, I use lightweight paper (70gsm or less), and print double sided. You can print double-sided with a good inkjet printer if it doesn’t mess up the collation by printing odd pages first, then loading the odd pages in the paper feed in the correct orientation, and printing all even pages.

For ebooks larger than 100 pages I’m stuck reading on my computer screen, which I’m sure is terrible for my eyes. There is software available that allows PDF ebook reading on handheld devices, such as Blackberry’s, iPhones and others. This is not appealing to me. For me I think the answer lies in ebook readers.

I don’t have one yet, but I’ve checked out a Sony reader and another brand (don’t recall which one) at my local Fry’s store and I was impressed. The “e-ink” technology is supposed to be easy on the eyes than compared to a standard LCD screen. I wouldn’t say it looks exactly like paper, but hey, if it’s better for my 4 eyes I’ll take it!

There are also readers from Fugitsu, Foxit, Samsung, Philips, Amazon and a couple others.

I think I’m going to get the Sony Touch Edition after seeing it live. The infamous Amazon Kindle is now only $259, which is 40 bones less that the Sony, but I never held one in person, and I don’t like the buttons. The buttons seem to take up a lot of real estate, and I doubt I would use them enough to justify the space.

I was considering the Foxit eSlick reader when I first heard about it. The price sounded good at $249 (if you include a $10 off coupon I saw advertised) and it supports PDF natively. With the Sony you have to convert PDFs to their format –sounds like a hassle. The Kindle also requires that PDF be converted but they charge a conversion fee for each file!  But the eSlick is first generation, which means bugs and defects. The Sony is still looking like my best option.

Once I get my hands on an eBook reader I’ll do a follow up “what’s in the box” post with pictures. Until then, I will continue my research to make sure the Sony is the right device for me.

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