It is Your Story, Read It the Way YOU Choose: eReaders (or not) Mark J. SmithUVA, ITS, Infrastructure Support
Getting Biases out of the way • I’m primarily a Amazon e-book reader • Historical reasons – I got one as a gift • Saw no compelling reason to change • I read more Amazon e-books on my iPad and Android phone than I do on a Kindle • Except when travelling • My wife and I have about 200 linear feet of stuffed book shelves at home (and 3 e-book readers)
What about you? • Buy and save/share books or use a library? • Do you read ebooks on your compter? • Do you have a mobile device you use to read ebooks.
Why ebooks? • Instant gratification – get it at once? • Carry around a lot of books at once? • Why not – I’ve already got an iPad? • Cheaper (or not?) • Library books without going to the library (JMRL has ebookscompatible with most ebook readers.)
Why not ebooks • Hard, but not impossible to share • What happens when/if Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony go out of business? • Sometimes more expensive than paperbacks • No resale possibility • Vendor lock-in
So what For me – none of the downsides of ebooks overcome the convenience (enough to dismiss them entirely)
How to decide on a reader • Does it need to be just one? • A dedicated reader or an app on an existing device?
How to decide • Check reviews and try them out • Most of what follows is based on the article • http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20009738-1/kindle-vs-nook-vs-ipad-which-e-book-reader-should-you-buy/
Reader vs. Tablet vs. Computer • Dedicated readers are generally less expensive • Hybrid ‘readers’ Nook Color, Kindle Fire • Tablets cost a little bit more but have more capabilities • Computers are heavy, short battery life, and run hot (they also don’t do well at the beach when send gets in them.)
Screen size and weight • Basic e-ink (black and white) readers are the lightest and come in a variety of sizes. • Starting about the size of a paperback • But have adjustable font sizes • Color readers and tablets are heavier • Largest formats tend to be tablets (Exception Kindle DX)
E-ink or Color LCD • E-ink • Best battery life • Black & White only • Good in bright sunlight • Bad in the dark (need book lights, or newer systems with built-in lighting)
E-ink or Color LCD • Color LCD • Backlit • Much better for magazines • Faster refresh rates • Lower battery life • Some think that the back-lighting may make reading in bed less relaxing.
E-ink or Color LCD • What about Color E-ink • Coming – exists in demonstration • Expensive $$$$ (estimates $1000 for a basic reader) • Same battery life and light requirements as E-ink • Something to watch for in the future
Bells and Whistles • Wi-Fi only or 3G/4G always available data • I’ve had both • Data wasn’t worth the price premium for me • Personal preference • Kindle has versions where they pay for the 3G data plan, but it is slow and limited
Apps vs. Dedicated Devices • Devices with Apps let you use multiple reading sources • There are Kindle reader and Barnes and Noble (Nook) and kobo reader Apps for iOS devices, Android devices, Mac OS and Windows. (Sony reader may be coming to Apple App store) • Only Apple (iOS) devices read iBooks But there are no dedicated iBook readers. • Why not both?
Library availability • Jefferson Madison Regional Library has a collection • There is a waiting list for many of the books • Supports most readers, but some titles are limited to a subset of devices
Electronic Textbooks • You’ll be at the mercy of what the publisher choose to make available • The University of Virginia Bookstore works with Jumpbooks • For requirments see:http://jumpbooks.com/help/help.aspx • Many mobile devices, and browser-based reading supported.
So what would I recommend? • Try out an ebook on a PC, Mac or using an app on a device you own • Ebooks aren’t for everyone • Reading with e-ink devices may be better for you than on a backlit screen • You’ll need to play with screen/window and font sizes on any device.
What do I do? • Remember your mileage may vary…. • If a paperback is lower cost than the ebook, I buy the paperback • I don’t buy books I think will have long-term (decades) value as ebooks, or I buy both the ebook, then pick up a hardback used. • I read on everything – from my 1st generation iPod touch and Android phone to computers, iPad, e-ink Kindle and Kindle Fire
Warnings • GET A COVER • Ebook readers and tablets are not indestructible • Plan for what you’ll do if your chosen ebook source goes out of business
About me • Mark J. Smith • email@example.com • University of Virginia • Information Technology Services • Infrastructure Support Services