[GRLUG] e-Books rule at Amazon

Michael Mol mikemol at gmail.com
Thu May 19 13:47:00 EDT 2011

On Thu, May 19, 2011 at 1:30 PM, Bob Kline <bob.kline at gmail.com> wrote:
> http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110519/tc_afp/usitcompanybooksinternetkindleamazon
> Apparently the crossover point of more
> digital than paper books has been crossed
> at Amazon.
> I'm seriously thinking of getting a unit now.
> Two questions:
> *  Does one have unlimited access to a
>    digital version?  i.e., if I want to reference
>    a book three years later, will I be able to?
>    I'm really looking for an online library.
> *  I know that GRLUG members have both
>    the Amazon and the Barnes and Nobel
>    readers.  I'd appreciate comments about
>    the pros and cons of each.  Amazon claims
>    it has 950K digital books now.  I don't know
>    what the corresponding figure for B&N is,
>    but that would be a factor too.
>      -- Bob

Using a B&N Nook (not the color one). Haven't purchased any protected
e-books from Amazon, BN or anywhere else, so I can't speak to that.
Right now, the Nook is loaded with six or seven DRM-free ebooks I
purchased from O'Reilly.

* I'm very happy with it.
* It's great for reading in bed in the early dawn hours. As the
ambient light level increases, I decrease the font size so I can see
more on the screen.
* It's also nice and quiet, and doesn't disturb the SO's slumber. (I
tried reading paper book in the morning a couple weeks ago, and she
suggested I go back to reading on the Nook. :) )
* Battery life is incredible. I can forget to charge it for weeks.
* Operates very well on ambient light.

* Depending on the book, bookmarks and tables of contents can be of
varying utility.
* There's no "jump forward fifteen pages. Now do it again. And again.
Jump back to where you just jumped from", so it's not that easy to
seek around manually if the TOC is uninformative.
* Browser is mostly useless. It'd be handy if the keyboard wasn't
horrible, but, well...
* Softkey keyboard is very slow, to the point of painful, and it's not
a question of my dexterity.
* keyword searching in a book hampered by the high cost of typos or of
using the wrong keyword. (keyboard slow, searching slow, page load
slow if you're only going to be on the page for a half second before
moving on...)

I've handled B&N color nooks, and have a couple things to say about them.
* Battery life is much lower than the black-and-white nook.
* Will not operate well under low-light environment without a backlight.
* The screen interface for flipping back and forth between pages is
*very* fast, intuitive and comfortable(imagine a touchscreen on top of
fbreader. It'd be kinda like that)
* The wifi wizard will not connect to networks with an apostrophe in
the name. I think there's some poor quoting somewhere in its internal
scripts. This means you won't be able to connect to a network named,
for example, "Joe's Apartment"

I've seen the Amazon Kindle, but I don't recall handling it.


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