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Reading ebooks without an e-reader.

There’s nothing more annoying than choosing one of two, seemingly good, options, only to find out later that you backed the wrong horse (as anyone who bought all their music on 8-track music tapes or stocked up on Betamax video will attest). That’s why I’ve delayed making a decision about which ebook reader to invest in.
I’m still weighing up the pros and cons of the Nook and the Kindle – if you’re interested I’m currently swaying in favor of the latter, though I do like the look and feel of the Nook – but whichever one I choose, at least I know I’ll always have the option of reading books in either format on my computer.
I don’t know if it’s a well-kept secret or just me not paying attention, but I didn’t realize until the other day that Amazon currently offers free Kindle applications for the PC; Mac; iPhone; iPod touch; iPad and Blackberry, with one for the Android coming soon. 
Not to be outdone, Barnes & Noble have free Nook apps for the PC; Mac; iPhone; iPod and Blackberryavailable to download from their main site.
This is good news for me, since several of my friends have said they don’t have an ereader and asked how they’ll be able to read Fur-Face when it comes out.  
I downloaded both apps to my laptop (they were quick and easy to install), so now I can read ebooks from either store on my computer. The Barnes & Noble app came with three free ebooks, Dracula, Pride & Prejudice and Little Women, which I thought was a nice gesture on their part.  
One day soon, I think laptops will come with detachable screens which will work as ereaders when separated (or perhaps ereaders will come with attachable keyboards for those of us who prefer to type rather than text), but in the meantime, I’m still trying to pick between the Nook and Kindle. 

I also predict that both Kindle and Nook ebooks will eventually become compatible (what can I say, I’m a hopeless optimist). If they do, maybe they’ll call it the ‘Nindle’.
How about you?
Do you already have a Kindle/Nook, or do you plan to just download the free app for one or both for now?

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( 66 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
May. 26th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
For me, the biggest advantage would be reading in bed without having to have the side light on, which disturbs Senior Management.

I might even take myself back to my childhood and read beneath the covers (the bed type not the book type, of course) ;)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - temporus - May. 26th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - temporus - May. 26th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - May. 26th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - temporus - May. 26th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 26th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
I read a lot of stuff on the PC already, so I'm used to it, but there's also the size issue, that and ahaving to use three thousand extension cables every time I want to read in the car :)
May. 26th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
I've been looking at both the kindle and the nook and so far, I'm with the nook IF I buy an e-reader. My problem with them is, well, that's all they do.

I'd rather use a netbook or laptop that I can read off of, work off of, and watch movies on.

Currently, I read a lot on my computer because I like to be able to increase the font size (I still do love paper!). For reader programs, I like yBook the best. It's versatile in file format. MSreader is okay, but very proprietary. It will only recognize .lit.
May. 26th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
They both look good. It's hard to decide :(
May. 26th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Whoa! This is awesome! I definitely intend to download both. I don't have the cash for an e-reader.
May. 26th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
Me neither, which is why I'm taking such a long time to make up my mind :)
May. 26th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
I went into a B&N a few weeks ago and they had a Nook display set up right when you walk in, complete with two Nooks out of the box so you could get a better look.

It's a bit different than seeing it on a computer monitor where it's easy to ignore the brand new shininess. I was interested enough to walk over and check them out to see what they could do. I was impressed. But then you look up to see the price tag and it's--uhm, not right now.
May. 26th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
I felt sorry for the guy at the display (everyone kept ignoring him) so I got the full tour a couple of weeks ago. It does look good, but as you say, it's not cheap.
May. 26th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
For now I read ebooks on my iPhone, or on my laptop (or occasionally on my desktop machine at work, hehe). I plan to get an iPad soon. The Kindle & Nook are nice but there's no way I'd drop $$ on a dedicated e-reader when for a comparable price I can get a device that does many other things too.
May. 26th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. There's a definite downside to being a dedicated anything.
May. 26th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
I would certainly like to get one of them, don't have a real preference as to which because I haven't investigated them that closely. I do like owning books though, so the switch would for me would be weird. Would I go buy a hardcover of a book I really love just to keep it displayed on my shelf while I read the ebook version of it? Would I switch back and forth, depending on location (book in bed, e-reader on the go?)

I do, however, donate plasma twice a week and when I took Paolini's Brisingr to the clinic yesterday I realized just how hard it was to maneuver through a bigger hardcover with just one hand! So an e-reader is looking more and more appealing.
May. 26th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
Senior Managament has hinted that I need to make a decision before she goes back to England in July - she wants to take it for the plane ride.
May. 26th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
I want an eareader, I want it badly. I'd use it while commuting. I hate to put all these big hardcovers in my handbag and find out I've broken it or they can't even be squeezed in there. I'd love to have something so light as an ebook and have all the books I wanted.
But prize is keeping me from buying them and I'll be waiting for a while too. I'd love to be able to read on my laptop, but again it's too heavy to carrry as a book. I may have to buy a notebook where I can type and read at the same time :)
May. 26th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
You should be fine once I've bought mine, Anna. If past experience is anything to go by, companies tend to drop their prices dramatically as soon as I've handed over the money for one of their products :(
(no subject) - lunalila - May. 26th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 26th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
Do you even *read* my blog Jon? :P

Love my Kindle. Just recently finsihed reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on it. (And occasionally on the laptop with the Kindle app when it was just more convenient.)

Kindle in theory might well be able to run their Android app over on the Nook, since the Nook runs on the Android platform. That's only theory, naturally, but hey it'd be pretty cool.

Mostly, I just wish Kindle would get behind the ePUB format, and then the format wars can dwindle to a conclusion. But it's going to be a while.

I have both apps on the laptop. I've the B&N app on my blackberry, because the Kindle app isn't available for my particular model. (grumble) My wife loves hers, and has read at least a book a month since I got it for her for Christmas. And she thought I was crazy, but has quite taken to it.
May. 26th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
Lol, reading is one thing, recall is something completely different :P
May. 26th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
None of the above?

I'm thinking of getting an Android phone, in which case I might get a Kindle reader for it. I do kind of like reading on my smartphone. But I don't really like trying to read whole books at my computer, and I'm not keen enough on ebooks to fork out several hundred dollars on a device that I won't use for anything but reading.
May. 26th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Android phones sound interesting :)
(no subject) - rowyn - May. 26th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 26th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
I've recently started to think about buying an e-reader, which means I might get one in two or three years time. The advantage for me (I thought) was the backlighting, but according to an earlier comment, they don't have backlighting. Huh. Useless!
May. 26th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was surprised by that too.
May. 26th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
I have a kindle and I've downloaded the kindle app to my computer and my netbook. If I get an iPhone, I'll download it there, too.

I'll put everything I have on the computer and Kindle and just the books I'm currently reading on the other two.
May. 26th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
I think ereaders will (eventually) become one of those things which most folks have, though I can't see them seriously competing with print, any more than audio books have.
May. 26th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
I'm still a paper and ink guy myself (though I bow to the inevitability of eventually getting an ebook reader). When the time comes to get the reader, I will probaably have a similar philosophy to what I have with paperbacks currently: if it's worth keeping, I will definitely try to find some kind of hardcover.
May. 26th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of folks will end up looking at ebooks in the same way that they look at movie rental, though of course, I could be wrong.
(no subject) - bondo_ba - May. 26th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 26th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
I just saw that free app the other day and wondered what it was.
May. 26th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
I thinks it's a good idea, though it would be better still if they gave away the actual ereaders, don't you think? ;)
May. 26th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
I'm still in the stages where I need something to dogear, but my husband has an Ipad and loves it. So my future ebook purchases will probably go onto his.
May. 26th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
The iPad looks impressive, if a little too big to be portable, but then again, I haven't really looked into that particular ereader yet.
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