I am hesitant to write this post, its so loaded with the issues surrounding ebooks. At the same time I get asked this question at least once a week so the time has come to put fingers to keys and share my 2 cents.
The question – What ebook reader should I buy? My answer – that depends.
First skip over the issue of dropping prices and improvements, issues with DRM and any other issues you have with ebooks and assume you want an ereader right now. These are the people who are asking me. I’ve come to realize that choosing an ereader is a little like buying a vehicle, which one you get depends in part on how you want to use it. There is no one right answer for everyone.
My sister and a friend of mine both have a Nook. The Nook is a great choice for them. They both love Barnes and Noble. They live in cities with B&N stores and visit often so they get to take advantage of the reading in store options. They could lend titles to friends, though neither of them has found a title they can actually loan. They could use them for library books, but despite my frequent urges (and emailing of links) neither of them has bothered to use it to check out books from their local public library *sigh*
My sister and I are getting my Dad an ereader for Christmas (I hope this is not the one time he decides to read this blog). He reads a lot and is an hour from the closest book store and often complains of having read most of what the local public library has. (Unfortunately this is probably true). The library doesn’t offer ebooks and most likely wont any time soon so that isn’t an issue in the decision. We want the process of adding books to be as easy as possible for him, no connecting to a computer, that ruled out a Sony. We decided against the Nook because we we think he might find the touch screen frustrating. That leaves the Kindle. Nice buttons, easy to download content to and a decent selection of limited time promotional free titles that he can browse in addition to classics and fee titles.
I know a lot of library patrons who are very happy with their Sony devices. I’ve seen them with all of them at this point. The Sony devices handle pdf files far better than the Kindle or the Nook. They work with library ebooks, if your primary use will be library books get a Sony device. The catalog of purchased titles works great and the Sony allow different formats of ebooks to be loaded, it has the most flexibility.
Not only does it have the iBook store but apps for Kindle and others. You can read PDFs. No library ebooks. Color screen, great for picture books and comics. Great if you don’t want a dedicated device.
There are plenty of charts out there comparing them. But in a nutshell this the best aspect of each:
- Kindle – note-taking options, across device syncing, keypad, free promotional titles
- Nook – free reading in B&N, loaning possibility, OverDrive ebooks
- Sony – PDFs and OverDrive ebooks in addition to Sony’s catalog of ebooks
- iPad – color, larger screen, more stores for purchasing.
Without knowing how you want to use the ereader I don’t know which to recommend. You need to figure out how YOU will use it.
Have an ereader? leave a comment and let me know why you love it (or hate it).