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You Can Read This Post in Direct Sunlight!

July 12, 2010

E-Book readers have been a hot topic of discussion for the past several months. Between the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook and the Apple iPad, there are a myriad of choices to suit any buyer.

But what do these e-book readers advertise? Reading in direct sunlight.

I don’t know about you, but no matter what device I get, if it is electronic and costs more than a furbie, I’m not taking it anywhere near a raging, crashing spray of water and oil. That’s just being smart. So where else would I read in direct sunlight?

Amazon’s latest ad pictures an idyllic afternoon at the beach. Next. I went to Barnes and Noble on a recon mission to figure out which e-book reader would be the best choice for my mother. The first thing the Nook salesman said? You can read it in direct sunlight! I understand if you sit outside and read, but honestly, who bypasses a shady tree just to show off their e-book reader prowess? In Mississippi, that would be suicide.

Kindle DX

Of course, these devices advertise more than the asinine absence of backlighting, right? The Kindle has a battery life that will let you read for eighteen hours straight without eyestrain! While I appreciate not having to charge a device every ten minutes, I don’t like the idea of having to mainline speed to really get the advertised use here. Sleep is good.

So which device to choose?

Despite my bitching, both the Kindle and Nook are good products and great for people whose primary reason for spending $300 is buying an e-book reader. They are both reasonably priced (the Nook ranging from $150 to $200 and the Kindle from $190 to $380) and both feature the enviable free global 3G for streamless e-book purchasing. The iPad is a horse of a whole different color. Sexy, multifunctional, and almost prohibitively expensive, the iPad allows users to not only read multi-platform e-books, but to watch movies and television, listen to music, check email, browse the web, play games, and access Apple’s huge selection of apps all in full color. And it’s touchscreen. But ranging from $500 to $830 not including the optional 3G access, the iPad is pricy.

So which did I choose?

What can I say? It’s hot.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Lindsay permalink
    July 12, 2010 1:58 pm

    Lisa,
    it’s your sister. I still don’t understand why you’re doing this.
    I seem to be your only reader.

  2. Lindsay permalink
    July 12, 2010 2:02 pm

    Hah, okay.
    I wish that I was more in love with the kindle. One of the primary problems that I have with the kindle is the fact that I can’t hold it before purchasing it. I would like to test it out, since almost everyone who has one loves it. But then again, I adore my iPad. I love the fact that it feels like reading a book and doesn’t flash colors when ‘turning’ the page. Overall, I think that if money isn’t an issue then it can be worth it to have an iPad, even if it’s to combine devices (iPod + ebook reader)

  3. July 12, 2010 2:13 pm

    Personally, I’m in love with the iPad. I wish I had one. But then again, I don’t read nearly enough to warrant a device that’s only function is to read e-books. Perhaps I would read more if I had e-books, but I’m not willing to pay the $300 to find out. Like Lindsay said, if I could use a kindle before buying, maybe I’d like it more. Probably not.

  4. July 12, 2010 3:44 pm

    I am creepy and reading your blog too!!

    Personally, I like books. Call me a heretic, but I choose paper and ink!

    • July 12, 2010 4:33 pm

      I more than welcome all readers (and commenters!). And I agree. I just love the feel of real books. Plus, Bookstores are my church. I bought my iPad primarily as a movie/tv viewer and while I have used both the kindle and iBooks app to buy bestsellers that are only available in hardback (and I’m too cheap to spend $26 on most best-sellers), I still buy and read real books first. And I totally agree about the batteries. I would love to see that tongue-in-cheek slogan on my local library!

  5. July 12, 2010 3:50 pm

    P.S. The batteries on a book never run out. I think that should be the library’s new slogan.

  6. Aunt Diane permalink
    July 12, 2010 7:51 pm

    Hey Lisa,
    Looking at possibly, maybe, might be getting one (not an iPad though). Does the Nook and/or iPad snatch the book back if it becomes an out of print book like the Kindle does? I know you can share books with the Nook, but what about the other two?

    You did know that if start a forum like this you have to become the guru on the topic.

    Love you
    Aunt Diane

    • Lindsay permalink
      July 12, 2010 10:03 pm

      My suggestion? A kindle. After people lost their books due to them going out of print, there was a slight uproar and that system was changed a bit, you will come out with either the book or the money. In general, with the kindle when you sync it to a computer you will have a (locked) ebook that you can read on a computer or any device that has a kindle reader (iPhone, touch, Mac, pc, etc) so you will be pretty unlikely to loose a book that you have purchased.

      The Nook sounds like it has the potential to be the better device, With the nook you can “loan” books out to other nook users for 14 days, I think it has expandable memory, and you can get swank coupons for B&N for free coffee and the like, but Kindle still has a better reputation for a reason.
      My biggest qualm about both? The Nook and kindle both flash black at every page turn, something that quickly and easily gave me a headache, but much more so on the Nook. Additionally, the Nook uses a bizarre combination of touch screen and non touch screen, something that frustrated a lot of the people playing with them at the display, but I’m sure that it’s something that one would get used to quickly actually owning one.
      The Kindle is cheap, light, easy to download books onto, and it’s a simple system to use and your books can be viewed over 6 devices (for most books) that are linked to the same account.
      All that being said, it’s ALL about personal preference, and since you live in a bigger city, some Targets have displays of the Kindle these days, it’d definitely worth holding and looking at both.

  7. July 20, 2010 4:18 am

    Thank you for sharing I wish I could go somwhere.

  8. tankie2 permalink
    December 16, 2010 9:11 pm

    I like to read outside in bright light any chance I get and in spring and fall reading in direct sunlight is quite pleasing and comfortable when it’s a bit too cool in the shade. I live in Kansas and lake beaches just aren’t my thing. Too many bugs. I wouldn’t risk getting any of my paper books wet so I see no sacrifice. I will confess however to reading periodicals in a bathtub.
    I appreciate everyone’s input here and now I think it’s about time to check out the kindle and nook. The idea that I can purchase and then download the books without paying for an Intermittent Service Provider would clench the deal me as long as I can read the e-book a easily as I can read print on paper in bright light and not have to commit to a subscriber service to enjoy it.

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