I love reading a good book unfortunately I don't have the money for the library I would love to have. Contemporary books are easy I order online and get them used for a fraction of the cost new. And there are hundreds of free downloads for public domain books. My problem with the downloads right now is the only place I can store them is on my computer. I hate reading books on the computer plus it's a shared computer so I can't be on it all the time. I've been watching the prices of the eReaders plummet and I'm starting to consider purchasing one, especially if they drop below $100. But my questions are what should I look for in a reader and what brands are the best? Any one have any suggestions?

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I prefer the Kindle if you're looking for a device that's just an e-reader. I love mine. It's hard to say who has a better book selection between Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but I have never had a problem getting the books I want. I don't like the devices like the I-pad that are backlit, it creates a glare that makes reading difficult.
I heard it was more like reading a book than a screen, less strain on the eyes. That was what caught my attention in the first place about kindle.
I was deciding between the Nook and the Kindle, and I ended up going with the Nook. They both have pros and cons, but for me the deciding factor was epub support. I get a lot of free books from public domain and from the library, and epub is the dominant format for those types of books. At this time Kindle does not read epub. Nook was also more aesthetically-pleasing to me. Kindle has benefits too though. Just a quick synopsis of the pros I found with each:

*International capabilities (Nook can be used outside the US, but new content cannot be downloaded outside the US. Kindle does not have this limitation)
*Not first generation. There are always kinks with first gen. devices. Amazon has worked a lot of those out a while ago.
*Book selection. I feel this is a tight race really. Nook is partnered with Google Books which makes downloading public domain books a breeze! BUT when it comes to current books, it seems that Amazon has a slightly better selection.
*Text to voice capability on some books.

*Expandable memory. It is unlikely that you would max out the limit on either the Nook or Kindle, but having the option to expand memory is nice.
*User-replaceable battery. No need to mail it in if your battery goes belly up. You can also buy spare batteries if you anticipate being on a long trip without access to an outlet.
*Epub support. Big one for me.
*Android operating system. Not only can you hack it if you want, but android makes it easier to update the Nook and make major changes to it. Presumably this means less need to upgrade hardware.

I too am a bit of an e-ink snob. Or maybe my eyes are just old. I cannot read on backlit devices for any extended amount of time. E-ink is also superior outdoors. You will need a booklight if you want to read in the dark, but I still prefer it. And I'm a bit too distractable for multi-purpose devices. I prefer a dedicated e-reader.
Wow thanks for all the info I wasn't expecting so much. Of the 2 Nook sounds a bit more my speed. I'm usually willing to wait til a book, and most other things, is out before buying it so I'm willing to wait for most books to be resold for less than what it costs to download them. (It's usually like $9.99, depending on the book, right?) I hear you on multipurpose devices. I have a camera that is a Camera, camcorder, audio recorder, mp4, and just about every thing else except for a phone. It's cool but I use it for a Camera most of the time.
One thing to watch for is which type of file each e-reader uses. I don't own an e-reader and have no plans to purchase one, but recently read through a discussion on a LISTSERV I belong to. If I remember correctly, the Kindle uses a certain type of file which is not supported by other applications/readers.

As a librarian, my suggestion would be to make use of your local library to read books that are of interest to you and if it is something you do like, you can then make the purchase. Many libraries today belong to consortiums, which allows them to loan books or materials among a number of libraries. If your local library does not own a certain title, it can be requested from another library in the consortium.

Good luck in your search and purchase!
Yeah our local libraries are great. But I'm terrible in remembering to return or renew books before they are considered late, even if I put up reminders and post it on my calendar. Not sure why though. I'm pretty good at keeping track of everything else.
Thanx for the info and no not yet to many unexpected expenses, but I will first chance I get. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a Nook.

A year ago my wife bought me a Barns & Noble nook - love it! She checked it out - I had to buy HER one if I was ever going to get mine back. Since, we've bought one for our son (35) and my mother. I have the B&W with WiFi and 3G - my wife has the new color nook.

There are LOTS of free books out there, especially older publications on history and philosophy. B&N offers a free book every Friday. You can read newspapers, magazines, whatever. And, unlike the Kindle, the nook is non-propriatary, so you can load books from your computer, or from the local library, whatever.

GoogleBooks has scanned several million old books, and most are available for free. The nook can store up to 1500 titles, which are yours (forever) including audio books, and has a built in dictionary.

I HIGHLY recommend the nook.


Oh yeah. I have found so many public domain books online that I would love to read but hate reading on computer screens. I've tried audio books but I hate hearing them read in someone else's voice. Well...unless it was someone with a distinctive voice reading from a genre fitting their voice. Like Vincent Price reading Poe.To me it's like seeing a beloved book made into a movie. It's rarely meets and, even rarer, exceeds the imagination. 

Thank you for the recommendation. I'm thinking Nook is my best option. Most books that I have interest in have been out of print for over 100 years so I would have to pay a small fortune to buy a copy unless I luck out. There is always that odd occasion one stumbles on a great find though.




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