Sony Reader, Kindle, Nook, Books, or Computer…

I seem to get a number of people who check here about my few posts on the Kindle, Sony Reader, and the Nook.  So I decided, since we do have all three, to do a post about the pros and cons of each one.  But first, I will explain why we have all three.  My husband’s job position has many perks, one being that he is given some devices for free if, and when, he is in programs or places requests.  He is, after all, a high school librarian and if Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Sony were able to convince an entire school that going electronic for text books is a good idea, think of the money they would receive!  Also, think of the students backs they would save.  I am for the text book change out to e-readers, but I don’t believe in the library replacement of the e-reader.  So, over the last 2 years, my husband has been given e-readers to try out.  The Sony Reader and the Kindle were given to him last year back-to-back.  Then, about a month ago, he received the Nook.  We also gave my oldest daughter a Nook for Christmas.  She loves it.  But I will get into that in the pros and cons.  I am aware that there are a few lesser known models out there, just like when the iPod emerged there were a number (and still are) of “generic” mp3 players.  I’m only going to talk about the major e-readers and their competition with each other.
Note ~ some of the pros and cons are personal, but that allows you to know if that is something you would enjoy or not.

Sony Reader 700 ~
Plays music
Compatible with many e-book formats
Syncs and allows storing books on computer
Touch-screen with stylus use
Slots of SD cards allow higher amount of storage
Different colors are available

Recently fixed problem, but when it first came out it would not agree with the Mac
Smaller store (Sony’s)
Not as comfortable to hold, cold feeling
Technology weaker

Pocket Edition price ~ $199
Touch Edition price ~ $299
Daily Edition price ~ $399

Kindle 2 ~
Good display
Quick start and turning pages
Wireless access to bookstore and some internet
Over 390,000 available titles and growth with strong company
Many accessories already available
Sample of books available
Great battery
Best prices (books)
Promised that no ‘book’ will be over $10
A device that reads words for the reader. This is wonderful for a dyslexic or an odd word from the dictionary.

The device that reads words for the reader doesn’t always read the word correctly
Not all books allow reading even though they advertised they would (due to lawsuit)
No growth on storage
No sync with computer
No audio player
No color and lack of growth on gadgets
Lighting is poor
There have been a few times where a ‘book’ was priced over $10

Kindle price ~ $259
Kindle DX Price ~ $489

Nook ~
Over 1,000,000 books available for it already with strong backing of book companies
Expandable storage
Syncs with computer
Audio player
Ability to lend books to others who own Nook
Color display with book cover browsing
Wireless access to bookstore
Sample of books available
Good lighting and ability to adjust it for display
Android OS so easily could add gadgets or features in future
Browse entire books with it in store

Just like the Wii of the gaming world, this thing is a little hard to get your hands on
Lack of internet ability
Battery does not last like it should
Won’t read book to you (wanted to avoid lawsuit?)
Lack of accessories
Initially slow on starting and selection, they are apparently working on that to fix during system updates

Nook Price ~ $250

Computer ~
There is enough storage space on most computers for more books than one can imagine
Computers are very common and don’t add on an extra expense of a new device

It’s very hard for most of us to stare at the monitor for a long amount of time and relax
I find things like wanting to write, blog, shop, or tweet a distraction when I’m on the computer

Prices vary

Books ~
Book marks, I love pretty, fun, interesting bookmarks but with all the readers they are unnecessary
Flipping pages, I enjoy flipping to the next chapter and reading the title
Looking on the shelf, I like things bigger than a thumbnail picture at times. I like looking on the shelf pulling it out and reading the back.
Are a sure thing, they have been around for a very long time. So no one needs to worry about if books are a ‘fad’ although some think they might one day be like a scroll
No electricity or battery is needed to make a book work

Space, as much as I love books, they do tend to pile up all around me.
Travel space, when I travel and I want to bring books, my husband wants to bring books, and both my daughters want to bring books. Once we have packed all that we will read there is no room for us or our clothes on a trip.

Prices vary

Here is a small way to fix some problems and complaints with just about all e-readers.  If you enjoy reading in the tub, place your e-reader in a nice Ziploc storage bag all sealed up, that will keep the water out in case of a drop.  You will still be able to press buttons and turn pages, and the touch-screen should work.  This is also good if you enjoy sticky foods while reading or having a beverage.
E-readers, in general, do make it nice for when it is very difficult to get out and buy a new book.  Over all the ‘books’ are cheaper to buy than a physical copy, but it is easy to get carried away with, “Oh I’ll just buy one book right now.” And not keep track of how much is being spent.
Kindle and Nook offer magazines and newspapers from all over that can be delivered daily.  This is great if you love the San Francisco Chronicle or Sacramento Bee but live in a place like Mariposa where finding these papers are a little difficult. I think that the Sony Daily may be the only one that Sony offers that can do this.  We have never tried to use the Sony for magazines or new papers.
They all also have font size changes some only offer 3 (Sony Reader Pocket Edition) while others offer 6 (Kindle 2).
I enjoy books best and the computer the least.  I can see many reasons to own an e-reader.  My oldest has one because she ran out of room for more books in her bedroom and doesn’t want to part with any of her books.  I don’t blame her.  I have a garage full of books that I don’t want to part with.

I will update this for time to time and please feel free to leave any comments adding to my lists or if there is anything wrong please feel free to let me know.  Also if you have any questions I will do my best to answer and give a timely response.

Oh, and one more plus for the Kindle, is my book is on it.  My book should also be in the Sony Reader but they are taking near a month at this point to add it on.  This shows me that with some titles they are very slow to add.  My publisher doesn’t have a contract with B&N for the Nook… yet.  But give it time, the Nook is the new kid in town.

Sony Reader link

Sony’s site with a comparison to the Kindle

Kindle link

Nook link

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!  Please drive safe.

Additional ~ Added on Jan 2, 2010

Kindle has a pro/con feature.  There can be many Kindles on one Kindle account.  This makes ALL of the books on that account accessible to each Kindle.  But only 5-6 can read the same book at the same time.  This is wonderful for people who share the same interests BUT if you share with a 10 year old, who is an avid reader and you’re a big steamy romance reader and you don’t feel she or he is ready for that, this could be a problem.  (That is just an example)  All of the books on one account are shared with all of the Kindle owners on that same account.  This is a wonderful feature if you have a house full of college kids and they’re taking some of the same courses.  That’s why this is a pro/con, it all depends on who you’re sharing with.

Below is a link to a small article about the Sony Reader getting an additional 500,000 free titles.  Please always keep in mind when you hear that book titles are free, it almost always means that they no longer have a copyright and that the book is public domain.  Google also offers these titles for free on Google.  My husband told me that the Nook can get these books too, because they have a contract with Google and they are already pdf formatted. The Nook offers more formats than any other e-reader.  People who own the Kindle can buy pay a charge per use to have pdf formatted material sent to their Kindle and put it on, but apparently they don’t look good and it is a pain.

Sony/Google link from March 2009

Google also has these books for free online.  Here is a link to some of what you can get for free…


3 Responses to Sony Reader, Kindle, Nook, Books, or Computer…

  1. Rebecca says:

    Great post! Thank you for sharing all the pros and cons. I think at this point I am still going to wait it out at least another year until more of the kinks have been worked out. But I was drawn most to the Nook. I do like turning the pages in books and the feeling of progress made and the smell of books. So I won’t feel too left out. 🙂

    • sarahwinters says:

      Thank you and you’re welcome. 😀 I agree with you, the smell and feel of books are wonderful. I will enjoy watching where the Nook is in the next year or two. And I think that it’s smart to wait a little bit on any new piece of electronic. Look at the Xbox 360 and the iPhone, both are wonderful but when they first came out they had a number of small, overlooked problems. We didn’t wait on the Nook because my oldest needed (and wanted) an e-reader for Christmas. So we took a small gamble and bought the Nook. We picked it over the others mainly because there were more titles available. E-readers are very personal, if I were to suggest one to my grandmother it would be the Kindle DX for its size and font sizes, my aunt who loves small purses the Sony Pocket would be perfect. Enjoy your reading,

  2. Dolf Patijn says:

    Hi Sarah.
    Just came across this blog when I googled nook books.
    I’m a Dutchman living in the south-west of Ireland, and I own a Sony PRS 600 touch.
    I read, mostly fiction, in three languages: Dutch being my first language, English my second and German my third language.
    The reason I bought an e-book reader was because I had found so many free books on the internet. Some forums would post books that aren’t supposed to be free, but there you go. It’s the same with music. Anyway, for me, “owning” a few hundred e-books already justified investing in a reader.
    As a Dutchman living in Ireland I’m thrilled that I can buy books in my own language on-line and read them the same day. It saves postage and also carrying books back from journeys home, not to mention shelf space. I’m still hoping that Dutch libraries will catch on and set up e-book libraries for which I would be happy to pay a membership fee.
    It really depends on where you are in the world for what’s available to you. In the Netherlands, e-book readers that use the Epub format are the most popular ones and there are many different brands available. I chose the Sony because of the inbuilt English dictionary. The new model: the PRS 650 has a brighter, better screen and dictionaries in different languages which comes in handy also for language students. What I also like about the touch screen is that I can write notes on it and highlight or scribble on the pages. After reading a book, I go back to the title page and scribble the date I finished the book and how I liked it. Through the notes menu I can then see, at a glance, which books I read when.
    PDF’s don’t read well on an e-reader and I found the freeware program calibre ( very helpful in converting them into epubs. It is also library management software. It does a better job than the Sony software.
    One negative thing I noticed is that the lay out of e-books is not always spot-on, especially with conversions but even with dedicated epubs, bought from an on-line bookstore. Page breaks are sometimes off and of course, the lay out changes as well after changing the font size.
    Over all I’m very happy with my Sony reader. It doesn’t replace paper books for me but it is a nice addition and very handy on holidays/vacations.
    I hope I didn’t bore you to death with my comment.

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