Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Help! Which E-Reader Should I Buy?

Lately I've found myself wanting an e-reader more and more, and as my birthday is coming up next week, I would like to treat myself to one. The problem is, I just can't decide which one I prefer. I've narrowed it down to two: Sony PRS-600 and Kindle 2. I've been reading lots of reviews trying to figure out which one suits me best, but every time I read about the 600, I think "That's the one I want", and every time I read about the Kindle, I think "No, that's the one I want." It's driving me nuts! So I was wondering if any of you, my dear readers, would be able to provide me with a few insightful comments as to which one is the better reader.

My biggest concern with e-readers is that it will strain my eyes. I stare at a computer screen at work all day, and I'm afraid the reader's screen will make my eyes dry and tired. A real book doesn't cause me that kind of trouble. I'm also a bit worried that being in Norway might reduce my options somewhat, especially with the Kindle, which is designed for the American market. Have any of you living in Europe or especially Scandinavia experienced any problems because of your location?

The main reason I want an e-reader is to save space. I live in a small flat and my bookshelves are already sagging. An e-reader would solve that problem (and save a few trees in the process). I would still buy paper editions of the books I know I'll want to keep, but there are so many books I will only read once, and these would be great to have on an electronic device instead of collecting dust on my shelves (or on the floor). I know I'd be tied to Amazon if I buy a Kindle, but they have a huge selection of e-books and I'm sure I'd be able to find most of the books I want to read on there. On the other hand, an open format like Sony's ePub, and also PDF (which isn't native to the Kindle), means that I'd have a wider choice of stores to buy from. I'm not sure which stores sell e-books though, and if there are any with as many books as Amazon. I have to look around a bit. I wouldn't be able to buy any Norwegian books with the Kindle, but I mostly read English books anyway and I can always get Norwegian ones from the library.

One thing I really like about the PRS-600 is the design and the fact that it comes in different colours. I like my gadgets to look pretty as well as be functional. The 600 has a touch screen, which is much easier for scrolling and forwarding than buttons. Also, the 600 has a memory card slot, which is a great advantage, but the Kindle doesn't. However, the Kindle has wireless 3G access, which means I'd get the book straight onto the Kindle, but with Sony I'd have to download it to my computer and transfer it to the 600. Features like integrated dictionary would be nice to have, but not essential. Finally, the Kindle is a bit cheaper than the 600, though it only amounts to about $50 with postage and charges.

Whew, this is what's been going through my mind for a few days now. Both readers have their advantages and disadvantages, but I still haven't figured out which one has the biggest advantage that will make me buy it. I know there have been several posts about e-readers on blogs lately, but I would be very grateful for any and all guidance you can give me!


lisa :) said...

I'm puzzling through a similar debate myself so I don't have any hard evidence to share, but I have seen some really cute covers for the Kindle if the style point is a big factor for you.

Also, I haven't seen much of the Sony model, but I know the "e-ink" on the Kindle is much easier on the eyes than computer screens. It really does look like actual printed words on paper and can be read even under full sunlight. My mother has a Kindle and one of her favorite features is being able to increase the text size - especially at the end of the night when she's tired.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing what you decide - it might make my own decision that much easier!

Man of la Books said...

I've done a lot of research on eReaders and I' heavily leaning towards the Nook. My reasoning is simple: I see ePub as winning the format wars and the Nook supports it which means that I can borrow eBooks from my local library.

Technology wise, the screens are all the same (unless you get a color screen). They all use the same exact technology (eInk and ePaper) - there is absolutely no difference.

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