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E-readers

Want to Compare E-Readers? Try Reader Rocket
April 19, 2013 | 5:16 pm

Buying an e-reader has become more complex, with several solid options, both in E Ink and tablet-like lines. So how do you choose? That's where a brand-new, just-launched-yesterday website called Reader Rocket wants to come in. The site is simple. Put two different e-readers head-to-head, and see which one comes out on top. I sat around and tried a lot of different combinations, and basically I agree with their conclusions. They use a variety of criteria including size of bookstore, overall reviews, features, price and battery life. They give you a detailed report, showing their conclusions, advantages of each and other options...

Moon+ Reader (app review)
February 13, 2013 | 7:54 pm

Remember how I wrote that Whispersync was so important that I'd put up with a less feature-full app to have syncing between my Touch and Nexus 7? Oh, how things change. After Moon+ Reader was reinstated in the app store, I bought a copy to play around with. I figured it would be like other e-reading apps I've tried: I'll use it for a couple of books, but find it's just not compelling enough to make me switch from the Kindle app. Not so with Moon+ Reader. It's a great app, and worth taking the extra step of manually syncing between my...

Seniors find e-books easier to read than the printed page, study finds
February 7, 2013 | 9:21 pm

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz logoThe Daily Telegraph ran an interesting story yesterday about an e-book related scientific study undertaken in 2011 by the Media Convergence Research Unit at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. The study received a fair amount of media attention when it was first reported, and if you've been following the digital publishing industry for awhile, it might sound familiar. The study's purpose was to provide "a scientific basis for dispelling the widespread misconception that reading from a screen has negative effects," as Dr. Stephan Füssel, chair of the Gutenberg-Institute of Book Studies, explained it at the time. (TeleRead covered the study in October 2011.) So, why is the study back in the...

App Faceoff: Pocket vs. Instapaper
February 7, 2013 | 11:30 am

"Read Later" apps have become more popular as people use their smartphones and tablets on-the-go. I’ve used Pocket for years, and I recently decided to pay for Instapaper because it offered features Pocket does not. I use both, but for different purposes. Pocket is great for short articles, especially ones with images. I’ve set Flipboard up to share with Pocket, and I’ll often scan headlines during breakfast and then send articles to Pocket for reading throughout the day. Pocket is also my repository for articles I want to reference for later posts. I only use Pocket for short articles because I find the app’s page-flipping option to be...

Needing multiple reading apps — problem or not?
February 6, 2013 | 8:23 pm

Last week, Joanna wrote about giving up on the iBooks app. It generated quite a number of comments, but one in particular, from reader Michael W. Perry, caught my eye. He said: "One final note. You’re starting to discover an issue that ebook retailers have been averting their eyes from. In the near future, ebook buyers are going to become upset when they realize that ebooks have a major headache, they’re scattered across two or more apps and most people have trouble remembering which book is where. Settling on one app is a poor answer. That app may not have the features...

Using Applause as an e-book app rating system
January 31, 2013 | 12:50 pm

I recently wrote an article for GadgeTell about a new site, Applause, that ranks iOS and Android apps. I thought it would be fun to run various e-book reading apps through the site, and see how they rated. Here's the list, organized from high to low: • FBReader: 84 • Moon+ Reader Pro: 81 • Moon+ Reader: 74 • Stanza: 69 • Nook for Android: 64 • Kobo for iOS: 63 • Nook for iOS: 57 • EBook Reader for iOS: 57 • Aldiko: 56 • Aldiko Pro: 54 • iBooks: 46 • Kindle for iOS: 43 • Ebook Reader for Android: 42 • Kindle for Android: 41 Well, they agreed with my assessment of...

HELP! My E-Reader Keeps Freezing! (How to reset your Kindle, Nook or Kobo)
January 20, 2013 | 3:20 pm

Amazon Kindle start-up pageAlways remember that e-readers are like small computers. Sometimes they just hiccup and stop working correctly. Freezing, acting sluggish or pages turning slower than normal are common complaints. Relax. It's perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. No need to call customer service just yet; a quick reset will fix most problems. Here's instructions on how to reset the three most popular e-reading devices. 1. Kindle (E Ink) The easiest way to reset a Kindle is to press or slide (depending on your model) the power switch, and to hold it in the 'off' position for 20 seconds. Your Kindle will restart itself, and most...

Post-Apocalyptic Reading: A short story from the end of the world
December 10, 2012 | 10:00 am

With the End of the World coming up on the 21st of December and all, we need to consider our reading options carefully. (Here’s a tip: don’t start the Wheel of Time series.) Nate Hoffelder has a piece on Digital Reading in a Post-Apocalyptic World over at the Other Place that got me thinking ... Maw was kinda upset the day the Apocalypse came. I remember her yellin’ at Paw: "Bruce! You’re a CPA! What the hell use are YOU gonna be?" But Paw, he just took it calm. "Elsie," he said, "I got on to the file-sharin’ sites before the power went down." He held up...

Is E-Reading Bad for Your Brain?
September 4, 2012 | 3:44 pm

Dan Bloom is a freelance writer and occasional TeleRead contributor who's been living in Taiwan for more than 15 years; he's also an author and a climate activist. Over the weekend, Bloom sent me a link to his most recent piece for The China Post, and because it covers a fascinating and potentially important e-reading topic I haven't read much about, I wanted to share it here. The meat of Bloom's article starts in the fourth paragraph, where he proposes the question of "whether reading on screens is the same experience, in terms of brain chemistry, as reading text on paper surfaces." Here's...

Reader Privacy Under Threat in the Digital Age
September 2, 2012 | 1:09 pm

There was an interesting overview of reader privacy issues in this week's Guardian. I wonder if most e-book readers have given any thought to the issue. I bet it hasn't even crossed their minds that the customer profile Amazon or Kobo or Sony might have on them—detailing what they've purchased, and when—would be valuable to someone. And if they did see the value (I myself find Amazon's recommendations engine both useful and surprisingly accurate), I wonder if it's crossed their minds that this information could potentially be shared once Amazon has it. As the article points out: "Retailers and search engines, most notably Amazon...

52 Killer Tricks for Your Kindle
August 30, 2012 | 10:30 am

The Kindle is good. The Kindle is great. We surrender our will, as of this date! Amazon's own e-reader attracts its fair share of fans, but its potential stretches well beyond merely reading various e-book documents. In addition, numerous hacks and tricks exist to push the Kindle even further, either extending its life, saving money, or tacking on some brand new features. Enjoy a few random tips to pique e-book readers' interest, some of which require a bit of hardware and software literacy, some of which can be executed with only one neuron firing.   Make a cover out of old hardbacks: Repurpose...

Does anyone care about e-reader annotation?
July 30, 2012 | 5:29 pm

A thoughtful reader just forwarded me a link to a fairly fascinating mini-essay by Alan Jacobs; it was posted in the technology department of the The Atlantic's website a little earlier today. (Thanks Stephen!) Jacobs' essay presumes to be something of a progress report insofar as e-reading technology is concerned. But from where I stand, the story's truly fascinating angle comes from the fact that Jacobs is very much interested in an e-reading technology that appears to have been all but forgotten over the past few years: The ability to annotate. "It seems to me," Jacobs writes, "that the most serious deficiencies...