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Poll
Question: Do you use an e-reader?
Yes often!   -11 (27.5%)
No Never!   -7 (17.5%)
I used to but I don't anymore.   -5 (12.5%)
I have one but I use it occasionally.   -8 (20%)
I dont have one, but I do read a lot on a phone or tablet!   -9 (22.5%)
Total Members Voted: 38

Author Topic: E-Readers - Do you use one and are they still the future of books?  (Read 1463 times)
Melooon
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« on: August 08, 2023 @754.72 »

Back in 2013 my mum gave me a Kindle as a gift; I used it for a few years but eventually it ended up on the shelf; recently Iv been in a reading sort of mood, so I got it out again and it still works well!

Still though I remember a time in the early 2010s when everyone was in a panic that e-readers had rendered paper books obsolete and all the bookstores would flop instantly - somehow that never happened; in fact aside from myself recently, I don't think Iv even seen an e-reader out in the wild! In fact if you look at e-reader images and study the articles the images are from, almost every one is written in 2011  :omg:

While I do love books; I appreciate how light weight this unit is, the built in frontlight and e-ink screen is pleasingly artificial yet weirdly old fashioned feeling, and the fact it lowers the bar for exploring new books is great.

(2013 Kindle showing status.cafe with an ipod and print zine for comparison)


Do you use one? Did you use one? What did you think of them and how do they fit into your reading experience?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2023 @756.48 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2023 @770.34 »

Hm!! Well, the interesting thing about this question is how you define an 'e-reader.' As for things like kindle etc, the 'paper like' aesthetic and lack of backlight never particularly caught on with me.
But, on my tablet I have an EPUB reader which I use all the time! Its great for imported books (where physical copies are impractical), webnovels, and fanfiction. I have a solid collection of over a dozen books, and 30 fanfictions I particularly like on there! Good for roadtrips, and so on.

But does it count as an e-reader? I'm not so sure...
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2023 @773.95 »

But does it count as an e-reader? I'm not so sure...
I would define an e-reader as a device that dedicated to reading and has an e-ink style screen (or something like it) - although some early e-readers had LCD screens so its foggy!

I added an option to the poll for tablet/phone readers!

I find I can read a few pages on a normal tablet, but I get tired much faster because of the harshness of the light.
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2023 @778.28 »

I got a ReMarkable 1 off eBay around a year ago, and it's served me well as an e-reader ever since. It doubles as a drawing tablet, which is also super useful. The internet has destroyed my reading habits, mostly, but I still try and use it for longer articles I find online(There's an extension that lets you print a webpage to the tablet! Super useful.). Beyond that, my AO3 backlog takes up a not insignificant portion of its storage space, as do various e-books. I personally tend to, when I do manage to get myself to read, use the tablet, it's just that I don't read as much as I wish I did.

Oh also the portability and stuff cannot be understated. That's the magic of e-readers!
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2023 @779.27 »

I would define an e-reader as a device that dedicated to reading and has an e-ink style screen (or something like it) - although some early e-readers had LCD screens so its foggy!

I added an option to the poll for tablet/phone readers!

I find I can read a few pages on a normal tablet, but I get tired much faster because of the harshness of the light.

Ah, I figured as much! While I do a lot of reading on here, more than most people, its not an e-reader.

While the e-ink style is probably better on the eyes, for some reason I always found it harder to read. Of course, tablets aren't exactly  easy on the eyes, but with dark themes and brightness control I can usually minimize that. Frankly, though, I'd say the real winning difference between the two is how I can listen to music on my tablet!

And thank you for adding that option to the poll. While its not exactly either option you were looking for, I think when looking at 'the future of books' its an important clarification.

Though, admittedly, physical books still certainly have their place, if you ask me!
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2023 @790.80 »

Do you use one? Did you use one? What did you think of them and how do they fit into your reading experience?

when I was little my mum had a kindle but it was never really used for reading, just mobile games. There's none that have really caught my interest but I love e ink screens for reading. When I need to read something dense I usually find myself printing it out and reading it that way, but if I had a nice e reader I doubt I'd have too

I think the thing that kinda stunted the growth of the e reader was how corporate they were. I think Amazon had a lot of tablet and phone products in the late 2000s that did really poorly because of how slow gimmicky or restrictive they were, and because the kindle was what people thought of as when they think e reader that did some damage to their reputation. could be wrong on all that but that's my guess

If i got a kindle for cheap I'd probably jail break it and use it all the time, but I think the only real thing that could get me excited about them would be some open source e reader project for hacky types, and I know that isn't exactly for everyone.

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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2023 @816.35 »

My girlfriend recently found a discarded but fully functioning Sony Reader PRS-T2 with like 50 books on it :dive:

this one:
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2023 @821.48 »

I do a lot of print/bookmaking work for uni and am looking to go into it as a carrer and something I hear a lot from people who feel the need to comment on it is that "books will be obsolete soon anyway" which... irks me and also doesn't really feel true for a lot of reasons that have already been mentioned here!

I think I'd also add that reading is an experience beyond just the letters you see, the paper texture and how it opens (aka the binding properties) and how heavy or big the book is and a million other things all go into your reading experience and it's the job of the people who make the book (usually the typographer along with the bookbinder) to decide which format fits the contents and the readers intent the best.
I have seen huge books that are heavy and would never be practical to lug around but they're on paintings of one particular painter and not being able to see all the details would be a disservice to said painter. There are also tiny books with even tinier type but because they're handbooks made to be carried around it makes sense that they shouldn't be heavy and that the reader will put in the effort to read even small type because they're interested enough to always carry one around.
And the e-reader is also just one of those mediums, right? It serves its own audience, I think one of my favourite examples of that is actually people putting their favourite AO3 works on their e-readers, but the same goes for books that (from what I've seen at least?) would usually be softcover books that are designed light enough to be carried around. In that regard I think the e-reader fits both of those types of reading perfectly or for some readers even better than the original format. They offer a lightweight form of reading, that would be perfect especially for communters and I appreciate that, even if I don't personally own one!

It seems like there is also a small section of youtube that really likes e-readers? I haven't really delved into it but it seems like especially youtubers dedicated to productivity/studying like to use them. I know jvscholz has some videos on e-readers, so there seems to be a use for productivity-minded people as well!
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2023 @910.43 »

I have a Kindle paperwhite that's several years old. I still use it for genre reading (sf, fantasy, horror) and it works well with my public library's ebook lending. I still buy print editions, though, when I particularly enjoyed a book and want it in hardcover. I just don't buy as many mass-market paperbacks as I used to.
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2023 @968.13 »

This thread actually reminded me I had an e-reader. I have a white iRiver Story HD, which doesn't hold much energy anymore (because I keep leaving it discharged for quite a very long time...)



I got it in like 2012/2013, but it was a time I had a lot of exams at school and forgot about it. As you can see it has a keyboard (it's one of the oldest on the market) It doesn't have any DRM or whatever protection and you can put whatever you want on it.

I haven't used it recently, mostly because I don't really want to carry more things when I'm on the train and I still need to read my paperbacks. The device itself feels fun to use. It doesn't weight much and is thin unlike thick books. However, there's no more of "that" feeling anymore. Books have beautiful covers that you don't appreciate on an e-reader. You can feel and smell the paper. You can mark something with cool, colourful highlighters. E-readers are a piece of plastic with a screen with words. E-books are still almost as expensive as normal books (at least where I live), and when you buy a paperback, you get a book for life and are not dependant on technology.

E-readers to me got obsolete as smartphones and tablets got more capable. I don't hear much about them anymore. I think people prefer to just read stuff directly on their phones than take a chunkier piece of hardware with them nowadays.
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Melooon
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2023 @980.75 »

If i got a kindle for cheap I'd probably jail break it
It doesn't have any DRM or whatever protection and you can put whatever you want on it.
While I don't wanna go out of my way to defend Amazon; I do wanna note that theres no DRM as such on Kindle readers; you can just plug them into your computer and copy over epubs, pdfs, txt files and HTML files etc - they all work fine - maybe the misconception is because you cant transfer books that you buy from the amazon store to other non kindle platforms; but you can totally use a kindle without ever using the amazon store ^^

iRiver
OMG iRiver, that name brings me back but I dunno why :ziped:
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2023 @36.92 »

While I don't wanna go out of my way to defend Amazon; I do wanna note that theres no DRM as such on Kindle readers; you can just plug them into your computer and copy over epubs, pdfs, txt files and HTML files etc - they all work fine - maybe the misconception is because you cant transfer books that you buy from the amazon store to other non kindle platforms; but you can totally use a kindle without ever using the amazon store ^^

Oh really? I'm sorry, I guess I just assumed they did have DRM! Do a lot of other e-readers have DRM or are they usually as lax as kindle is? If they are that lax then maybe I'm just e-reader pilled now lol
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2023 @611.44 »

Oh really? I'm sorry, I guess I just assumed they did have DRM! Do a lot of other e-readers have DRM or are they usually as lax as kindle is? If they are that lax then maybe I'm just e-reader pilled now lol

Yeah, the books you buy from the Kindle store do have DRM on them, but you can still sideload most of the devices themselves. Honestly I feel like since Kindle sales have waned in recent years, it wouldn't do well for them to remove that feature, but what do I know.

I own and LOVE my paperwhite though! Because of the ecosystem I'll probably replace it with a non-Amazon device when/if it goes, but I'm so glad I bought mine. I will say that they become much, much more useful as you get older. Holding full-sized books, while nice, becomes more painful, especially when you have joint problems. My eyes also really appreciate the e-ink screen, and for older folks you absolutely can't beat being able to adjust font sizes. I feel like the accessibility advantages of these devices get overlooked a lot, but they're very important to me and a lot of others!

I think the "revolution" that most people predicted focused too much on the hardware, not realizing that the real revolution came in the form of the .epub format. Digital books have definitely changed the industry a huge amount, and it's been great for readers, whether you do it on a phone, screen, e=ink device, or whatever.
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2023 @666.52 »

Hello! While I don't have a physical e-reader in the likes of Kindle tablets and I never did, I have an open source program called Calibre installed on my computer! It can read EPUBs and show progress much like Kindle does, read PDFs, you can organize your books, bookmark them, make annotations, highlight, word search, adjust the font size and more! I cannot tell you how amazing of a tool it is and I highly recommend it if you download a lot of electronic books. I can get by with PDFs fine but I find EPUB a lot more comfortable for e-books. :pc: :ha:

P.S. I forgot to answer the second question on this topic! I don't think that e-readers could ever replace physical books, but objectively speaking they are an invaluable tool to access knowledge in these virtual times. Definitely works wonders as far as media preservation and saving money in this harsh economic landscape goes.
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Melooon
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2023 @676.59 »

Sony Reader PRS-T2
I wish Sony still made readers! They have a classy feeling that is just missing from modern ones; I would totally pay for a modern high spec Sony reader with a built in light and lots of storage!

Kindle sales have waned in recent years
I do wonder about this; Amazon have so much money to burn though and the Kindles have a solid if small market - They just refreshed the basic one a few months ago, so there is definitely still development happening.

One good alternative is the Kobo devices; they are identical to Kindles in basically every way (they even use the same screens) but they are not from amazon - https://eu.kobobooks.com/collections/all

In the US there is also one called the Nook that seems to be popular though I don't know much about it!

I think for me I like the smaller models; big lads like the remarkable are super cool, but I think having a tiny book I can fit in my pocket is more useful!
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