E-readers

General discussion

E-book choices, oh my!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / October 7, 2011 8:53 AM PDT
Question:

E-book choices, oh my!


Hello! I want to get my grandmother an e-book reader for her 71st birthday but I don't know where to start! There are so many choices right now with the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and more. Does anyone have recommendations? If you have a reader, what do you like or dislike about it? I need one that's easy enough for my grandmother to use, just like she's reading a real book. But it needs to have portability and a decent battery life. She does use e-mail at home so she has some familiarity with current technology.

--Submitted by: Kaitlyn P.

Here are some member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

Hints to Purchase an eBook Reader -Submitted by: ajtrek
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-19685_102-5217457.html

Horses for courses -Submitted by: grahamstroud
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-19685_102-5217940.html

I am a 72 year old grand dad and I love kindle -Submitted by: VANMAN
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-19685_102-5217708.html

E-readers for seniors -Submitted by: Bazebolljim
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-19685_102-5217146.html

Kindle -Submitted by: mspday
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-19685_102-5217204.html

ereader -Submitted by: LGGC
http://forums.cnet.com/7726-19685_102-5217105.html

Thanks to all who contributed!


If you have any additional advice, tips, or buying advice for Kaitlyn, click on the reply link and submit away. Thanks!
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Kindle scares me. Why?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 7, 2011 9:22 AM PDT
In reply to: E-book choices, oh my!

My Kindle spends a lot of time in the safe because if someone picks it up and it is unlocked they can purchase titles without a password.

Amazon, are you listening?

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That bothers me too
by 4Denise / October 14, 2011 10:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Kindle scares me. Why?

I keep my Kindle in my (locked) bedroom.

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Kindle scares her
by compvis / October 21, 2011 11:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Kindle scares me. Why?

R. Proffitt: Each Kindle device has a password that can be activated as you turn it on before you can open the first page. It is very simple and very secure. This is a great device. I have three for my family and plan to buy two more. It is the best e-book option.

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Not good enough.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 22, 2011 1:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Kindle scares her

I want to be asked for the password for purchases. This must be different from the password on the device.

The Kindle fails here.
Bob

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Password
by omalyn / October 22, 2011 4:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Not good enough.

I don't understand what you are getting at here. If you Kindle is under password and your Amazon account is also under a password, what more could ask? I read my selections on my Kindle, my smartphone, my PC and my iPad. All of these devices are under passwords along with my Amazon account and not even my husband can access any device or make purchases. I too believe in security.

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Here's the scenario.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 23, 2011 4:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Password

I set up the kindle with books for my son to go to school. To let him use the kindle you have to give them the password to the device but they can make purchases with that device now.

This area needs work by Amazon. Same thing happens with their Android app.
Bob

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Kindle and password
by marper01 / October 21, 2011 11:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Kindle scares me. Why?

If someone had your Kindle, all they can do is read the books you have on it and/or order some more but that's it. I thought I had lost mine and had a momentary panic, in a similar fashion that you would if you lost your phone or credit card, but then I stopped and thought about it and had a giggle...hope they like books on real estate investment and Stephen King novels!!

Luckily, I found it but in the meantime I had contacted Amazon and had a stop put on any purchases.

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Password
by mlyonsden / October 21, 2011 11:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Kindle scares me. Why?

Second page of settings, Password.

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Password - New!
by mjonczak / October 22, 2011 1:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Password

You'd think with something that important, it would be placed on the FIRST page of settings. Some people don't know that there are other pages after the first.

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What is a thief gonna do?
by spamblocker / October 22, 2011 4:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Kindle scares me. Why?

Worst they can do is order more books to send to that particular Kindle. They can't order a flatscreen, they can't get your credit card number. If they do make some unauthorized purchases, all you have to do is tell Amazon your Kindle was lost stolen. They will ask you when it happened, void any purchases made from that point, refund your account and remove the items from the device the next time it tries to sync. This is a very overblown and hyperbolic criticism of the Kindle.

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(NT) That's pretty bad. Thanks for confirming it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 22, 2011 4:58 AM PDT
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Credit cards, spending cash and cell phone in the safe?
by spamblocker / October 22, 2011 4:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Kindle scares me. Why?

Cause each of those is less secure than the Kindle.

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e-reader device
by LostValley / October 14, 2011 9:08 AM PDT
In reply to: E-book choices, oh my!

For your grandmother strongly recommend scalable sizing, size (larger better) of control buttons and battery life. Secondarily the smoothest learning curve and good quick start brochure would be important. User resistance gains ground as we get older.

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reader device for grandmother
by scraft / October 14, 2011 11:43 AM PDT
In reply to: e-reader device

AS a 72 year old grandmother, I chose the Sony E-reader PRS 300 & love it. It is small enough to put in my small purse & travel with it, download books from library, change the size of the print, etc. You need to determine how your grandmother wants to use it. If she only reads at home, she may want a larger version such as Nook Or Kindle. I am "on the go" a lot & then if I have to wait or get delayed, the smaller E-Reader can be taken everywhere & sure saves me from frustration. It is only available in black & white but if grandmother is only reading books, it is relative inexpensive, easy to carry & you don't have to worry about password theft etc.

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Sony E-reader PRS 300
by lorryfran / October 21, 2011 12:58 PM PDT

One of the main issues with this reader is if the battery dies it has to be sent to Sony to have it replaced.
Also doesn't hold as many books as the Kindle.

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Use a Cell Phone
by chatman3 / October 14, 2011 9:14 AM PDT
In reply to: E-book choices, oh my!

I read everything on my phone, and you can always vary the font size if you are long sighted. Is an e-reader really necessary?

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A cell phone is NOT an e-reader
by 4Denise / October 14, 2011 10:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Use a Cell Phone

You might be satisfied, but anyone who does any real reading will never be. Also, the screen size is a major problem for older eyes.

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Kindle works well on cell phones
by triniwebdiva / October 21, 2011 11:28 PM PDT

I've been reading using the Kindle app for years. I loved using it on my iPhone, and now I use it on my HTC Android phone. I am defiinitely a "real" reader, I read several books per week, and have no problem. I also use it for academic papers and text books for reference when I'm teaching my classes (I am a University lecturer) I'm 46 and use reading glasses, but as I can adjust the size of the font, it's much easier.

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A kindle is perfect.
by strzhills / October 14, 2011 9:28 AM PDT
In reply to: E-book choices, oh my!

We have three Kindles in my family and all of us love it. I rarely buy books on it, but go through Amazon on my laptop. If we don't know the book, we download a 'sample' onto the Kindle, read that, and then buy with one click on the Kindle itself. Amazon gives a synopsis and then reviews of your prospective book, which I find an excellent system. The Kindle instructions are very easy to understand.

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EBook readers worth considering/buying
by timmylish / October 14, 2011 9:41 AM PDT
In reply to: E-book choices, oh my!

particularly if you have bought one!
What a disappointing lack of response to a very current dilemma for a lot of us one here and a particularly disappointing response from an Mod advising all and sundry that he has a safe at home! Seems par for the course. Anyway, as a complete amateur on the eastern side of the Atlantic with very limited access to the latest offerings i personally believe that the Nook & Barnes Color (as spelt in the literature offered by the manufacturers) offers such a variety of opportunities of using the machine in so many different ways as opposed to the Amazon Kindle (even their latest entry) which seems to me to be a loss leader to Amazon,s own products, and Apple,s own iPad which not only is unaffordable to most but also ties you into a pre-created network. Two vastly different machines and prices! On the other hand, as far as I can see and read about the B & N, at least you can load applications which allow not just eReading but good video content and internet access (Wi-Fi) at a vastly lower price than any other does.
So, in my opinion the B & N beats the opposition not only in respect of its versatility but, at a price level affordable to the masses and not only those who by good or foul methods, can obtain an iPad.
Lee Koo,s Grandmother will love her Barnes & Noble Color (hate that spelling!)

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E-Book Readers
by appreciative viewer / October 14, 2011 9:49 AM PDT
In reply to: E-book choices, oh my!

I currently have a sony reader and am very satisfied with it. I have had sony readers since they first came out.
Their new reader is wi-fi capable, has excellent readability, great battery life, and can be used in either landscape or straight up mode. You can set it to show two pages or only one at a time. It has an extremely good touch screen, better than some of the other readers I have looked at. The fonts are scalable, I normally use Large. I am 65 years old and wear tri-focal glasses, so I am pleased with the size offerings of this reader. I is about the size of a standard paperback book, ot course much thinner and will store more than enough books in memory to keep you reading for a long time. Once a book is purchased, it is yours for life and can always be redownloaded for the sony site if your e-reader has a problem. I have never had a problem with any of my sony readers. I upgrade to have the newest technology and pass my old reader to a friend or relative. I recommend this reader above all the other choices because of its form factor, ease of use, ability to download much more than books (i.e. newspapers, magazines, pictures, and audio files).
I will say this: If she is not an avid reader, you may need to rethink your idea. I have found that people who are not avid readers tend to loose interest in their readers and end up not using them.
If she is an avid reader, she'll love you for the gesture, especially if you look at sony's special (or free) offers and present her with a reader that already has some of what she may be interested in already loaded on it. Good Luck.

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ereader
by LGGC / October 14, 2011 9:50 AM PDT
In reply to: E-book choices, oh my!

I have the Nook Color and bought one for my mother, who is 72. The fonts size is adjustable, operations are easy, has email if you have wireless, has a 4 digit password to unlock the screen, has the option to add a external memory card up to 64 GB. I checked with the local library and found that they support the Nook Color, Sony ereader and a few others. The Kindle was NOT a supported device so if you are interested in this option, check first with your local library. I can check ebooks out from the library and extend the checked out time. Using the library can keep the purchase costs down. The Nook also allows you to have 2 or more devices on the same Barnes and Nobel account, so when I purchase a book it also shows up on my mothers Nook, for no additional money. I set up both Nooks to require a password to purchase anything on the Barnes and Nobel account. Computer based purchases are automatically downloaded to the Nook the next time it is turned on. Battery life could be better, it runs about 8 hours before needing a charge, but that may be just me since I am a heavy reader. I even download technical books and use the Nook for studying. I really like the fact that the Nook is not proprietary. Barnes and Nobel do not require me to only purchase my books from them. I can purchase from anyone as long as it is in the epub format, which almost digital editions are. The Kindle does not offer that option and that is the main reason I didn't purchase a Kindle.

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Nook
by gregw9 / October 21, 2011 11:36 AM PDT
In reply to: ereader

I have the new Nook, the non-color variety and one of the motivating factors for my purchase was just what you stated, not proprietary like the Kindle. I was able to transfer my Google Ebooks quite easily to my little Nook. Another prime motivating factor for me was battery life. The new Nook has a two month (yes, two month) battery life with wi-fi off. Love it and recommend it for everyone without hesitation.

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Me, too!
by jiyoungk98 / October 21, 2011 12:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Nook

I, too, upgraded to the new Nook and love, love the touch screen. It seems to simulate even more closely the physical book reading experience. And I opted for Nook because of the broader choices (vs. being beholden to Amazon for all book purchases).

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ereader
by wllharrington / October 21, 2011 12:15 PM PDT
In reply to: ereader

I was happy to note that you see the same disadvantage to Kindle that I do. I am a vociferous reader and get my books from the library. You are correct, Kindle does not allow this so unless you have recently won the lottery you will have a hard time affording the books for the Kindle.

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New Kindle allows access to the library
by tleinbaugh / October 22, 2011 1:40 AM PDT
In reply to: ereader

I personally am waiting for the Kindle Fire for the versatility but the new Kindles already offer the library lending feature. I am not an avid reader (a book every couple of weeks, bedtime reading) so I have not felt limited by the Amazon content. I don't necessarily subscribe to the best sellers list but do have my favorite authors and am always able to get them. Their recommendations have lead me to other authors as well. I love whispersync. No computer ever necessary.

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Not quite right; almost all kindles have library checkout
by Al_Quan / October 22, 2011 4:33 PM PDT

About a month ago, Amazon and Overdrive (the service most libraries use) enabled lending on almost all Kindle devices and Kindle reading software. You have to use the wifi to download the books, so the original Kindle (which had 3g only) can't use the library lending feature. However, that's the only device I am aware of that can't be used to read a book checked out from your local library.

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Free Kindle ebooks
by jimichan / October 23, 2011 4:18 AM PDT
In reply to: ereader

My local library DOES check out Kindle books, and I would bet that most either already do or will soon follow suit. There are also thousands of free ebooks available from Amazon. I have caught up on a lot of classics. Have you read all the Sherlock Holmes series?

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Battery Life Would be an Issue if you travel .
by Renee101 / October 23, 2011 11:23 PM PDT
In reply to: ereader

I have a Sony Reader it does a great job. The battery life can last for 72 hours and it is great for long trip to Asia. If you need to read email you have a smart phone that can do the rest..but if your battery dies and your in plane..that would be extremely frustrating ..what would your read?

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Battery Life - Nook
by MrsPeterson10 / October 24, 2011 3:06 AM PDT

Between the car charger (which only needs one tiny plug to use with the regular computer USB) and the computer charger, and the wall charger, I have never run out of battery on any trip --- Domestic or Overseas. I love that about my Nook !

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