Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Succinct Book Reviews
(aka Creating & Whit)

    My friends IRL have requested my advice on their virgin ereader purchases.
Being a good, loyal, and perhaps slightly over-intense friend - I have researched the choices.

My credentials are shaky at best.
See at left, My personal ereaders: Macbook, SONY Pocket, Android Phone

Ereaders for the Noobies

The following is my opinion on the best fit for a first time ereader purchase.
This opinion includes my experience with a small selection of ereaders, various online articles*,
and the specific reading/usage tendencies of my friends (for whom this all was done.)

Bullets listed in order of importance.
1. Tactile, extended periods holding this device means weight and size are important.
2. Interface, user friendly?
3. Battery life, how long can you read for?
4. Access, how do you get ebooks onto it?
5. Memory, how many ebooks fit?
6. Format, what type of ebooks?
7. Extra info

DESSERT FIRST - My Final Recommendations

Wifi is nice: First Choice = Kindle
USB cuts the cost: Cheap Choice = Libre


EReaders are listed in the order of my recommendation.

KINDLE WIFI (Website) $139

• Light weight and slim

• Simple user interface, eink, crisp type, 8 font sizes, fast page turns

• 1 month battery life

• Wifi
x 3GB memory (not expandable)
• ebook formats: AZW, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC
x Does not allow for library loans
x No page numbers (Huh?)

KOBO (Website) $139

• Light

x Slow, low contrast screen, excessive line spacing

• Simple interface, eink, 5 font sizes

• 2week battery life (10,000 page turns)

• Wifi
• 1GB internal (up to 32GB additional)
• ebook formats: ePub, PDF, DRM
• Preloaded

LIBRE (Website) $99

• Small and light

• Simple interface, 6 font sizes, fast page turns

x Low contrast, LCD screen, slow to load book

• 24hr battery life

• 256MB (up to 32GB additional)
• ebook formats: TXT, Adobe ePub, PDF, FB2, MOBI, PRC, and RTF
• Preloaded

JETBOOK (Website) $99

• Easy to hold, quick page turns, 6 font sizes

x Low tech, low resolution, not eink

• 20hr battery life

• 112MB (up to 16GB additional)
• ebook formats: TXT, PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI, PRC, Adobe DRM, RTF
• Multiple languages
• Preloaded bookmarks

NOOK WIFI (Website) $150

• Easy to hold

x Slow

• eink & color lcd touch screen, 6 fonts sizes

• 10day battery life

• Wifi
• 2GB (up to 16GB additional)
• ebook formats: EPUB, PDB, PDF
x Very hard to get to memory card & battery
x Internet browser, slow

SONY POCKET (Website) $149

• Fits in your hand, pocket, purse

• Functional user interface

• eink touchscreen, 3 fonts sizes

• 2 week battery life

• 3GB (not expandable)
• ebook formats: ePub, PDF, BBeB, Text, RTF
x Wifi available on SONY DAILY
x Sony brand ebooks 10-20% more expensive vs. Kindle & Nook

CRUZ READER (Website) $199

x Heavy

x Color touchscreen

• 10hr battery life

• Wifi
• 256MB internal w/ 4GB SD (& additional SD slot)
• ebook formats: ePub, PDF, TXT, PDB, HTML
• Multifunction

color version ONLY currently available $199

x Heavy, wide, and fragile

x Slow

• epaper touch screen, pressure sensitive, 2 font sizes

• 6,000 page turns - approx. 8.5days battery life

• Wifi
• 2GB (up to 32GB additional)
• ebook formats: EPUB, PDF
• Multifunctional

IPAD WIFI (Website) $499

x Heavy, large, fragile

• Simple and attractive user interface

x Color LED touchscreen, 2 font sizes

• 10hr battery life

• Wifi
• Starts at 16GB
• ebook formats: N/A
• Best PDF ereader
• Not a dedicated ereader

ALEX (Website) $400

x Awkward to hold

• eink screen & color LCD touchscreen

x Wide line spacing in "larger" fonts

• 2 week battery life

• Wifi w/ internet browser
• 2GB (up to 32GB additional)
• ebook formats: ePub, PDF, HTML
• Multifunctional w/ browser
• Preloaded & bookmarked


• I STRONGLY suggest every ebook purchased is backed up to your home computer.

• Also, remember, you do NOT have to buy brand specific ebooks. JUST FORMAT SPECIFIC.

• Color screens (LCD) are difficult to read outside

• eink screens will need a booklight in low light

• Free legal ebooks are available online and from your library.
– SaveDelete has a list to start with.
– Public Domain books are also a good resource, like the ones at Project Gutenberg.


• 3G is NOT a reliable service in our area
• Notation capabilities
• Interconnectivity between multiple ereaders (phone, computer, & ereader)
• Multitasking functionality
• Audio

*Sites referred to during my research.
• Chris' weekly link page, with "ebookity" section, offered me a prolific jumping off point for my research.
• Consumer Reports ratings on ereaders @ TeleRead
• Device differentiation @ Dear Author
Notes about the 2010 Sony Readers @ Dear Author
• Dear Jane's thoughts on Android Tablets @ Dear Author
• E-reader Roundup @ TeleRead
How to load non-Amazon books on your Kindle @ The Consumerist
Kobo Review @ Computer Shopper
Alex Ereader Review @ eTech World
Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro Review @ PC World


You don't even have to buy format-specific-to-your-device ebooks. If they're not DRM, they can easily be converted in Calibre, as long as they're a flowable format (ie, as long as they are not PDF). I always buy LIT (MS Reader) because it converts really well.

Chris - Thanks for the additional information! I certainly have quite a few holes in my research and would love to hear more about avid ereader users!

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Thanks so much for delving into my head. It's scary in here sometimes, so it is nice to have company! Don't step on the zephyr...

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I'm Miranda and I very
v e r y   s l o w l y review
Fiction & Fantasy & Erotica