Relight My Fire.

Chat about stuff other than Transformers.
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inflatable dalek
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Relight My Fire.

Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:26 am

I'm thinking of getting a Kindle (See what I did there for the thread title? Kindle/kindling? No? Please yourself). Potentially a risky investment as it'll be a long time before my digital books will come anywhere close enough to my physical ones to make it the regular way I read (though I'm told there are magic ways I could get books I already own on there without having to rebuy). If I use my Tesco staff Christmas vouchers, the normal clubcard voucher I have and my staff discount I'll be able to pick up the more expensive fancy pants wireless 3G version for at least 50 pounds less than the asking price, but is it worth it?

So the question is, do any of you good people have a Kindle, are they any worth it, or should I just wait to get a super smart phone with an ebook reader built in?

And no, I have little interest in anything starting with "I".
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Post by Lady Quickswitch » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:47 am

I don't have an actual Kindle, but I do use Kindle for PC and been quite happy with it as a program (text-to-speech YEAH!!!! Wacky contrast YEAH!!!)

Not sure what to advise you on what to buy. Maybe just wait for your books and view them on the Kindle Cloud Reader first, then make a decision if you want an actual Kindle. So far I haven't needed one. But then, I've also only bought two books.
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Notabot
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Post by Notabot » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:47 pm

I've been looking into them because my wife wants one, and what I've heard is that the fancy Fire one with all the internet and apps and twitters and what-nots is actually harder to read books on than the lower level ones. The Fire has a color display, but the others have a bookish black and white display that actually looks like pages and is readable even in bright light. If your using it primarily for reading, I've heard a number of recommendations to avoid the Fire, but if it's going to be more a tablet that you read on sometimes, the Fire might be the way to go.

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Denyer
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Post by Denyer » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:14 pm

I've got a Sony Reader PRS-300 (older, used for carrying around) and a Kindle 3 Keyboard with wi-fi (tends to stay in the house). Both aren't touch-screen devices, and that suits me... my other half's got a PRS-350 that is and likes it, though.

Current e-ink Kindles definitely offer very comfortable, high-enough-contrast reading. I wouldn't bother with the 3G, personally, as I neither tend to buy books from Amazon (especially on the go) nor want to fiddle with a web browser on an e-ink screen. It's strictly for reading.

You can manage most e-readers with the awesome and free Calibre rather than the software provided, and there are ways to strip the DRM from Kindle store titles and use them on whatever device you want.
wait to get a super smart phone with an ebook reader built in
Reading on backlit phone/tablet screens gets painful after a while, and the battery life is crap.

Amazon sell the model I've got refurb for £80, which comes with a data/charging cable, and you can get a USB-to-UK-plug adapter to go with it for a few quid on eBay;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kindle-Wireless ... 335&sr=8-5

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-Mains-Plu ... 4cf9227a13

Alternatively, the latest wi-fi model has a few improvements in weight/screen terms, although a smaller battery to save on weight (should still last weeks);

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0051QVF7A

Whatever your preference, get a well-padded case.

I'm holding off on more e-readers until colour e-ink (and ideally a screen size suitable for comics) arrives.

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inflatable dalek
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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:37 pm

That latest link is the cheapest one they sell at work. With the various discounts I could get it for less than 50 pounds from there if they keep it on sale till January. The 3G one would work out about the 80 quid asking price of that.
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Post by Auntie Slag » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:05 am

I agree with everything Denyer says. The additional cost for the 3G version is not worth the cash for the amount of times you'll be out and desperately need to download a title/newspaper right there and then. Better to save the cash for actual book buying, which takes like, 25 seconds for a 400 page download.

Reading on a smartphone is crap. Way too small a screen, eats battery like Denyer mentioned. Even if you play with the settings on the smartphones reader and put it into negative 'white text on black background' mode its still not fun or intuitive to read on one.

A kindle wi-fi, or alternative wi-fi reader sounds like a good bet to me. No eye strain & viewable in lots of light conditions... & it weighs next to nothing too!
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Post by Denyer » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:03 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:That latest link is the cheapest one they sell at work. With the various discounts I could get it for less than 50 pounds from there if they keep it on sale till January.
For the price of a few books, being able to carry around and chug through any amount of out-of-print fiction is a pretty good deal. If you end up getting one, gimme a shout and I'll stick a disc in the post.

Books turned up, ta -- PP should be with you momentarily.

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inflatable dalek
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Post by inflatable dalek » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:11 am

Excellent news, my own postal service is clearly better than Amazon. I don't know why I bother with Amazon Prime sometimes, the whole idea of guaranteeing next day delivery so I can make sure to order stuff so it arrives when I'm in and means I can minimise the bloody postman running off with it cackling is somewhat undone if it doesn't bloody turn up.


Oh, though you'll probably do this anyway, be sure to read them in the correct order as Nobody Lives For Ever picks up on plot points from Role of Honour (as with many Gardner's, not the best title but apparently he had real trouble deflecting the publishers more bonkers suggestions. Including nearly putting out a book called Oh No Mr. Bond!).

Looks like I'll be investing in a cheap Kindle come pay day then, I'll just check with my brother to see if the complete Terry Pratchett collection he...ah... found for my Sister in Law's Galaxy Tab will work for it as well.
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Post by Denyer » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:26 am

http://calibre-ebook.com/

Virtually anything --> *.mobi (or virtually anything else)

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:05 am

OK, bar the difficulty of working out what the frak my wifi password is it's plugged in and charging OK, and I've transferred my Eugenesis PDF over to the device, when it's all powered up I'll have a look to see if that reads OK.

Woot!

Though annoyingly my phone is on the blink now, it makes no sound at all (nom ring tone, no speech from who I'm calling, no music) except through headphones, but even then the other person can't hear me. This happened before last year sometime so I'm hoping it'll sort of fix itself again, because this close to the end of the contract it's not worth doing anything with it, but that still leaves January phoneless. Bah.
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Post by Chip1123 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:00 pm

I purchased the Kindle Fire a few weeks ago. I've enjoyed it a lot. Reading on it is not bad, just need to turn down the brightness as the defaults were set pretty high. You can also change the font of the print, the color of the print and of the pages behind them so as to make them easier to read if you don't like the white pages and black print. I've currently got it set on brown print on a off-white page and have the brightness turned down and i love reading on it.

it's also nice having the various apps on it as well, along with wi-fi capability. really a good way to kill time using this thing and it has definitely been worth the $ I spent on it.
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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:10 pm

Got it all synched up properly now, one nice touch is that when I downloaded the version for my computer it included some free public domain books, so I'm now reading Treasure Island for the first time in about 15 years. This man with the one leg sounds a bit suspicious to me. Also tested out the shop by buying 1984 (my paperback copy is falling apart), and that seems to work fine as well.

The text on Eugenesis is far too small to read and the PDF format only gives you the chance to zoom in rather than change the font, but IIRC the calibre software recommended by Mr. D up above gives the chance to reformat for kindle, so I'll give that a go shortly.

My 8 year old cousin told me off for wasting my money when real books are much better apparently. "Why would you want to carry a 1000 books about with you? The library has 2000 books anyway". I do not know how she came by this exact figure.
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Post by Denyer » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:16 pm

She'll learn. Mostly that you run out of space after a couple of decades.
inflatable dalek wrote:The text on Eugenesis is far too small to read and the PDF format only gives you the chance to zoom in rather than change the font, but IIRC the calibre software recommended by Mr. D up above gives the chance to reformat for kindle, so I'll give that a go shortly.
Yeah, the PDF is print res. At some point (it's always at some point) there are various books I intend to do good quality MOBI and EPUB conversions of, and Eugenesis will be one of them...

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:02 pm

Converted it to MOBI and it reads like a charm now. Though it's also now behind Treasure Island and 1984 in my reading list.
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Post by Sixswitch » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:41 pm

inflatable dalek wrote: My 8 year old cousin told me off for wasting my money when real books are much better apparently. "Why would you want to carry a 1000 books about with you? The library has 2000 books anyway". I do not know how she came by this exact figure.
Your cousin is right. Books are better.

I'm obstinately refusing to even consider getting a Kindle, just in case I like it. I really like the feel of a book in my hands, and would hate to put that aside if I found the Kindle better.

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Post by Denyer » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:53 pm

Why choose one or the other exclusively?

Not many books have re-read potential, in my opinion -- there's a lot more out there to read for the first time. It's nice to have the ones that do in dead tree and digital, but the rest either goes to a charity shop or gets scrubbed from a device.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:20 pm

Having had it for a few weeks now my Kindle thoughts:

Generally great to read on. I do however think a lot of the Kindle books on Amazon are wildly overpriced, in a lot of cases you'd be better off paying the couple of quid extra for the physical book. I did a literal double take when I saw Day of the Triffids was seven quid, that's just silly. But then, over pricing for what you're getting seems to be a common problem for downloaded media, I think a lot of piracy would be dealt with easier if the asking prices better reflected you're only getting a computer file with no physical product attached.

Still, it's easy enough to get hold of files through other means (frankly I'm not going to pay again for books I already own anyway) and have quite a nice library going on with it. And as a bonus, you can get some American SF short story magazines through Amazon, and they are more fairly priced, two pounds for a novella and four short stories seems much fairer value.
TRANSFORMATION: LOCKDOWN
MEET THE AMAZING KNUCKLEHEAD IN MY LOOK AT AOE 1!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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