I tried a search for recommendations, but the last thread here about e-readers was from 2014, so I'm at least hoping technology has moved on a little since then.
While I've always been a dead-tree advocate, I recently got a job in digital publishing, so I'm swimming in epub files and have to look at them all the time for QC and such. I figured I might as well try to read some of these for pleasure, too, but I can't stand trying to read a book on my phone and my laptop is just too big to be comfortable. I moved last year, too, and my gaze passes over the daunting mountain of boxes of books that I have yet to put on my shelves and think There has to be a better way!
What better time than now to look towards the future?
Here are my personal requirements:
- It needs to support .epub and .pdf natively. These are the two file types I deal with most at work, and we sell .epubs directly as well as sending them to the various retailers to package up into their own store-specific file types. It would be a great benefit to be able to stitch up an .epub file for production and then check it out immediately on a device in my hand. I read that you can use Calibre to transmute .epubs to .mobi files and then email them to a Kindle device that way, but that's adding extra steps to what I'm hoping should be fairly simple.
- Physical file transfers. I would really much rather drag-and-drop a media file onto the reader using an SD card or a USB cable or something. I do not need cell phone service on my book substitute, because the odds that I will have a book but not have my phone are negligible. Again, this also ties into my work; when I have a file on my laptop that I want to transfer to the ereader, I'm hoping for a minimum of fuss and would like to avoid uploading preproduction books to the cloud before they're ready.
- E-ink / etc. for decent battery life. I'll probably be using my laptop to check out color images, and the books we make are largely text with b&w images (and color covers, but that's less of a concern for me)
- Library usage? I've never really tried using my local library for ebook checkouts, but now's a pretty good time to start.
- Do any third-party store-agnostic ereaders exist? The big three (Amazon/Kindle, BN/Nook, and maybe Rakuten/Kobo) appear to have all staked their claims on their own devices and make their stores dispense proprietary file types, so once you've chosen to own a particular reader you're stuck buying from that store in perpetuity. Go capitalism. Are there any reputable sellers of "unlocked" readers, like phones without carriers built in? I'm not adverse to rooting an ereader to get more file type availability if such a thing is possible, though I don't know if discussion of such is frowned upon here.