Anything new in Ebook readers nowadays?

BursarBursar Hee Noooo!Registered User regular
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.

GNU Terry Pratchett
3DS FC: 0810-0331-1324 | PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970

Posts

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    You can easily root any of the big E-readers to read all formats. There are huge libraries of epub books that are well outside of copyright that are legal to distribute. I've had kindles since the 2nd gen so thats the eco system that I'm in, and my newest one is the first touch with the back light, so I'm certainly out of date with the latest and greatest, but cracking both kindles was like a half hour of research and about 20 minutes of work.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • exisexis Registered User regular
    edited June 9
    I have used Calibre to manage my ebook library and it is fantastic. Drop any (non-DRM) format in and it will happily convert it to what you need for your particular reader. I am still using a 2nd gen kindle and besides maybe a backlight, I don't feel any need to upgrade.

    The one thing I haven't done which I've been meaning to for a while is figure out my options for library borrowing. I spoke to a local librarian a while ago who seemed to think I wasn't going to be able to borrow books from the local library for my kindle, but I haven't done any digging on the actual process.

    exis on
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    exis wrote: »
    I have used Calibre to manage my ebook library and it is fantastic. Drop any (non-DRM) format in and it will happily convert it to what you need for your particular reader. I am still using a 2nd gen kindle and besides maybe a backlight, I don't feel any need to upgrade.

    The one thing I haven't done which I've been meaning to for a while is figure out my options for library borrowing. I spoke to a local librarian a while ago who seemed to think I wasn't going to be able to borrow books from the local library for my kindle, but I haven't done any digging on the actual process.

    The backlight is hugely beneficial, but I miss my side buttons. One of the fancy ones brings them back but I'm not paying like $150 for an e-reader again. Though my kindle really does need a new battery sooner than later.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Kobo does drag-and-drop along with native epub/pdf support. They have their own store, but they know it isn't popular so it is still a fairly open device compared to a stock Nook or Kindle.

    Re: libraries, this varies based on what provider your local system is signed up with. My local library is a Libby user, so my only choices are Kindle or the Libby app.

  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    local libraries around here all use the Kobo standard but calibre can basically work with any device.
    I have had 8 or 9 kindles now between my wife and I and there is no universe where I'd buy any other device so I guess that counts as a recommendation.

  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited June 10
    I have a kindle paperwhite I bought in 2012 that's still going strong. I don't think there's any other piece of technology I've ever used for that period of time. That's also why I don't really care so much about the cost of these things. I paid $200CAD at the time for my paperwhite, but I got the model with the 3g whispersync support. $200 is a lot for an e-reader but divide that by 8 years and counting and the price is negligible. But since you need to work with .epub directly, obviously a kindle isn't ideal.

    The Kobos all support epub natively, and the internet tells me that drag and drop works, so that'd probably be my recommendation.

    As for the idea of side buttons they've largely disappeared because these devices are made to be as cheap/easy as possible to produce and last a very long time, and a physical button to press is added complexity and a component that can break. I personally wouldn't buy another ereader with moving parts since like I said I'm at 8 years with my current one, but to each their own.

    wunderbar on
    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    wunderbar wrote: »
    I have a kindle paperwhite I bought in 2012 that's still going strong. I don't think there's any other piece of technology I've ever used for that period of time. That's also why I don't really care so much about the cost of these things. I paid $200CAD at the time for my paperwhite, but I got the model with the 3g whispersync support. $200 is a lot for an e-reader but divide that by 8 years and counting and the price is negligible. But since you need to work with .epub directly, obviously a kindle isn't ideal.

    The Kobos all support epub natively, and the internet tells me that drag and drop works, so that'd probably be my recommendation.

    As for the idea of side buttons they've largely disappeared because these devices are made to be as cheap/easy as possible to produce and last a very long time, and a physical button to press is added complexity and a component that can break. I personally wouldn't buy another ereader with moving parts since like I said I'm at 8 years with my current one, but to each their own.

    Yea, I'm ready to buy back into side buttons. I hate tapping the screen. as you said to each their own though. That being said, I'm about ready to break into my kindle to replace the battery. $40 for the battery and $10 for the tools. I can't leave it off airplane mode unplugged at this point or it goes dead in like 5 hours.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    wunderbar wrote: »
    I have a kindle paperwhite I bought in 2012 that's still going strong. I don't think there's any other piece of technology I've ever used for that period of time. That's also why I don't really care so much about the cost of these things. I paid $200CAD at the time for my paperwhite, but I got the model with the 3g whispersync support. $200 is a lot for an e-reader but divide that by 8 years and counting and the price is negligible. But since you need to work with .epub directly, obviously a kindle isn't ideal.

    The Kobos all support epub natively, and the internet tells me that drag and drop works, so that'd probably be my recommendation.

    As for the idea of side buttons they've largely disappeared because these devices are made to be as cheap/easy as possible to produce and last a very long time, and a physical button to press is added complexity and a component that can break. I personally wouldn't buy another ereader with moving parts since like I said I'm at 8 years with my current one, but to each their own.

    Yea, I'm ready to buy back into side buttons. I hate tapping the screen. as you said to each their own though. That being said, I'm about ready to break into my kindle to replace the battery. $40 for the battery and $10 for the tools. I can't leave it off airplane mode unplugged at this point or it goes dead in like 5 hours.

    That's interesting, my 8 year old Kindle definitely doesn't have the battery life it used to, but the battery still lasts long enough that I'm surprised when it gets low. Not to say that yours doesn't, I just wonder what happened there.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    As an aside, honestly what might get me to buy a new e-reader is if Amazon releases a new kindle paperwhite with a USB-C port. As silly as it sounds the Kindle is currently one of two devices I have that doesn't use USB-C, the other being an iPad which I have a USB-C to lightning cable for, and I really, really want to be USB-C only.

    I'm hoping in a couple years to be all USB-C only, and a USB-C Kindle will be part of that.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    Aridholjjae2123
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    wunderbar wrote: »
    webguy20 wrote: »
    wunderbar wrote: »
    I have a kindle paperwhite I bought in 2012 that's still going strong. I don't think there's any other piece of technology I've ever used for that period of time. That's also why I don't really care so much about the cost of these things. I paid $200CAD at the time for my paperwhite, but I got the model with the 3g whispersync support. $200 is a lot for an e-reader but divide that by 8 years and counting and the price is negligible. But since you need to work with .epub directly, obviously a kindle isn't ideal.

    The Kobos all support epub natively, and the internet tells me that drag and drop works, so that'd probably be my recommendation.

    As for the idea of side buttons they've largely disappeared because these devices are made to be as cheap/easy as possible to produce and last a very long time, and a physical button to press is added complexity and a component that can break. I personally wouldn't buy another ereader with moving parts since like I said I'm at 8 years with my current one, but to each their own.

    Yea, I'm ready to buy back into side buttons. I hate tapping the screen. as you said to each their own though. That being said, I'm about ready to break into my kindle to replace the battery. $40 for the battery and $10 for the tools. I can't leave it off airplane mode unplugged at this point or it goes dead in like 5 hours.

    That's interesting, my 8 year old Kindle definitely doesn't have the battery life it used to, but the battery still lasts long enough that I'm surprised when it gets low. Not to say that yours doesn't, I just wonder what happened there.

    I could have read more than you, and thus used the battery more. 8 years on a lithium battery is a good time. I still get like a week of moderate read time if I leave it on airplane mode, I just miss the month long time between recharges.

    I wonder if there is a counter built into the software anywhere that monitors screen refreshes.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! Registered User regular
    Thank you for the advice, everyone!

    I found a deal on a refurbished 2016 Kindle without the lighting. I think it will be a good entry level into the tech, and since I plan to try rooting it to read epubs I figure it won't be a huge loss if I end up bricking the thing through my own incompetence.

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    3DS FC: 0810-0331-1324 | PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | Battle.net: FallenIdle#1970
Sign In or Register to comment.