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Books - Shopping Guides

The days of paper back books are now officially numbered. The e-reader has arrived. We resisted the e-reader for many years, but after a few years with a smart phone, and the new cool tablets coming out we have made the big jump. So this article mainly covers the things you need to know about E-readers, and we go over the old school books at the end.

E-ink  vs Back-lit
There is one important difference in the two main technologies used in E-readers. “E-ink” refers to the black and white display that is used in Amazon’s Kindle and the Barnes and Nobel Black and White nook. These are basically fancy etch-a-sketches. They draw the page by arranging miniature marbles. There are two huge advantages to this. First the page looks awesome in the direct sun light. Second, it makes the battery life of an e-ink reader last a week or two instead of one day. The only disadvantage is that color e-ink is now not available; hopefully some day. These devices are also just readers and do not have a touch screen or apps like a ipad or android tablet.
The choice I made was to buy a Color Nook and a Black and white Nook. The color nook is only about $270 after tax. The black and white nook is about $120. I use my Color nook most of the time, and the black and white at the pool. The black and white Nook is also a lot smaller than the color version. I actually prefer the smaller unit most of the time for reading and have stated to use it more. The Color nook comes with a scaled down version of the Android operating system, but you but a memory chip to boot to the full blow Android Honeycomb 3.0. If you looking for a cheap tablet, the Color Nook is hands down the best option.
Amazon has several version of it’s Kendel. The bigger one is about $350. There are two version of the smaller one. One had a minimal about of ads, probably not worth it for the $20 price difference; both are under $150.
I-ads are the best tablet, but for $700 I will live my two nooks. It is also back-it and doesn’t do that well in the sun.
There are also full blow Android tablets and more on the way. The Samsung Galaxy is the only one that I would buy. Don’t get one of the cheap Android tablets, you can find them for under $100, but they are almost useless.
The Book formats
Most of the publishers were pretty paranoid about making sure Amazon or others weren’t able to monopolize the format. Both the Nook and Kendel use the “pub” format and can read pdf files. Amazon has it’s own format, but you can convert the other two formats to Amazon’s. I don’t think you can convert something bought in Amazon’s format to pub or pdf. I normally but my E-books directly from the publisher and not Amazon for this reason.
Traditional Books
Amazon and Ebay are the cheapest with best selection. In the spirit of bringing something to this site beyond just “buy it all on Amazon and E-bay” will are trying to get a list together of some out of the ordinary book websites. So check back soon.
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