Do you own an e-book reader?

41% (885 votes)
59% (1253 votes)
Total votes: 2138

We're curious about your e-book reader preferences.  Please let us know which you prefer in the comments section.


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Mobipocket Reader

cyril's picture

Mobipocket is absolutely unique for it's special build-in dictionary features, bookmarks, notes, links between the books themselves, etc. etc
I've spent hundreds of hours looking for a device with modern hardware and yet mobipocket compatible - or reader of the same quality - wasted time.
what did I find instead? thousands of same frustraited disappointed readers uselessly looking for their mobi-update
I hate Amazon and it's stupid Ksindl
I'll never buy even a piece of paper from them.
Thanks to this company the best e-book reader ever is fully compatible with windows only - as about smaller mobile devices, my N95-8gb is very sadly one of the latest to this software - still, as about the features provided, stupid Ksindl has not caught up with it until now ..bravo amazon

I use a Samsung Galaxy Tab as

CrypticDweller's picture

I use a Samsung Galaxy Tab as well. I also have a nook, however I never cared for it. On the Tab I use kindle, nook, and aldiko.

Why buy extra hardware?

cbemerine's picture

Back in 2006 I bought a Nokia N800. Fantastic Linux hand-held, root access, ability to play high definition video, faster processor than most development machines I used when I started in Computer Science / Data Processing / Information Technology years ago. Plenty of memory. Even better, both an Internal Micro SSD slot (that can be made permanent) AND a second external Micro SSD slot that you can use to plug and play if you want. Of course when I started doing that, the largest Micro SSD cards were 4 GB. Today we have Micro SSD cards in the 8GB, 16GB, 32GB range...I have not looked for larger ones, but would not be surprised to find them.

The point is, why in the heck do I need a special device for ONLY reading books. I can read them just fine on that Nokia N800. I can read them just fine on my netbook, tablet, PC, etc... As long as there is no DRM BS to prevent me.

And DRM is not a problem, because I purchase my content and if it has DRM and prevents me from using the Linux software I prefer to use, I DO NOT BUY IT!

Problem solved.

If a device does not allow Root access IT IS NOT SMART!

With Root access, I can install my software, therefore your data better use open source codecs or you will not get my business, nor my money. Keep it Simple . !


Trace's picture

I am not strongly against e-readers, for those who feel attracted to them. Myself, I read on my computer now more often than not. I just don't think that a gadget with so few features is anything but superfluous. I am saving up for a pad.

Kindle your reading :)

LV's picture

Kindle 3.
E-Ink Pearl is amazing - that was the main reason I took Kindle and not Nook and that was a very good choice.
I read now more and reading is comfortable. Sometimes I even wonder, how I was reading before? :)


Curtis Vaughan's picture

Although I understand all the rant against kindles, nonetheless, I love mine. It's a great ebook reader. I can say that a lot of books on mine were converted over using Calibre. Every morning I get my daily news, as well.
Also, I really rely on the fact that I can read on my android, iPhone or iPad.
As a side note, I also subscribe to 2600. Recently they decided to try out publishing their recent issue on the kindle and on the nook. Apparently three were a lot of buyers for the kindle. The issue went up to like the top 25, as I recall. But when they tried out the Nook, there were practically no buyers.

i own a nook , even though it

Loyid's picture

i own a nook , even though it can handle pdf and other formats its not perfect for reading technical stuff, i dont think any e-readers out there can handle complex pdf books with lot of graphics.Now i am waiting for a new tablet named ADAM, more details at

nook color

jcschweitzer's picture

The new nook color handles pdf's much better, but you loose the e-ink display. I've purchased books directly from Packt and ORielly who offer many in epub without drm. If you like space opera Baen has added author CD's with epub books to many of their titles. They work great on the nook.

E Book reader

Scribe63's picture

I have a Kindle 1, but it sucks for usage, such as studying and IT reference.
It does not view PDFs, and documents that i have converted from PDF to Mobi format looses all graphics. So i am unable to view diagrams and graphic illustrations. Plus no video for video tutorials.

So, therefore i am on the lookout for an inexpensive e-reader/tablet with these capabilities.
$100 - $200 or - $300 range
Decent CPU
Decent memory (hopefully at least 512 MB)
Memory card expansion.
Good battery life.
Read PDFs (with graphics)
Video Playback (for instructional videos)
HDMI output (maybe)

Btw anyone who has problems

mr. reader's picture

Btw anyone who has problems with your specific ebook reader and a book in the wrong format for it, try Calibre it's for linux, max and windows and converts tons of formats to others. Kindle supports .mobi as far as I know so you can convert almost anything to it with Calibre.

I have a bebook neo and a

mr. reader's picture

I have a bebook neo and a kindle 3. Happy with both.

I think it will be 2-3 years before I buy my next ebook reader. Hopefully we have some sort of color e-ink by then and higher resolution with similiar battery life as current e-ink displays. Obviously faster refresh rates would be nice too and better ways of interfacing with the devices. Like easy ways to make notes with a stylys or similiar device. Some sort of database to store the notes relative to the location in the text. Since there are no "pages" currently in books I suppose the location to of the note has to be stored relative to the font, font-size etc.

With ebooks I really dislike the prices and drm restrictions. Basically I want drm free open formats and prices to fluctuate relative to the print copy. So if the cheapest print copy costs 8$ the digital copy should be ~10-20% less. I'm never going to buy a digital copy of a book that costs more than the cheapest paperback or hardcover available of the same title. If the paperback is available then the digital copy price needs to drop to correspond with it.

For example a recent book I wanted to read costs on amazon now:
18$ for kindle
12$ for the hardcover
9$ for the paperback

If the kindle version would cost let's say 8$ for the above example I'd buy it, but I would complain about the drm if it had any.

Nook and Sony e-Reader

skebi69's picture

I own both. I initially bought the Sony. I like the size and feel of it but you can not search through the text. In a way, that was a deal breaker for using it to hold IT reference books. It is great for reading novels.
I got the Nook for holding my reference books. I have no real desire to hack the Nook. It handles pdf, text. That is all I really need it for. I am happy with both for different reasons and in different ways.
Because of Amazon's ebook restrictions, I have had no desire to get the Kindle although that is what sparked my interest in e-readers.

How Much Do You Want To Struggle?

Todd S.'s picture

I'm a die-hard Linux user. I work as a UNIX Architect and have been using Linux since the early 1990s. I run it on enterprise hardware, HPC clusters, my laptop, and even on my plugComputer (ARM). I like that I can tune I/O elevators, secure my systems, run restrictive iptables filters, program -- etc, etc, etc. I'm a huge fan. However...

The Kindle seems to offer the best hardware at a reasonable price and (as far as I know) is stable. I don't WANT to worry about hacking my "toy strictly for leisure." It's nice to get a break, to do something where I'm not tempted to improve the interface/etc. I'll ignore that it's Linux-based. Even if the device were powered by another OS, I wouldn't care. As long as it basically works, I'm happy to just relax and read. YMMV. So, to respond to one of the posts, "get a life." There's more to the world than Linux. There's Neal Stephenson. ;)

How the hell is it possible for a Linux fan to buy a Kindle ???

ptyxs's picture

Kindle is one of the most proprietary device ever made available.
You « buy » a book on Amazon and then you cannot read it on another device ! Moreover Amazon can delete you « own » ebook on the Kindle.
How is it possible for the very same person to be an aficionado of a free open system like Linux OS and to buy such a closed machine as the Kindle ?
Profound mystery of human soul...

You are right on the money

cbemerine's picture

If the device does NOT allow for 100% real root access = dumb device = it ain't smart = is NOT OPEN = why waste your money?

There have been open source, rootable devices since 2006, now with Android, well there are even more options...not that just because it runs Android it is open and will allow root access. We learned that real fast, didn't we!

If enough people will NOT purchase DRM ridden devices and content, guess what, to get your money, and believe us, they want your money, they will have to do something different!

I purchase content and EXPECT it to play on my Linux Handheld, my netbook and my PC no matter which Linux distro I choose to run. If the content's codec, its storage bucket, is proprietary, I will be prevented from consuming the content in the natural FREE (esp if I paid for it) way in which I choose.

Freedom = choices and options.

Of course I should probably thank you guys in encouraging Americans not to purchase your DRM BS...I am learning to live with out making those purchases, and in this economy... Thank you for your customer no service DRM ridden (as in pests, disease, anti-American) business as usual ways.

LMAO, the content providers that refuse to use open source codecs are their own worst enemies! I for one salute you, keep up the good work, you are saving me a ton of money.

iRex iliad

vstrien's picture

The e-ink screen is quite important for me - it's the reason I bought an e-book reader and not an iPad or other tablet (however tablets have more processing power).

Another important point is the resolution: below 1024x768, it's not possible to decently read any PDF files (had a Sony reader before at 800x600).

And of course, the fact that I've got a terminal and SSH Daemon running on my e-book reader has much sex appeal for linux users :). Beside that, it's not much of use.

I don't have one and it seems

Anonymous's picture

I don't have one and it seems my concerns have been mentioned above.

My concern is compatibility between manufacturers formats.

DRM, which basically means, "You've rented permission to view it until we deem it's time to renew."

Cost of ebooks vs, Paperbacks, ebooks should be no more than a 1/3 of cost of paperbacks. I feel this is one of the main reason CDs have been dropping in sales. They are typically 4-5 times of the cost of LPs of the 80's while Itunes singles are either 1-2 times the costs of 45's in the 80s.

E-Reader I have

Anonymous's picture

I have an Aluratek Libre which is used in conjunction with Calibre.


Anonymous's picture

I use MobiPocket on my BlackBerry. I have Kindle installed, but I don't use that.

I use MobiPocket on an old Palm 505.

I have a SmartQ 7 MID I also use. Runs Linux on an ARM. 800x480 in 7"

I've found graphics are not done well on all with the mobi format. For that I'll use a PC or laptop. I also read comics on the laptop w/ 1600x1050 and resolution matters.

I plan on getting an Android tablet someday for eBooks. I want more then 1024x768 and probably 10". The SmartQ7 doesn't have quite enough screen for comics.

Ebook Pole Response...

Anonymous's picture

As an older UNIX & Linux user (I was working at Bell Labs when UNIX was developed) I am now on a fixed retirement income and thus cannot afford luxuries like E-Book readers. I do read on-line books via my Linux desktop computer and the Internet, but E-Books and E-Book maintenance (batteries) are beyond my ability to justify as a legitimate expense.

No batteries

skebi69's picture

Very few, if any, e-readers require batteries. They all charge off your computer or AC power. The battery life is about 10-14 days between charging.

We have an eDGe.

Anonymous's picture

enTourage eDGe

My wife was looking for an eBook reader and came across this one. It has USB, WiFi, SDCard, records camera and video, runs Android, touch screen, has dual displays (e-ink and color LCD) and is totally amazing. Kindle? HA! So many people have come by in airports, looked at it and then were sorry they bought a Kindle. Really.

The dual display is nice because you can read your eBook on the eInk display and then look up a reference on the Internet from the book on the LCD side. You can also make notes and doodles on the eBook using a stylus. Bored with reading? Then you can play a movie!

Yeah, it does a lot, but it does it all really well.

Sony PRS-600BC

Gautham Pai's picture

I own a Sony PRS-600BC. I have written about the pros and cons here:

As for software, I use Calibre and its command line tools.

Sony PRS-505

Roy's picture

I've had my 505 for about 1-1/2 years and have read around 100 novels and short stories, including electronic library books.

Its size, weight, construction, and features are almost perfect for me; the only shortcoming for me is the weak PDF viewing (no panning), certain types of documents (LJ for instance) don't work well on the 505.

Love e-ink, hate backlit displays for novels.

Don't have a pressing need for built-in networking capability.

Realized that .epub format was the way for me compared to highly proprietary format on Kindles.

I get battery life of 3-4 weeks between recharges.

My 505 is more than good enough for me for now. I'll buy a better reader when color e-ink (or equivalent non-backlit tech) is available at a decent price.

Sony PRS + calibre -- it's

guga's picture

Sony PRS + calibre -- it's great

More restrictive copyright

Anonymous's picture

The age old trick of restricting copyright is used by publishers even on works that have long existed in the public domain. Lawerence Lessing's mentions this in his excellent presentation on systematic increase on copyright restrictions electronic media:

No thanks.

Anonymous #123's picture

I am not a big fan of ebook readers. From the stories a reader seems like an expensive gadget ridden with unnecessary restrictions including DRM and remote file deletion (remember the story when Amazon remotely deleted files from Kindles?). They are designed to screw me over.

Kindle 3 wifi

jdea's picture

I've got a Kindle 3, wifi-only version. Received it as a birthday gift. Loaded plenty of books from Project Gutenberg on it :)

Nook Color good first choice

Ferniez's picture

I did not want to shell out $500 for an iPad so I thought I would start with a Nook Color. It is a nice device but it does have its short-comings. As an e-reader it does a great job. As a tablet it is only fair. The Wifi works pretty well but I don't like the browser and it has almost no extras. It does have Pandora to listen to music streams but the mp3 player is only rudimentary. I like the 7 inch form factor and the text is clear and crisp. Color is vibrant and pictures display very nicely. I am awaiting an upgrade to its Android interface and an app store sometime in the future. What would really be nice would be to run a full featured Linux like Ubuntu on it, but who knows if it can be hacked like that any time soon. It is worth the $250 price tag and while not in the same league as the iPad it gets the basics of e-book reading done well.

My suspicion is that by this time next year the world will be awash in tablets. As a result prices are going to have to be more competitive than at present. One thing is clear to me from having used one now for a couple of weeks, it will not replace my laptop. Typing on it is not easy and I certainly wouldn't do any serious work on it. It is great for my night time reading and for surfing the net and checking email. I like its instant on feature which takes the drudgery out of having to boot a computer.

For now the Nook Color is my first choice for learning about tablets and integrating this form factor into my digital media tools. That said, it has many short comings as a real tablet. This little machine has lots of potential and I suspect that Barnes and Noble will eventually add more apps to its present meager offerings. The hardware feels very solid and it generally quite responsive. The software is not the best but as it improves the user experience should get better.

Finally, the Nook Color has no camera and no microphone. It does have a mini-usb which I would assume might be employed to provide those extras some where down the road. For now this is a good basic machine that will provide an enjoyable reading experience at a very affordable price. It is only fair as a tablet.


Anonymous's picture

B&N nook and Linux with Calibre makes an unbeatable combination. Buy books from nearly any source, borrow books from the local e-library, and convert news automatically from major web sites.

iPod Touch & Stanza

Anonymous's picture

My only complaint is battery life. I'd be willing to try something larger, but not much. It's got to fit in my pocket.

Sony PRS-650

Anonymous's picture

Best in town outside US.
Maybe best in town in US too.
Good hardware, good features, touchscreen Pearl, good PDF support.

I got the kindle 3 WiFi for

sammy's picture

I got the kindle 3 WiFi for my wife a couple of months ago. I like the amazon store and the kindle is a great device for the way that she reads. She reads for entertainment; she reads indoors and outdoors in the car, in bed, camping, at the beach everywhere and doesn't really care about the ability to do mobile web-surfing or play games.

I look forward to getting myself an android tablet soon (have an android phone already) which will be a better fit for me because I am a geek and want the other features of a tablet more than just to read books on it.

When I people that I got my wife a kindle quite a few (especially my geek friends) ask why I did not just get her an I pad or some other tablet and then I have to try (and usually fail) to explain to them that her wants and expectations from a mobile reading device are different than theirs and that a tablet would not be as good of a fit for her as a kindle. It kind of illustrates how hard it is even for smart people to put themselves in other's shoes.

As Linux people I think that you all understand that one platform does not need to be the end all be all otherwise we would all be running Windows 7 ;-)

Archos 70 android tablet

Ian Kluft's picture

I have an Archos 70 tablet which runs Android 2.1 (with 2.2 upgrade coming soon). I tried out the Kindle and Nook apps. And Aldiko comes with the tablet. For now with the small selection of ebooks I've tried, the Kindle app is the one that's getting used. Though Kindle's lack of ePub support will ensure it has competition here. The tablet is lightweight enough to comfortably hold in one hand. It has good battery life. So far so good.

ebook reader preference

Dale's picture

I have an iPad and use it all the time. I have stopped buying paper books for the most part in favor of ebooks.

BeBook Neo

ptyxs's picture

I own a Bebook Neo : a Linux inside ereader... yes there is a Linux inside ereader available....
Information here : (an official site) (a non official forum about Bebook and Onyx all Linux inside) (another non official forum)

Devices are not the Same as supported Formats

Anonymous's picture

I own a Sony Reader PRS-600 for ADE epubs, I have an iPod Touch and iPad (running Kindle for iPad for Kindle ebooks, Bluefire for iPad for ADE epubs, Kobo reader, iBooks for iBook/Fairplay epubs, and eReader app for Barnes & Noble ebooks) plus I have Kindle for Mac, and Barnes and Noble desktop computer programs for reading as well.

FYI: asking about devices is not the same thing as asking about preferred ebook format.

Sony Reader PRS-505

Ralf's picture

- Supports EPUB (I don't like proprietary formats), which I need for German market.
- I don't need Wifi or Mobile Data access.
- Bad: Adobe software needed for DRM, which doesn't run under Linux.

Sony PRS-650

Anonymous's picture

Touch-screen, superb e-ink (E Ink Vizplex) display, quality metal body, Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD card slots, two English dictionaries and ten bilingual dictionaries accessible by tapping a word, supports ePub, PDF, BBeB, text, RTF and Word format files, plus works well with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and Calibre.


Ekin's picture

I have a reeder which supports EPUB and PDF, I want to read my LJ in epub format cause trying to read PDF in reeder drives me crazy. I love it it has wireless and I can read news via reeder also the os is linux

Sony PRS-600

neme's picture

I own a Sony PRS-600. I also subscribe to the electronic edition of LJ. Reading LJ's pdfs are a great experience for the most part, but the magazine style formatting and rich graphics can push the PRS' rendering and reflow capabilities to it's limits, sometimes making the articles difficult to read. I'd love to see a 6" reader formatted edition at some point, but I'm not holding my breath on this one as we're about to see an influx of large, colour tablets about to hit the market that should render the current LJ's PDF just fine :)


toddwf's picture

I looked at the Kindle, but would not buy it because it didn't support EPUB. The only thing that bothers me with the Nook is the reflective color touchscreen. Even when the screen turns off, it still is too reflective. Otherwise, I absolutely love it.

Those that say that the e-ink devices will be replaced by tablets must not do a lot of reading. Reading on a back-lit display for a long period of time results in a lot of eye strain for me.


iPhone with Stanza

A Scott's picture

I've read close to a hundred books and short stories on it over the last two years. I have the text really large to minimize eye-strain. Not ideal, something like the Kindle would be nice, but until it supports ePub that won't happen. I do like how I can read at night in the dark and fall asleep without having to worry about turning the light off and waking up later to turn it off.

ePub Format

JimmyTheGeek's picture

The Kindle is fairly unique in the eReader world in that it does not support the ePub format, and that once you have a Kindle, you are vendor-locked into buying properly formatted eBooks from

I don't personally own an eReader, but I do use them heavily in testing at the public library in which I work. I have traveled with and tested both the original Barnes & Noble nook and the iPad, each of which offer a different experience. Both support the ePub format, and in your case A Scott, the iPad would be a natural transition from your iPhone. iBooks is very nice and easy to use, but you are stuck with importing eBooks into the iPad from iTunes.

I'm interested in seeing how the new nookColor works -- it could be a great alternative to eBooks on an iPad.

One of the reasons we chose not to use the Kindle in our library is its stifling lack of support for other eBook formats. Between that and Amazon's horrid DRM scheme, it's not for us.


Morne's picture

I have a Kindle and using Calibre to synch from PC

Samsung Galaxy Tab

HF's picture

Samsung Galaxy Tab

loving my kindle

Anonymous's picture

I got a kindle2 and think it is a great device. Would love linux journal in mobi format

Blackberry Curve + Calibre

AX11's picture

The Blackberry itself is a pretty closed and proprietary thing, but it will connect as a mass-storage device to your PC and easily be detected by calibre. It doesn't read eBooks or PDFs by default so I installed the mobipocket reader. Of course this app is closed source and the PC version (which you lortunately won't need as a Linux user) is greedy to put DRM on everything, but the mobile app lets you read PDF and epub files from any source.
So making epubs out of etexts, ASCII, HTML and whatever else with Calibre and uploading them to the BB is easy going. The Blackberry is not a dedicated eBook reader, of course but it's something I always have with me. So I always have some distraction/documentation to read whenever I have to wait for anyone or anything. Not to forget the advantage of being able to read in bed without keeping your partner awake.

Ectaco Jetbook Lite

Ken Maltby's picture

A great little reader with a relatively rare set of features:

It's powered be 4ea AA batteries so no waiting for the internal battery
to recharge, just slap in a set of rechargeable AAs.

It supports three DRM scams ADE(epub&pdf), Secure eReader (PDB)
and B&N (epub).

It has a 3x4" reflective TFT screen so no page flash and it fits in
your pocket.


Sony Ebook

S0rceress0's picture

I have a Sony Ebook reader, I also gave one to my daughter for her birthday. It is so versatile and easy to use. I just can't imagine life without an ebook reader now. I have a few paper books, but that is all. I kill less trees yay me ;) I can also take hundreds of books with me wherever I go!!