I've decided to purge a few bookshelves in the house, organize the bookshelves and eReaders, and donate a bunch of books to the library. I'm making the "final" switch to eBooks because. Iwant to be able to take several dozen books with me on vacations and road trips. I never know what will strike my reading fancy. I've been reading books on my iPhone for a while, and I like it. So, I decided to take further steps.
Barnes and Noble sucks—and I had to convert all the books I already bought.
I started the first step before I even decided to switch over to electronic books. My iPhone 4S was the catalyst. Barnes and Noble bought fictionwise who owned eReader and then stopped supporting the eReader app. I had something like 400 books in that app, and eReader was *the* best eBook reader for the iPhone. (Categories, summaries, and more.)
Once I downloaded those, I had to remove the DRM from all of books and then convert them to a different format, like epub or mobi. I found a script on the 'net to remove the DRM, one by one. I had about 400 books, so I needed a script. I can't recall if Leon wrote it or I did, but I left my computer on over not to remove the DRM and convert the books.
Once I'd converted those books, I imported them into Calibre and started organizing the metadata. It was a long process. I wanted to make sure each book had a cover, and not all the books did. The short stories, in particular, tended to lack a cover. And, I wasn't happy with a Calibre generated book cover. I blew a lot of time designing books covers. Yes, it was a silly waste of time, but it made me happy. Then I made sure each book had a summary. If it was in a series, I set that up. And, I applied the appropriate tags.
I changed my tag categories about four different times over the last half year, but I think I finally have the tags how I like them.
I wanted and iPad and I wanted an eReader, so I decided to try out the Fire.
At that point, I still read everything on my iPhone. When the Fire came out, I got a new toy. I read a couple dozen books on the Fire, but I don't actually like it for reading books. Bezos was right. It's not for reading books. It's too heavy, for one thing. And, after a while, my eyes start to wig out. The iPhone is backlit like the Fire, but the Fire tweaks my eyes more.
Because of the backlit screen, the Fire is terrible regarding battery life. In fact, with a typical novel, the battery life on the file is about 85% of the novel, at Gwen Reading Speed. Do you understand how annoying it is to be at the 85% mark of a book and then having it power down on you? Grr.
Additionally, the Fire sucks because there is no way to categorize books except by Favorites, on the Device, and in the Cloud. My Calibre library is now up to 700ish books. I needed better categories like Science Fiction, Physics, Chemistry, Cooking, Mystery, Smut, ...
Whilst reading in Fire land, I had to figure out how to remove the DRM from those eBooks too. After all, I have a nice Calibre set up going on now, and I really feel I should be able to put books I buy on any device sitting in the house.
(By the way, I don't like reading books on the Fire, but my kids absolutely LOVE the Fire. I have not bought one game for it, but just with the daily free apps, I've found plenty of stuff for the kids. Also, I put all the children's books on the Fire, because they seem to like reading on it.)
The Fire sucks for reading, so I wanted a new eReader.
So, I started to think about e-ink readers. I thought long and hard about my requirements for the next reader, because I wanted this one to be my last.
My eReader requirements list
• I should be able to hold an eReader for a long time with one hand. - I should be able to turn pages without engaging the second hand.
• Touch screens are nice. I tried my sister's Kindle and had a dickens of a time figuring it out, mostly because the screen was broken, in my opinion.
• Buttons for turning pages are also nice, because really, you should be able to read a book in the bath tub. If you have a touch screen, putting your book in a zippy bag doesn't work. I have no problem taking a $7 paperback in the bathtub. It's totally worth the risk. But I have problems taking my iPhone 4S in the bath. I wanted something that was either uber cheap or zippy bag able.
• Categories are a must for an eReader.
• Notes and highlighting are nice, but not really a requirement for me. - I do not want any ads interfering with my reading pleasure.
• Wi-Fi support is nice, but isn't a deal breaker. Having a cord to plug into the computer, on the other hand, is necessary and is a deal breaker. (I guess you could go the other way, but I like to be able to plug a device into the computer and delete stuff willy nilly.)
So, I researched. And Leon researched. I gave him my requirements list, and for once, he didn't give me an answer. I had to go find my own answer.
I bought a Sony eReader, and I love it.
The eReader meets all of my requirements. It's great. I just finished setting it up. I have all my non-fiction books on it, in several different non-fiction categories. I have all of my fiction that I have not yet read on it.
I've read half a dozen books on the eReader now and I love it. My eyes do not get tweaked. The machine doesn't run out of battery life. I read a book and that barely put a dent in the battery.
I miss color on the books' covers, but I still have color covers in Calibre.
I think I can hold off buying a new eReader until they make color e-ink.