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Open Topic for Readers

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I have been writing this blog for nearly six years now, and one thing I’ve noticed is that I get a jump in traffic around Thanksgiving day (and Christmas).

Looking at the most popular pages tells me that most visitors are people with technical questions or new devices, and could probably use some help with it.

Christmas is still a month away, but I thought it would be a good idea to have an open topic and let my readers ask questions. I might not know the answer, but I should be able to at least point you in the right direction.

So ask away. Happy Holidays!

P.S. Check out the Reader Resources page. That’s where I have organized a links to most of the tips and how-to posts on this blog.

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Comments


Bruce 26 November, 2015 um 12:38 pm

One of the things I was most irritated by when I bought my Kobo was that was skewed to be used solely with Kobo books…I even had to have a Kobo account just to turn the d*mn thing on. And I got the Kobo so I wouldn’t have to be tied to Amazon’s proprietary formats.

So what is you recommendation for a good, front lit reader that is retailer agnostic? (Why the hell do I even have to ask this question? What is wrong with publishers these days?) And is there any other software besides Calibre that I should consider for ebook management?

Nate Hoffelder 26 November, 2015 um 1:20 pm

Kobo is like B&N and Kindle; none of the ereaders are retailer agnostic.

But Pocketbook ereaders, as well as ones from Onyx and Boyue, do meet your requirements. You do not have to log in to any account to use ereaders made by these three companies.


Barry 26 November, 2015 um 1:28 pm

I have a Kobo and a Kindle. Also a Nook. I buy all my books from Amazon and I read them on whichever device I feel like. I’m not at all tied to anything. I suppose I could buy books from Kobo or B&N and read them on any device I like as well, although I like buying from Amazon.

For some reason people like to think of epub as the industry standard and mobi (or az3) as Amazon’s format. However, vast majority of ebooks sold are in Amazon’s format so if we were to declare an industry standard, a silly idea in this situation, it would have to be Amazon’s.

This is hype. A book is a book and thanks to Calibre and a certain apprentice we’re not tied to anything. We’re completely free no matter which ereader we use.

If I could only have one ereader it would be a Kindle because it’s a better fit for me but I like switching devices to get the advantages they each offer. That’s trivial to do these days. Your problem is already solved.

Barry


poiboy 26 November, 2015 um 1:31 pm

kindle can be used without signing in… you can side-load books in them (should you have the desire and means to). i feel your frustration with kobo. their customer service can also amplify frustration.

Nate Hoffelder 26 November, 2015 um 1:58 pm

@ poiboy

Really? I didn’t know that. I stand corrected.


Alvaro 26 November, 2015 um 3:10 pm

I think it would be great to have ongoing sections on the best readers for pdf, scientific, and programming content—particularly, the latter. As great as the Kindle, in the past I was a bit disappointed when it came to reading programming books on it.

I have been able to find some e-book reviews, tailored to specific types of contents. But not much for books with lots of code, for example.

Nate Hoffelder 28 November, 2015 um 12:31 pm

@ Alvaro

Honestly, for programming and similar technical subjects I would recommend a tablet rather than an ereader. They’re faster to search and easier to jump around inside a book.


Bruce 26 November, 2015 um 4:09 pm

@Barry
"This is hype. A book is a book and thanks to Calibre and a certain apprentice we’re not tied to anything. We’re completely free no matter which ereader we use."

I see where you are coming from and agree on one level. On the other hand I don’t think it’s all that "free" if I have to be technologically savvy to read and own ebooks without the retailers (who are in no way rights holders) dictating the terms. I can deal with the reality if I have to, but my mom sure can’t.

Then again, having worked in the book publishing industry, I have a pretty bad knee-jerk reaction to Amazon and their 'tactics' 🙂 I just wish I could buy a damn ebook and own it…


Greg Strandberg 26 November, 2015 um 5:56 pm

Here’s a question for the brass:

Going through D2D, Kobo and Oyster take 3 months to pay me my royalties. Apple and B&N only take 2 months.

Why is that?


Linda 26 November, 2015 um 9:26 pm

Nate-You have seen ALL of the ereaders. Which do you think is the best (speed, lighting,storage etc.)? Or top 3?
Linda

Nate Hoffelder 26 November, 2015 um 9:40 pm

For the overall balance of ease of use and features: Kindle Paperwhite

If Epub support is as important as good software: Kobo Aura H2O


Barry 28 November, 2015 um 10:28 pm

I’m a retired programmer although I retired before "ebooks" was even a word. I’ve read a lot of programming books and I can’t imagine reading them on a Kindle or any other ereader. I’m sure it could be done but not easily and not well.

I second Nate’s suggestion to use a tablet.

Barry


Hrafn 29 November, 2015 um 1:26 am

One of the main reason I prefer 'independent' eReaders over eBook Retailer eReaders, is that I use eReader solely to read books, and far prefer to use my computer (with keyboard, mouse and tabbed-browsers) to search for, read reviews of, purchase, curate and archive my eBooks. This means that the bookselling functionality of Retailer eReaders is just so much unnecessary clutter as far as I’m concerned. And unfortunately this is clutter that Retailers, as they make their money off selling eBooks, are likely to place front an center in, and tightly integrate into, their eReaders.

Nate Hoffelder 29 November, 2015 um 7:15 am

@ Hrafn

They do put it front and center, yes, and sometimes it bollixes the interface. On the Glowlight Plus, for example, the library page (with existing purchases) is underdeveloped while the main page (where B&N pushes more sales at you) is dominated by sales pitches.


Bruce 29 November, 2015 um 12:30 pm

@Hrafn
"One of the main reason I prefer ‘independent’ eReaders over eBook Retailer eReaders, is that I use eReader solely to read books, and far prefer to use my computer (with keyboard, mouse and tabbed-browsers) to search for, read reviews of, purchase, curate and archive my eBooks. This means that the bookselling functionality of Retailer eReaders is just so much unnecessary clutter as far as I’m concerned. And unfortunately this is clutter that Retailers, as they make their money off selling eBooks, are likely to place front an center in, and tightly integrate into, their eReaders."

EXACTLY!

I’ve never been able to articulate this so succinctly. I don’t expect Borders to organize my paper books so I am always bolloxed by the online stores trying to curate my ebook collection. I realize it is just an old fashion mindset, but I am not sure why ebook readers put up with it so blithely.


Nathan 3 December, 2015 um 12:45 am

Hey Nate, I’m interested in an Android ereader (eInk or similar). What’s your current recommendation?


Felipe Adan Lerma 4 December, 2015 um 4:51 pm

Nate, read this post today from a couple years back, https://the-digital-reader.com/2013/04/26/amazon-banning-short-short-fiction-from-the-kindle-store/ , and am wondering if the no word minimum still goes on KDP.

Thanks so much,

Adan


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