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What Are You Reading On? (Poll)

With the new year comes new gadgets,and thanks to the excess of devices (many are quite workable) still floating around from past years, a reader has many choices for reading devices.


Every few months I like to post an open question where I share what I’m using, and ask readers what gadgets they are reading on. And this time around I am adding an informal poll, just to make things more interesting.

I’m curious about what device you are reading on, and if you’re using a mobile device, what app you use.

As for me, I’ve been known to pick up a book once or twice* but most of my book reading happens on my Pocketbook InkPad. This is an 8″ ereader with an odd-looking one handed design that works better than it looks.

Edit: If you select other, please let us know what you’re using.

[poll id="2″] [poll id="3″]

* There are still a lot of ebooks which I would like to read but balk at paying full price when I can get a paper copy for under $7. Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, for example, costs $10 even though it is close to 20 years old and widely available used.  There’s also a series of books by Peter Gethers on the adventures of his cat, Norton.  Those books are 20 years old and yet cost $10 each as ebooks – while the paper copies cost $4 each.

Those prices are simply too damned high.

image by Cloned Milkmen

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Paul January 3, 2015 um 9:56 am

I’m surprised that the Nook Glowlight wasn’t on your list of devices.

Nate Hoffelder January 3, 2015 um 10:10 am

I didn’t think it was needed. (Fixed it.)

Paul January 3, 2015 um 10:42 am

Thanks! (my "other" vote for the the nook)

Common Sense January 3, 2015 um 11:21 am

I read magazines on my Kindle Fire, but books almost exclusively on my eInk Kindle, much easier on the eyes.

I think I’ve only read a handful of physical books since getting my first Kindle years ago.

The Rodent January 3, 2015 um 1:15 pm

30% "other" on the "what app are you using" question. There may be other interesting apps that aren’t being singled out. (FWIW, I use Mantano almost exclusively these days, on Android.)

Nate Hoffelder January 3, 2015 um 1:57 pm

Yes, I think I missed on that one. I hope people come back and name their choice.

ally January 3, 2015 um 2:53 pm

I chose other but realized after the fact that the other I used to use was discontinued this year so it no longer counts (ebrary’s dedicated app – the vast majority of my non kindle reader ereading is ebooks borrowed from the academic library – thus bluefire to open Ebsco ebooks, and the random free ebook only in PDF format and formerly the ebrary app but I think those will be read via bluefire from now on too…)

Syn January 3, 2015 um 2:22 pm

Mantano is one of my "other" picks too. I use it for magazines. Books, Kindle or Moon for epubs.

Nate Hoffelder January 3, 2015 um 2:32 pm

I think I may need to do a poll just for the indie Epub apps.

jafmaw January 3, 2015 um 10:20 pm

I use Mantano Premium about 98% of the time, and Aldiko 2% of the time (only for library borrows) on an Onyx T68.

Claude January 3, 2015 um 1:46 pm


You compare the price of used books to the price of new ebooks ?


How about comparing the price of those books in bookstores with ebooks to be fair?

So childish of you.

Nate Hoffelder January 3, 2015 um 1:56 pm

I don’t know why you would call it childish; I’m comparing the value received from the money spent to buy content. Used paperbacks are a heck of a better value.

Used is nothing more than just another category on Amazon (along with digital, audiobook, print), and if I can get my reading material cheaper that way then I don’t see why I would not.

dave January 3, 2015 um 2:28 pm

Yes, and where exactly are you buying your "used ebooks"? 😉

puzzled January 3, 2015 um 6:14 pm

Especially for older books, the eBook price should reflect that fact that the physical books can be had for half the cover price (of when the book was issued) in used book stores. And the cover price from 10+ years ago is a lot less than it is now. I probably have some books that I paid less than US$1 that are currently over US$9.99 if purchased as an ebook today.

Add in the fact that many older books are scanned and NOT proofed again before being sold, and there is no reason to be charging the same as for new bestsellers. This process means that there are a lot of optical scanning errors in the sold ebooks.

Another factor in pricing books is that you can get a quarter of the cover price from selling the physical book to the used book stores.

Meg January 3, 2015 um 2:20 pm

I have an Android smart phone and tablet plus a Chromebook. I sometimes read on the Chromebook but I like the form of the tablet better. I have a nook touch I used for a long time but its so tedious getting books to it when I can just download straight to Aldiko.

Geoffrey Kidd January 3, 2015 um 2:48 pm

You should include Marvin. It’s THE ePub reader for both iPhone and iPad, and it’s replaced Stanza in the pantheon.

Brandon M. January 3, 2015 um 2:57 pm

I do most of my reading on my phone icing the kindle app, just because of its convenience.

But if the stars are aligned just right, I’ll bust out my Onyx M96 and read on the kindle app with an iCross clip-on light attached.

Thanks for posting,

Smiliemonster January 3, 2015 um 2:57 pm

+1 for Marvin. It’s by far the best reading app for iThings

Scott Lewis January 3, 2015 um 3:55 pm

One selection for Android phones and tablets, but separate ones for iPhones and iPads?

Nate Hoffelder January 4, 2015 um 7:30 am

The thing about Android devices is that there’s no clear dividing line between tablets and smarthphones – not like there is with iDevices. Android tablets have screen sizes ranging from 4.3″ to 13″, and Android smartphones have screen sizes ranging from 3.5″ to 7″.

If and when there is a 5.5″ iPod Touch, I plan to regard all the iDevices as a single label. But for now, it still makes sense to me to split them up.

Scott G. Lewis January 4, 2015 um 6:09 pm

Be that as it may, and granted it’s an extremely unscientific poll, but it puts Android in third place, even though Apple would occupy that position if it wasn’t arbitrarily split.

Nate Hoffelder January 4, 2015 um 6:18 pm


SevenG January 3, 2015 um 4:23 pm

I love my Sony PRS-950 and do all of my recreational reading on it. I don’t mind side loading my books to get the larger e-ink screen, but the contrast on newer generation screens would be nice. I do some work/technical reading on my other devices, mostly with Safari Books Online, or through the local library, which has a hell of an interlibrary loan program.

JennLynn January 3, 2015 um 6:00 pm

My Kobo Aura H2O is definitely top choice for reading books. So much better for my eyes – not to mention bathtub-proof. I’ll read on my Samsung Galaxy S3 (using Moon+ Reader) in a pinch, and magazines on the iPad (using Good Reader).

LS January 3, 2015 um 6:56 pm

I read mostly on my iPad, & sometimes during the day on my new (basic) Kindle. I had to include paper because I sometimes re-read my paperback & hardcover collection.

I sometimes use the Kindle app, and rarely use the Kobo app due to its slow page turns & habit of "loading" even when there is nothing to load.

Reason why I check "other" on reading apps:
I love the Bluefire app, but when I started loading my library onto it (years ago) I found out it was only made to hold 500 books & after that it got very slow & glitchy. Although this might have changed since then, at the time I had to find other options so I scoured the app store for apps similar to Bluefire. I have spread my library, usually grouped by author, between the following apps:

Bluefire Reader
Sony Reader App (might be gone now?)
Books on Board (might be gone now?),
books/ch ebook reader
Beyond Print
HC Reader
VL ebooks
Elefant Reader
eBookS reader
mobi book smart reader
AICPA Reader

Most of those apps have collections sorting like Bluefire, but a couple don’t & are more like Bluefire before it had collections.

I also have these apps on my iPad, but haven’t had to expand my library to them yet:
Faster Pro
ciando Reader

LS January 3, 2015 um 8:20 pm

Oops, I forgot to check "other" on devices for my old Sony 600, I still use it to re-read my older ebooks.

Zetmolm January 3, 2015 um 7:12 pm

I do 99% of my reading on my PocketBook Touch with the CollReader app. So that is Other/Other.

Zetmolm January 3, 2015 um 7:13 pm

I mean CoolReader, of course.

Kiag January 4, 2015 um 10:17 am

Yeah, CoolReader for me, on a Nook ST Glowlight (rooted) which I still love.

Thomas January 3, 2015 um 10:34 pm

In my case the "other" app is CoolReader on my old netbook. I use it mainly because it’s one of the few epub readers for PC available in a portable version.

JC January 4, 2015 um 12:11 am

Marvin and Kindle apps on my iPad and iPod Touch.
Majority of my reading is still done on my Kindle Paperwhite, though.
Kobo Aura (non-HD)… Currently gathering dust. I don’t like the native OS and contrast is really poor even with the font weight set to max. Everything looks gray instead of black like on my Kindle ereaders. And it also seems to hang a lot.

Destination Infinity January 4, 2015 um 2:15 am

I was reading on my eInk Kindle, but now I use the TTS (Text to Speech) function in FBReader android app to listen to ePub/Mobi ebooks. Listening enables me to read more as my eyes are already strained by looking into the computer monitor for a long time.

But there is one issue: I am able to convert some eBooks bought from Amazon into Mobi/ePub (using calibre), but not others. I guess this is due to DRM or whatever. So until Amazon mentions its DRM status for each eBook clearly, I cannot shop there in the future. It will be better if the Kindle app starts supporting TTS feature. Why restrict it to Fire tablets??

William D. O’Neil January 4, 2015 um 2:49 am

Other app: Adobe Acrobat on PC.

I often buy a cheap used print book in preference to a more expensive e-book.

Shelley January 4, 2015 um 3:48 am

I use BlueFire or FBReader for my purchased eBooks, and have also started using Borrow Box for eBooks borrowed from my library.

The eBooks available for purchase in New Zealand are definitely getting more expensive, particularly those from UK publishers where they can be $5+ more expensive than those available from the US publishers. I’m borrowing more from my local library than I ever did instead of purchasing eBooks from my favourite authors.

Richard Adin January 4, 2015 um 5:01 am

I didn’t answer the App question because you left off the appropriate choice: None. As I understand the question, you are asking about an app I would have downloaded to my smart phone or my laptop or other device. But I don’t do that. I either read on my Nook HD Tablet or my Nook Color Tablet (haven’t moved to the new Samsung device yet) or I read paper. You should add None as a choice to the Apps poll. I may not be the only person who doesn’t use an app.

Nate Hoffelder January 5, 2015 um 9:23 am

One problem with including none as an option is that it’s mutually exclusive with the rest of the poll. If I had included it I would have been concerned about people selecting it as well as other options.

Better to simply leave it as the non-answer, I say.

Sharon January 4, 2015 um 5:17 am

I clicked too fast. I also read a 'healthy' amount of physical books in addition to reading on my Kindle, especially since they are often cheaper (even new!) and for research are often the better choice. Hope I haven’t screwed up the statistics too much.

anothername January 4, 2015 um 8:47 am

You don’t include Alreader in the choice of e-reader apps. IMO it is the best.

Paula January 4, 2015 um 12:01 pm

I used to read a lot on my Padfone, but then I bought a Cervantes Touch Light from BQ and now it’s my main reading device.
I still use the Padfone but only for technical /scientific books in pdf.

AH@badassbookreviews January 4, 2015 um 1:26 pm

I’m on my 3rd Kobo and very happy with my new Kobo Aura. I love the backlight and while I was a little annoyed setting it up (my previous Kobo Touch refused to update for a year so I lost a few shelves), I am very happy with the screen resolution.
I’m kind of lucky in that I get most of my ebooks from NetGalley and Edelweiss, but I agree with you, ebook prices are ridiculous. When given a choice to pay $8 for an ebook or $8 for a paperback, I’ll still buy a paperback just because I am getting something tangible (and really mine) and something I could pass around the house and to my friends to read.

Hanako January 4, 2015 um 4:20 pm

I read primarily on my basic kindle (the newest one and I do wish it had physical page turn buttons), and for textbooks and graphic novels I read on my Kobo Arc 10HD and the Mantano Reader app. I also don’t avoid paper books because not every fiction book has been digitised and I still need my huge tomes for university – feel their weight, stuff bookmarks in them and scribble on the margins.

michael b January 5, 2015 um 10:00 am

for 'other app' i convenience read use calibre on the PC .

this is usually when i MUST see the guts of a book while i (side)load an aura h20 (fiction, non-graphic heavy), hacked nook hd+ (magazines, textbooks, etc. your fault , really…), note 4 (just in case i am stuck waiting for a plane/train/child/etc).

Sarah January 5, 2015 um 4:05 pm

Had to check 'other' for Sony Reader PRS-T2 (can borrow and return OverDrive eBooks directly from device). Also use Nook ST w/ Glowlight mainly for travel (airplanes and other transportation where the light is convenient), Galaxy Note 3 (when I can’t take or forget the Sony Reader or Nook), Kindle Fire (magazines/comics/travel guides), PC (rarely), and definitely paper too. I’m at about 30% paper, 70% digital.

Ana January 5, 2015 um 5:42 pm

I read mostly on my Kobo, and paper books for special editions, mostly illustrated books. I have books on my Android phone and tablet, but I don’t usually read books on them, I’m a big fan of Mantano when reading on Android devices.
Out of the scope of this survey, but just in case I mention that I’m using Comixology and ComicRack to read comics on my Android tablet.

webbasan January 7, 2015 um 8:03 am

My "Other" device is my BlackBerry Z30. I switched from an Android device to this smart phone, so I had some of my purchased Android Apps move with me on the BlackBerry, especially Aldiko and Moon+.

But despite of being prettier and having some otherwise missing or better implemented features, I mostly use native BB Apps on this device because of the sand-boxing of Android Apps on the BlackBerry which don’t give them arbitrary access to the file system.
Foremost to mention is"Bonfire Reader", therefore this is my "Other" App… 😉

Nevertheless, since I got my Kobo Aura H2O it’s my most used device for reading.

M January 7, 2015 um 8:23 am

Other readers: Sony PRS-T1 & Sony PRS-T3

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