eBooks and eBook readers

iPad for maximum utility. Most of my reading is rpgs in pdf. The Books app handles epub fine, too. Occasionally I’ll use the OverDrive app to read ebooks borrowed from the library, which is janky to set up but works fine for actual reading.

Some people like to tout battery life for eink displays, and I’m sure they’re great, but running out iPad battery is not a situation I run into often.

1 Like

I definitely like paper textbooks better, but I like not spending $100+ best.

One thing I love about my kindle is scraping feeds for good long reads with IFTTT, sending them to Instapaper, and then getting a daily digest.

1 Like


I made the video as promised.

First thing I did was search for “heron spear”. I wanted to demonstrate how awesome the search is in the Kindle app. Notice how the search results box shows each result in context and also changes the chapter heading at the top. This is so when your search appears multiple times in the text, you can easily find the specific appearance of your search, and not have to go through every single heron spear before you find the real one. Also, when you go to your search, it highlights the text on the page.

Next I decided to find the glossary entry for nonmen. Rather than use the search, I used the table of contents, and then I scrolled back and forth until I found it. I swear I didn’t practice or prepare this in any way. It was truly my first attempt. The recording is in real-time.

Lastly I decided to demonstrate one of my favorite features of eBooks that real books do not have. Highlight a word and look it up in the dictionary, and Wikipedia/Google, translate, etc. Not to mention the power to highlight some text and then copy/paste it or, my favorite, Tweet it directly, like I did here.

Considering the Kindle edition was cheaper than the hardcover, and it takes up no space in my apartment, I’d say it’s a winner, even with the evil DRM or whatev.

1 Like

Evil DRM is where you lost me. I hope you also lost many others there too.

Seeing the awesome magic that goes on in your DRM paradise makes me sad as that’s a garden I’m not going in. Price of admission too high. I’ll stick with plainly inferior methods that I at least control.

So, you don’t play any games on Steam then, I assume?

DRM is on a spectrum of evilness

Steam DRM = less bad than amazon DRM.

I do avoid steam when I can though. DRM free versions of many a good game exist on gog.

Steam DRM is functionally exactly the same as Steam DRM. How is it any different?

In fact, it is probably better than Steam DRM. It is easily broken, for one. Also, I’ve never heard of anyone having a problem reading a Kindle book while offline. A problem that can happen often with Steam.

I will concede that I’m holding this particular amazon DRM responsible for the fuckery of another amazon DRM.

They’re related, Amazon’s audiobook drm restricts the device you can play it on. My korean mp3 player is useless for the books I paid for in spoken form.

I’d expect so, yes.


Derp. I mean Amazon DRM.

That is horseshit, but I also never listen to audio books, and would never pay for one. Kindle print books run on any Kindle device or any Android device, or any iOS device. And there’s a kindle cloud reader, so you can read your books on any device with a compatible web browser.

(Noticed the mistake too but decided just to respond anyway)

Yeah, this particular DRM implementation seems mostly harmless and comes with a bunch of cool features (demonstrated above) but I’m still slightly bitter about my specific bad experience with Amazon. I don’t even use that device anymore, at this point it’s just me being more principled than I once was.

Audiobooks have the driving and swimming use cases for me. I do enough of both to warrant their continued use.

That is much nicer than the search on kindle. ePaper just doesn’t refresh fast enough to scroll around like that.

I really like my kindle, but I may have to only use it for books I can read straight through. Prince of Nothing is too dense, need to be looking up shit all the time.

I only started reading large novels again because of the Google Books and Kindle applications.
I’ve been reading on the commute to work for a while now. I especially like that I can read white text on a black background with a reduced brightness that the application saves itself.

Calibre is very useful to transfer books around from one DRM to another, I don’t use it myself but taught my Mother how to use it to transfer Google Books purchases onto her Kindle and vice versa, plus making sure the cover is what you want etc.

Searching is great as shown by Scott, I also like being able to save paragraphs or lines, Google Books generates a Google Doc of all your favourite quotes, you can even mark quotes with a specific colour if say you want all of quotes sorted by character or some other reference.

I just end up buying what’s cheapest digitally and know that the author will more often than not be getting more money if I buy it digitally then dead tree, and obviously it doesn’t take up any physical room, plus syncing across all devices.

I do think of getting a Kindle, my Mum and Dad love there own ones. Glare is a definite reason but the downside is the extra device that is there just for reading.
At the moment deciding to get a kindle or a tablet for reading books and comics on.

Increasing the font size is what I mean when I talk about zooming, though I guess that’s more because I am talking about static PDFs at the moment as opposed to a true eBook because that is what my textbook is. But even then if I blow up an e-book font on a screen to where I can read it comfortably I can’t see the whole page which makes it hard to read for me. And yes I do have properly corrected vision I just got new glasses and my prescription is the same as it has been for like eight years. And while yes it is quick to search I find that hunting through bookmarks on a side bar to be nowhere near as intuitive as a bookmark in a book. My biggest complaint though is that looking at a screen, whether computer, phone, tablet, even e-ink my head swims my eyes cross my mind wanders and it all turns to random gobbledygook with no meaning. I don’t have the issue with a paper book ever. Maybe I’m old or habituated or its my ADHD or something but I have made several attempts to use e-books and it always just feels wrong and after ten minutes I may as well be looking at a toddler’s crayon scribbles.

Do you have a problem reading this forum? Articles on web pages? What’s the difference? If anything, the eBook is way better. Nicer fonts. No web bullshit the way.

1 Like

When I say long I mean longer than the few paragraphs of a forum post or a normal news article. If I have to dive into a long in depth article that would be more than a page or two printed out then yes it eventually gets difficult to read on screen.

So my professor mentioned something today that I think nailed what my issue is. PDFs and websites are constantly moving when you scroll down them, especially when you blow them up to read the text better because you have to scroll more to read the whole page. It can be hard on your eyes to just see text crawling an it’s difficult to keep your place and is fatiguing. Books stay still.

Ebooks do not scroll.


Is the Kindle Lending Library any good? All the books I see in it look… not.