What e-reader should I buy?
January 7, 2011 1:29 PM   Subscribe

I am a student in Canada - what ereader is right for me?

So after moving three times in the past year and lugging all my books around in boxes, I want to buy an ereader. But, I don't know which one is right for me. My preferences as follows:

1) Wide availability of books, and easy purchasing access (in Canada).
2) Price - I do expect to use this a lot and so see the value of investing in a good one, but if there is a good AND cheaper one...perfection.
3) I want to be able to make notes on things easily.
4) PDF capability.

I don't care about: wireless internet access/3G anything and it doesn't have to be exceptionally tiny or large.

I plan to use it to buy a) novels b) nonfiction books and c) textbooks if possible. Is (c) possible? Given all my criteria, what is my best bet out of the Nook, Kindle, Sony, Kobo, etc., options?

I have seen the prior questions, and while they were helpful in determining what I wanted in an ereader, they were not so helpful in figuring out which I want.

Caveat: Canada! Apparently we can purchase the Nook online, though.
posted by hepta to Technology (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What do you study? My Kindle was perfectly useful for my law classes, especially once I converted PDFs into .mobi using Calibre.
posted by OLechat at 1:44 PM on January 7, 2011

I'm a doctoral student and while I don't have a lot of textbooks, I have tons of PDFs. I really like my Sony PRS-600 (bought it at Best Buy) although I'm pretty sure it will lose the market share wars. I think of the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo as devices for leisure reading, ie, fiction and popular non-fiction, but I wanted a) to be able to store journal articles easily and b) make annotations. I believe Kindle will do both, but I felt I would be limited as to the vendors.

I put out the money on the fancy hard shell cover with the LED booklight and am very glad I did so. I really like that I can use memory cards and keep certain collections separate. I've bought books from Chapters/Indigo, the Sony bookstore, diesel-ebooks.com, booksonboard.com, and direct from publishers for a couple of my academic books. I borrow books from my public library all the time. I've also downloaded free books from Google.

I'm very happy I bought my Sony, but I know there are folks who think that it will not be able to maintain a large enough market share to continue. About the only feature I would like is a great colour display for illustrations, diagrams, magazines, etc. But it wasn't a deal breaker for me. But if Sony comes out with device just like my PRS-600 but colour, well then....
posted by angiep at 1:58 PM on January 7, 2011

I suggest getting a tablet computer. Some people might want an iPad, but I have an Android tablet that I really like. Mine was in the $250 range - it's a Zenithink ePad. It doesn't have 3G but can pick up wifi.

Why is this better? On a tablet, you can download apps for Kindle, Nook, etc. and get books from whatever source you choose, instead of being tied to one system. If your public library provides ebooks through the Overdrive service, you can download the Overdrive app and borrow books from them too. There's also the new Google app, which works through their ebooks store.

The apps for Kindle, Overdrive and Google also have "night time" mode which makes the text white on black, if you want to avoid bright screens before bedtime, like I do.
posted by PompatusOfLove at 2:01 PM on January 7, 2011

Stay away from the Kindle, and probably most other e-readers...PDF support is generally week. The Sony reader looks better, but a tablet is really the best way to go for PDF support, if you have articles with colour images and you need to do a lot of annotating. The iPad screen is incredible for articles, but the cost is of course a bit high.
posted by hiteleven at 2:36 PM on January 7, 2011

Response by poster: Olechat - I am finishing my undergrad in Politics/Canadian Studies, am attending an MA program next fall, and following that am planning on attending law school. So, not so many diagrams, many many words.

angiep - I am going to look more into the Sony ereader, it sounds appealing.
posted by hepta at 3:23 PM on January 7, 2011

If you want usable PDF capabilities, I would stay away from the eInk readers. I would recommend the Nook Color, the screen is excellent (7" IPS LCD) and it's much cheaper than a comparable Android/Apple tablet.
posted by wongcorgi at 5:16 PM on January 7, 2011

Kobo has good PDF support, but I don't know if you can annotate. you can bookmark.

personally, I use a laptop for academic ebooks and PDFs. I read PDFs easily, and have notepad or a word processor open on the screen beside. it makes sense to have all my academic notes together -- lecture and seminar notes as well, since I type more quickly on a laptop than I could on something like a kindle.
posted by jb at 8:01 PM on January 7, 2011

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