What kind of e-reader do I want?
March 23, 2012 10:28 AM   Subscribe

I want a cheap e-reader for reading longform articles in bed. It must work with Readability or InstaPaper or the like. It does not need to do anything else like games or surfing the intertubes. I have an iPhone for that. Do I want a Kindle?
posted by desjardins to Technology (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Mrs. jquinby has a Kindle Fire and it seems to run Read It Later just fine. Surfing and whatnot doesn't seem to be it's strong suit, beyond occasionally checking on facebook.
posted by jquinby at 10:34 AM on March 23, 2012

You may indeed! I got a Kindle (it's the Touch, the one with the ads, which are easily ignorable) free from my credit union when we joined, and after years of rolling my eyes at the idea of having yet another device on which to read electronically - well, I'm sold! The fact that it really can't do anything but show me things to read - the web browser is hilariously terrible - is a huge bonus.

With e-ink, though, you have to have an external light source. I bought a little clip-on light and that works fine.

I have used the Readability thing on Firefox to send stuff to it and it all works seamlessly.
posted by rtha at 10:36 AM on March 23, 2012

I've never used Readability or Instapaper, but I'm very happy with my Kindle (current generation, basic model, no touch). The screen is just as easy on the eyes as paper, and the screen refresh time (which turned me off from the first generation) is practically negligible now.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:40 AM on March 23, 2012

I own a Nook Simple Touch ($99) and use Calibre for my library management. Calibre can grab Instapaper articles on a regular schedule and sync to the Nook. Works like a charm most of the time (I did have one batch where a couple articles were truncated, but just the one time, so maybe a fluke).
posted by that's candlepin at 10:40 AM on March 23, 2012 [6 favorites]

The Kindle is perfect for you, especially if you're looking for a non-backlit experience. Both InstaPaper and Readbility work with it.

Don't go with the Fire if you're only going to use it to read; just get the Touch or even the Keyboard ($79 with ads). The ads are extremely non-intrusive.
posted by alleycat01 at 10:41 AM on March 23, 2012

On your iPhone you should be able to download the Kindle app, and use Readability to send longform articles to your Kindle account.
posted by bunderful at 10:41 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yes, you want a Kindle. I have the Touch, and think it's terrific.

If you're an Instapaper subscriber, you can send longform articles via "Send to Kindle" bookmarklet to your Kindle email address, which will sync the articles to your Kindle when you're connected by WiFi for free (there are extra charges if you use the 3G Whispernet service). Instapaper can also send you a collection of unread articles on a scheduled basis, using the same method.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:46 AM on March 23, 2012

Oh, and Calibre is great, but just know that for it to work on a scheduled basis, you need to have the computer running (obv). Instapaper scheduling is all done in the cloud...
posted by BobbyVan at 10:47 AM on March 23, 2012

If you're willing to go the "manage via Calibre" route, on the "cheap" front, as I mentioned in my previous question Target seems to be closing out the iRiver Story HD reader for $50. I ended up buying one and I actually really like it. Beautiful display. But I haven't personally tried the Calibre method addressed in my first link.
posted by nanojath at 12:01 PM on March 23, 2012

I love my Kindle. It's actually renewed my love of reading, because it's so easy to get content (books, articles, etc.) on it, but there's no easy way to play games or surf the internet, which makes it great for getting lost in a book or a long-form article/essay. It's also very easy to hold, which makes it good for reading in bed.

I didn't even know it had Instapaper capacity - this makes it even better!
posted by lunasol at 12:06 PM on March 23, 2012

I have a black and white Nook that is almost two years old and it works great with Instapaper.
posted by zzazazz at 12:06 PM on March 23, 2012

All the major e-readers (and probably all the minor ones) will work just fine for what you want.
posted by General Tonic at 12:07 PM on March 23, 2012

I love my kindle - I got the no touch one, because one of the main things I use it for is transporting knitting patterns, and I tend to follow where I am in patterns by dragging my finger along the screen. All my books are in boxes post move, so I'm reading the kindle every night at bedtime.
posted by thylacinthine at 3:33 PM on March 23, 2012

Agree with "no backlight" if you're reading in bed. Backlit devices send light into your eyeballs and make your brain stay awakw. E-ink (B/W) is the way to go. I love my Kindle non-Touch because it has toggle switches on the sides for turning pages. Swiping a touch screen is wearisome.
posted by ohshenandoah at 6:12 PM on March 23, 2012

I got a Kindle Keyboard in December and it works so well with Instapaper that I gladly signed up for a subscription. Instapaper plus longform.org plus the Kindle means I'm comfortably reading something new almost everyday.

I also take advantage of the Send to Kindle feature when someone here or on the blue recommends an article, but those are PDFs and sometimes the print comes out tiny. (Gotta find that Jason Stathem post on the blue again).

Like the others, I have a book light that attaches to the case of my Kindle.
posted by dragonplayer at 6:58 PM on March 23, 2012

The Boy and I both have Kindles with keyboards. We passionately love and adore them. The lack of other features and a backlight make it just a seamless, pleasurable, organic reading experience. It works beautifully with Instapaper. I like the 3G because I want to be able to get new stuff to read all the time, whether I'm around wifi or not, but if you collect a bunch of stuff when you're online, the non-3G might be fine. But really, it's a fabulous, clean, single purpose device. I've always been a huge reader (and book lover), but having a Kindle has made reading all the time anywhere so easy, I read more than ever.
posted by mostlymartha at 9:56 PM on March 23, 2012

Response by poster: I ended up with a Kindle Touch and I haven't gotten out of bed since.
posted by desjardins at 5:24 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

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