Tuesday, February 21, 2012

E-Reader Suggestions?

Got a question for y'all...

As you may or may not have noticed, here at The Wolf's Den, I don't usually read many e-books. It's not that I have anything against them, I just don't own an e-reader. Now, I have accepted some e-books for review now and again, but I read them at my computer.

I use free programs such as Kindle for PC and Adobe Digital Editions. I tend to prefer the Kindle program, but it doesn't accept all formats (PDF), so I'm stuck with either a converted mess or using Adobe for some books. Unfortunately, sitting and reading at the computer has two major disadvantages:

First, I find that oftentimes sitting at the computer gives me too many distractions to allow me to focus on the material I should be reading. YouTube, GoodReads, DeviantArt... I swear I don't have ADD, but——Ooh shiny! Ahem, second, the eye-strain and required seating arrangements (needing to be able to see the screen) don't allow me much in the way of comfort or variety. Frankly, I love reading in bed or sprawled out on the couch—just so many ways to toss and turn and cozy-up while I read!

An e-reader seems like it would answer both of those problems. Plus the fact that I could take my e-books out of the house! The library might be a nice change of scenery now and again. Or maybe when I'm chilling at Powell's?

And that's where you guys come in! I've stayed out of the e-reader scene mostly due to expenses. Now, I'm still not rolling in dough at the moment, so I'm really trying to balance out spiffy gadgets with my budget. Here are a few brands I've heard of, ranging from $79 to $199:
Kindle (Basic $79, Touch $99, Keyboard $139, Fire $199),
NOOK (Touch $99, Color $169, Tablet $199),
Sony (Reader $130),
Kobo (Basic $100, Touch $130, Vox $200),
and BeBook (One $99, S Club $129, Neo $159).

Honestly, I'm kinda leaning towards a Kindle at the moment. I've used the PC software for about a year now, and other than the PDF issues (which I don't know if there's a better option right now) I don't have any huge problems. Plus I already have a lot of free books downloaded, and I'm sure I'll run across other freebees regularly. Plus my library already offers a large selection of e-books in the Kindle format!

So here's my checklist:
Price - Not able to spend tons right now.
Weight/Size - Not a huge issue for me, actually.
Ease-of-Use - I'm pretty tech-savvy, so unless it's a nightmare to use, I should be fine.
Loyalty/Format - I'm not really loyal to one company over another. Powell's and Jan's are indie, and Borders kinda died. But when it comes to formats, how much of a pain is it going to be getting the right book format?
Memory - I'm not planning on replacing my library, this will be primarily for review requests that aren't available in print.
Touch or Not? - Is touch worth it for ease? Or is it a stress headache waiting to happen if it gets scratched?
Durability - Along the same lines as above, I'm pretty careful with my things and I'm not typically clutzy, but will I need a force-field around this thing?
Gadgets - I don't need tons of bells and whistles, but I won't turn them down either. Not really looking at 3G, video, or net-browsing, though music might be a plus...
Extras - Do I need to budget in for extras to get full use out of this? I don't foresee a need for an adapter, but will I need/want a case, light, etc.?

A tall order? Probably. So, what's your vote?

If you could cast your vote above then leave a comment below, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks a bunch, guys. I can't wait to hear from you!