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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Need to buy an e-book reader (for my course textbooks). Can you suggest the best one? (Details)

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11273points) July 12th, 2012

Okay, I’m caving. I love, love, love books….paper books. But, now I am finding out that so much information is being sent on PDF files as e-books over the internet and it’s just maddening the amount of ink that I am wasting printing out this material…not to mention that there is no way to bind the books anyway.

I am (for example) taking two courses that require lessons and they are sent to me via PDF files. I tried to print them out, ran out of ink and then ran out of paper…argh.

So, that’s it, reached the end of my ink cartridge rope…as I am frustrated. I need to buy an electronic reader that is BEST for downloading PDF files off my computer (not books from Amazon…though if Kindle works best, that’s okay…let me know). I want something that will work so that the files (which would be regular pages sent to me via email) will format well on whatever gadget I use. Would an Ipad work?

To reiterate:

1. Need an e-book reader primarily for e-books sent to my email address as PDF files (textbooks and informational literature).
2. Need something that will format well for e-books (that are not bought on Amazon…or are not formatted for e-readers.)
3. Need something that is easy to understand, easy to use and will be easy for me to transfer PDF files from my computer to reader.
4. Need something with decent memory.
5. Wondering if an Ipad would do the trick (Comments, please.) And if an Ipad is not the best option, then let me know what might work.

Any information will be really appreciated….thanks so much!

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8 Answers

kitchi1's avatar

I have a kindle and it works extremely well. My grandmother has a kindle fire. They’re the same unless you want games on it. Then I suggest kindle fire if you want the games. But who cares about games? Kindles are for READING.
On the regular kindle you can also get on the internet. I don’t know about Kindle Fire though. Probably.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Any Kindle reader should be a good fit for you. From what I understand, you don’t have to buy the books from Amazon. You can download them in PDF format from any e-book website, send an email to your Amazon account, and they will automatically reformat the books for your Kindle, free of charge.

Whatever you do, and I can not stress this enough, do NOT buy a Pandigital reader. I had nothing but trouble with mine, and if I weren’t afraid of hurting my husband’s feelings, I would have gleefully bashed the Pandigital up with a hammer when I got my Fire tablet.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Kindles are the worst for PDFs. iPads are good.

The thing is, for school stuff, you’re gonna want to be able to highlight, make notes, and easily flip to somewhere in the middle of the book. Most ereaders are designed for fiction, meaning you start at the beginning, read every page consecutively, and don’t really make notes or highlights. I personally find that for school stuff, I have to have a paper copy unless I’m just doing some very very light skimming.

Rarebear's avatar

I have an ipad and use the Goodreader app. You probably don’t need to spend that kind of money, though

Bellatrix's avatar

I have a Kindle but I agree with @Aethelflaed they aren’t the best option for your purpose. Yes you can read pdfs on them but you will be limited in terms of where you can get books from. Also, you can get programs like Annotate that allow you to write on your pdfs, make notes etc. and then print the materials off (I am pretty certain). This is an important part of active learning. You want to be able to interact with your learning materials.

So, go with a tablet. It will be more versatile for your purposes. Also, I suspect some publishers books will not be accessible with a Kindle. A tablet will allow you greater access. My State library allows people to borrow e-books but you can’t download them to a Kindle. I am pretty sure the same could be true with my university library (not that I have tried). I tend to only use my Kindle for novels.

stardust's avatar

I use Adobe Digital Editions on my laptop to read course material that is sent as a pdf file. I use it on my laptop as I’m usually in the library when reading these articles, etc.
It’s a free resource that was given to us via a lecturer. If you google it, I’m sure you’ll find it handy enough.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Thank you all… much! I really appreciate everyone’s feedback and the leads and information are incredibly useful.

Lurve coming to all….I am (as they say here) chuffed with all the great responses!


garydale's avatar

If you have an iPhone, iPad or any of the smart tablets like a Samsung Galaxy Tab then there are loads of free readers, many with well known features like Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Stanza, etc. I also own a Kindle. But if you are looking to buy a tablet or already have one, then I’d recommend going that route because of so many free readers in their stores.

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