I'm considering pushing my mother beyond her comfort zone in the world of portable digital technology and buying her some sort of e-reader. Kindle is the name with which I'm most familiar. In scouring Black Friday ads, there are other devices that are or will be comparable to the Kindle's base price on Amazon. The two other brands that come up are the B&N Nook, and the Sharper Image's Literati.
Size-wise, they all have the same basic screen, but the Literati doesn't appear to have the same ease of reading in bright sunlight. I have no familiarity with any of these devices - do you connect them to the computer to download the books, or is it done through wireless? Pretty much what I need for my mother is something that's simple to use, durable, and has a vast, eclectic library from which to download. Any suggestions/opinions on which way to go? Thanks!
I haven't tried the others, but I love my Kindle. If you buy one with 3G, which is free btw, you can download from their online store on the Kindle itself. Sure you can also go to Amazon and buy them there and send them to the Kindle too, which really is a nicer interface for shopping and searching.
Works great in sunlight, but of course it has no backlight so you can't read it in the dark. Very long battery life, easy on the eyes. Thousands of free classics you can get at Amazon.
I also love the iPad, but based on her description, I don't think the iPad is for StegDutchie's grandmother.
Of the others, I've only owned a Kindle, and the only other one I've ever read from was the Nook. I thought the Kindle was way easier to read from. That's also true in comparing the Kindle to the iPad, I think the Kindle's screen is the easiest to read for long periods of time. I can't really compare downloading on the devices.
If you simply want to get your mom an e-reader, I would look only at the Nook (barnesandnoble.com) and the Kindle (The W at Amazon). There will be a flood of tablets this year, but very few of them will be any good and the e-ink display on the Kindle and the B&W Nook are the only choice for reading in direct light. LCD displays just have too much glare. Also, the free 3G connection is a great boon in comparison to tablets that require you to pay for it. You can buy a light for reading in the dark (periscopelight.com). Also, they are a lot cheaper if she's only going to use it as an e-reader. Barnes and Noble even has certified pre-owned Nooks (barnesandnoble.com). FYI, scroll to the customer reviews on the Kindle link and you will find a detailed comparison to the Nook which may be useful...
On the other hand, if you think she would use some of the functionality found on a tablet, you may want to look into an iPad, a Samsung Galaxy, or a Dell Streak. Aw, who am I kidding? If you get her a tablet, go with the iPad. The Android-based tablets need some time to catch up.
I bought a Kindle 1 used off of Ebay in February or March of this year, and the only thing I regret is not waiting just a little bit longer for the price to drop on the latest generation of devices. I bought mine for the same price the new Kindle w/3G runs.
We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift
Thank you all for the input - this is definitely the stuff I couldn't find poking around on the websites. The iPad is definitely out of my price range, and let's be realistic, if there's one being purchased, I'd have to get it for myself first. :) This makes my Black Friday shopping much easier!
I bought my wife the Sony eReader Pocket edition last year for Christmas. She ended up returning it and paying the difference for the Touch edition because she wanted the slightly bigger screen. There was no point in getting any 3G reader here in Canada at the time because nobody was providing service (I assume that's changed, but I'm not sure). She also got a case with a built-in light. We have both been quite impressed with the clarity (although page-turning could stand to be a touch faster).
I wasn't sure how she'd take to it, but it turned out that she loved it, reading more using the reader than she had been previously. She says there's also less feeling guilty and dealing with hassle with respect to "popcorn" books because she's not buying yet another book that won't fit on our shelves and doesn't have to deal with taking the ones she's finished with to the used books store. And since she's gotten into knitting, it's been very handy to be able to download PDF-format knitting patterns. Lastly, you can read whatever you want and nobody has to know (I think I found one of the Twilight books on there at one point).
I have borrowed it from her several times to read various things. I love being able to switch between books whenever I want (apparently reading several books at a time is "wierd" but I don't let that stop me). I'm sure we'll replace it in a couple of years with something that does color and has Wi-Fi, but overall we've been very happy with what we've got for now. One wall of our living room is already dominated by bookshelves. Full bookshelves. After at least 3 different culls.
I'm probably buying a friend's old tower to use as a HTPC. Everything seems perfectly suited for the experience, except he installed Linux on it to goof around with and somehow overwrote the partition with the recovery disks on it.