Jump to content
Which Kindle type ereader works best for O'reilly books?
Asked by HytrewQasdfg
Posted Nov 10 2010 10:01 AM
I've been reading the ePub format books on a computer, but would like to get something a little more portable (and easier on the eyes) like a Kindle. Is there one that works well with the O'Reilly e-books.
I would prefer something that uses e-ink (like the Kindle) instead of a color computer screen (like an iPad).
Problems I've found:
Kindle doesn't support ePub format.
The Kobo basic ereader looked good (and was on sale for $99), but I was told it wouldn't display any graphics contained in an ePub book.
The Nook looks promising, but I haven't seen one in person.
Answered by jonjohns65
Posted Nov 11 2010 10:32 AM
I don't own any dedicated ereader, but I do have a MacBookPro, a PC, an android phone, and an ipod touch. I use ebooks as quick search references as well as what I call, "Waiting Room Reading" material. On my iPod Touch I use the iBookstore reader, but it seems slower than my other ebook reader apps like Stanza. My android phone I am still loading up with ebooks and I like the default Aldiko reader.
I've used Adobe's epub reader on my computer, but I like the standard PDF reader better. It is faster for what I use it for, which is searching the text of the books for answers.
When I read a novel I read on paper, usually in a chair or in bed, but when I need to search for an answer I dislike tables of contents or indexes, because they are just too slow. So I just use ebooks and search functions and find the answers I need quickly. PDF ebooks are quick to load and provide just the functions I am looking for.
I would probably have different opinions if I had an iPad, or a Kindle, Sony, or other dedicated ebook reader, though.
Finally, on a short tangent, the idea of creating a personal C3P0 unit in all our devices is an idea that has been around for decades. As an extreme example, in a widely used word processing software program the creators made a little paper-clip which popped up to offer you help. It turned out to be as annoying as C3P0 himself. I think many folks create apps to provide more functionality, which is good, but all too often the basic functionality is lost beneath bells and whistles. For my ebook experience, I like the functionality books have provided for centuries; knowledge at my fingertips, not necessarily entertainment in my face.
Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for the night. Set a man on fire, he'll be warm the rest of his life.
Answered by mapleoin
Posted Nov 12 2010 01:12 AM
I think the Kindle 3 is the best e-reader on the market right now. I don't own one, but I've played with one since two of my friends have it. It's best attributes are the great contrast and fast page-turns. I actually own the iriver story. This is also a 6'' e-ink device, but it's a bit older. I have two O'Reilly ebooks as EPUB and they look great on the iriver story. The code and the text are formatted very nicely and they use great fonts.
I don't think you'll have any problems with your Kindle as most of O'Reilly's ebooks are also provided in .mobi format (that's kindle's format).
You can also use Calibre to convert ebooks between formats and it's open-source.
Answered by HytrewQasdfg
Posted Nov 12 2010 06:36 AM
I've found that regular computer screens are great for reading small chuncks, but difficult to use for extended reading (3-4 hours straight). That's why I'm looking at an e-ink device (like the kindle) instead of something like an iPad.
My only worry about the kindle is my library also makes books available in the ePub format, which the Kindle doesn't support. The Nook does support ePub, but my #1 requirement is the ability to read O'Reilly books, and I haven't got any info on how the Nook handles some of the more complicated formatting in the O'Reilly books.
Answered by Adam Witwer
Posted Nov 12 2010 12:00 PM
I manage the team here at O'Reilly that creates the ebooks. The standard CSS that controls the styling in most of our ebooks is optimized for several devices and screen sizes. One of the devices we tested on was the nook. When the nook was first released, there was a problem with our books hanging and not loading on the nook. But subsequent firmware releases on the nook fixed that problem, and now our EPUBs are rendering as expected. Some of the more complex components like tables, sidebars, notes, blocks of code all look good (or I think so, at least!). I would say the experience is comparable to one of the Sony Readers, if that helps at all.
We've also recently improved the formatting for the Kindle, although that platform is more difficult to work with due to more restrictions about formatting. See this post for more info and screenshots: http://radar.oreilly...d-selling.html.
Comment by HytrewQasdfg : Nov 12 2010 02:38 PM
Thanks for the reply.
Someone pointed out to me that buy.com was selling refurbished nooks for $99. That and your post made it an easy choice.
Answered by Chetankumar Akarte
Posted Nov 16 2010 08:34 AM
I had a kindle 3, It's very Handy device. The best thing with the Kindle is that it's e-ink display provides you feel of reading a Paper book. It support .mobi format books provided by O'Reilly.
Pdf support of kindle 3 is not approachable. While Reading .mobi format provides great feasibility. So you can try your hand with Kindle.
Answered by seattlegaucho
Posted Nov 17 2010 10:58 AM
I'm fairly new to e-book reader ownership. I got a new Kindle as a present and keep 3 kinds of publications in it: technical reference material, RSS feeds and casual reading.
I like the Kindle over the Nook (all the others are non-contenders, tablets don't qualify) based on size, weight and usability ... holding a few excess grams on your hands for 1hr or more affects the experience. Same applies to the form factor (the kindle is thinner). Color doesn't add anything to the experience and non-back-lit display is better for any reading longer than a reasonable commute.
I also installed the Kindle app on my smartphone, if you go w/ the Nook it's not a bad idea to do the same with their app.
Having said that, no matter what e-book device you own, installing calibre should be your next move. It converts documents from almost any format to almost any other format, it runs on any popular OS and works with any popular device.
Answered by jmastrol
Posted Mar 11 2011 06:58 AM
I have a rather large library of O'Reilly & Associates titles. Some have had subsequent revisions published. What I'd like to do is purchase ebook versions of all those titles, enabling me to carry my library around with me. Reading through this thread, I do not see any indication by the nice folks at O'Reilly as to which e-reader works well with their content. There is mention that the Kindle format is one of the most difficult to work with, but no guidance on which does the paper version justice.
Yes, I will read more than technical books on my e-reader, but its primary focus will be to carry many technical titles in a small form factor (if you call a "kindle dx" small, that is). Which one works best for the illustrations and code examples contained in these publications? Or, approaching the question from another angle, is there a specific file format that can render the content as well as the paper original? What about "hyper links" (those wonderful references you find in publications like "Unix PowerTools")? That would (hopefully) allow the reader to zip to another section to follow up on the topic they are currently reading? Is it possible to imbed those links in the "e-content" so the reader can easily navigate to the referenced location?
Thanks in advance.
Answered by Neil Isaac
Posted Mar 16 2011 05:36 AM
I recently got a Sony PRS-650 because it seems to have the best support for standard formats like PDF and EPUB. I want to be assured that I'll always be able to read my books, so standard DRM-free formats are essential.
Same display as Kindle 3, but uses a touch screen rather than a keyboard, so the device is a lot smaller.
I've been reading Linux Device Drivers on it, and it's great. Links within the document are awesome. So far everything works as I'd hope!
- Format support
- Metal front
- 6" Eink screen (same as kindle 3)
- Touch screen (infrared sensors)
- Smallest device for it's screen size
- 3 different sizes available (5", 6", 7")
- Can install third-party firmware extensions (PRS+) that give it more options
- Some have said that it has the best support for features like table of contents in a document
- Use the open source program "Calibre": it can convert between any formats and does a great job of managing your library (supports all major operating systems)
- Can only sync over usb (no wireless)
- Sony's software probably sucks (but I never installed it, since I use Linux)
- Costs a fair bit more than others
- Was really hard to find one in Canada
Hope this helps!
Answered by drang
Posted Mar 22 2011 01:38 PM
I would suggest that you try out a few ereaders and see how the form factor and ease of use works for you, instead of looking at which ereaders support which ebook formats. Using ebook management software like Calibre, you can convert O'Reilly ebooks from ePub, Mobi, or PDF formats to most other ebook formats, although the PDF conversions can be less than ideal if there are a lot of images instead of text.
I have a Kindle 2 and I use the search, annotation, clipping, and dictionary features a lot, particularly with technical ebooks. I almost bought a Sony PRS-600 instead, since it has nice hardware and similar features, but the screen on it was a bit blurry.
Answered by toybuilder
Posted Mar 23 2011 10:56 PM
I have the Kindle DX, and it is great for technical books with lots of code examples or graphs/drawings. The larger screen real-estate really makes a difference. If you are lucky enough to have a Sony Store near you, I suggest checking out their large format Sony Readers as well.
I used to have a PRS 505, and I enjoyed it, but the screen was too small for "dense" reading.
Answered by gridmaster
Posted Jul 25 2011 06:46 AM
I have a Kobo Touch and have tried PDF and epub formats. Both work great with the images.