Monday, September 24, 2012

Kindle vs. Nook

Many people ask me, "Kindle or Nook, which should I buy?" It seems to be an easy question, but coming to a conclusion is not that fast as several factors have to be taken into account. I actually recommend different titles to different individuals due to their specialized demands. We not only buy readers, but also need to make our reading more convenient and enjoyable.

Here I do not plan to talk about anything like Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7, which are never created for reading. A cloud of people use their versatile tablets to play games as well as read eBooks, well, that's what they like and I don't care. I write this article for people who seek for something like Kindle, not Kindle Fire.

Supported formats
Kindle exclusively supports Kindle formats (AZW/TPZ/PRC/MOBI) plus PDF while Nook Simple Touch supports PDF and the most popular eBook format, EPUB. Both have format limits and that constitutes the primary problem. You are sure to find out which eReader you should buy according to your specific requirements: price, battery life, screen type and backlight supported.

Apparently, if you need a cheap gadget for reading, Kindle is the optimal pick. E-ink screen allows you to read eBooks for quite a long time without too much strain to your eyes. You can even read in the Sun as you like. Here are several tricks provided for saving money on reading eBooks. One disadvantage of Kindle comes to its screen, which might be less attractive than Barnes & Noble's touch screen.

Battery life
I came across a girl who was looking for an eReader for her boyfriend a couple of days ago. Her main demand is long battery life as his boyfriend works as a sailor and it's fairly inconvenient to charge. I recommend the Kindle Paperwhite (with a battery of two months wireless off) for her out of its better display as well as its glowlight function. I do not recommend Nook Simple Touch (with a battery of two months wireless off) for its marginally high price and Paperwhite offers a better performance-to-price ratio.

Glowlight supported
There are two titles support glowlight: Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Some people do like reading books at night. Although B&N released its Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight this March, this new title hasn't help to tout success for its owner. One of the principal causes might fall to its price. Amazon has also released its eReader with glowlight in Sept, which is known as Paperwhite at a price of $ 119. Paperwhite brings a huge surprise to Amazon patrons as well as several revealed limitations.  

All in all, people prefer to buy Kindle over its competitors. Of course, there are other eReaders with better performances from Amazon, such as Kindle Touch and Kindle Keyboard. Once you are unsatisfied with Kindle's style, Nook's eReader serials would be good substitute.

How to save money on eBook reading

1. Device
The cheapest reading device should be Kindle ($69) if you have no extra demands. Personally speaking, touch screen doesn’t mean too much and it isn't worth the extra money. 

2. Free eBooks + Calibre
Most free eBooks provided on the Internet are EPUB. Many people who are fond of reading and do not prefer to pay for books are inclined to do so. Here is a list of more than 30 sites to download eBooks of various genres for free. Calibre can help you convert EPUB to MOBI for reading these books on your Kindle.

3. Borrow eBooks through Lendle (for Kindle users)
Lendle is an easy-to-use eBook lending service based on Amazon Kindle, which is totally free and we can get heaps of prime books as well as bestsellers there. People don't have to own any Kindle device but to borrow and read Kindle books on Kindle apps (for Android/iOS/PC/Mac). One restriction is that we have to possess at least one Kindle book (free Kindle books are OK).
How to use Lendle to get Kindle books for free.

4. Kindle + Ultimate Converter
Sometimes we need to purchase eBooks. In all probability, we have to purchase these books from Sony, B&N or other stores other than Amazon out of diversified reasons. Calibre might fail to work under such a case. Purchased books are typically protected by DRM, which are not supported on Calibre. Thus a converter supporting DRM removal will be a must. I recommend Epubor Ultimate Converter for you as I myself use it and it does deliver a good deal of convenience to me. Kindle ($69) plus Ultimate ($46) is approximately $115, just $15 more than Nook Simple Touch, while the trouble it subtracts from our reading is significantly more than the extra bucks.

5. Other methods to remove DRM protections for free
There are actually free ways to remove Kindle DRM and Adobe DRM. But the solutions are a bit difficult to carry out, that's why I choose Method 3. To strip Kindle DRM, there are Kindle plugins available for Calibre. And you can write Python scripts to remove Adobe DRM for free.

I do hope we get more happiness from reading on less money. Leave a comment below if you have any fresh ideas to share with us. 

Technical Specs for primary Kindle and B&N eReaders

Product Price Dimensions Weight Display Storage
(on device)
Battery Supported Formats
Kindle $69 6.5" x 4.5" x 0.34" 5.98 oz(170 grams) E Ink Pearl
(5-way controller)
2GB 1 month with wireless off AZW3, AZW,
Nook Simple Touch $99 6.5 " x 5.0" x 0.47" 7.48 oz(212 grams) E Ink
2GB 2 months with wireless off ePub5, PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP
Kindle Paperwhite $119 6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36" 7.5 oz(213 grams) Paperwhite Built-in light(touchscreen) 2GB 2 months with wireless off AZW3, AZW,
Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight $139 6.5" x 5.0" x 0.47" 6.95 oz(197 grams) E Ink
2GB 2 months with GlowLight off ePub5, PDF,