Some good eBooks sites

In today’s post, I’d like to paste some links to useful sites for your life with your eReader. Enjoy!
eBook Converter – Remove drm protection from ebooks
A Complete Guide: How To Download Books From Google In PDF Format – Unfortunately Google Book Downloader is a trial and after few downloads you’ll have to buy it. And it works on on Windows and Mac.
How to save any Google Book as PDF without .NET requirement?
5 Tools to Download any Book from Google and save it as PDF -

I particularly liked the Mozilla FF tool on saving books from Google Books (Grease Monkey+Google Book Downloader script+Flashgot), but I’m not sure how well this will work on a small eReader. In any case, the more free eBooks, the better. And here’s one more site with useful info:

The Best 6 Sites to Get Free Ebooks

Some of those sites are :

www.pdfgeni.com
www.pdf-search-engine.com
www.data-sheet.net
Scribd.com
Project Gutenberg
www.ebookshare.net/
www.feedbooks.com
www.manybooks.net/

For more, please visit the source site and check the comments. They are full of sites offering free eBooks.

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eReaders accessories updates

I’m happy to announce that there were major updates in the pages dedicated to eReaders accessories!

Check out the colorful and practical skins, cases, sleeves and even more useful  stuff coming from Amazon.com and selected by me:

Amazon Kindle Accessories

Barnes and Nobles Nook Accessories

Sony Readers Accessories

Pimp your eReader now!

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Google to enter eReaders market

Last week an important news broke out. Google finally enters the eReaders market with its own reader. From the article below it’s clear that they didn’t bother to come up with some new fancy design, they’re basically copying Kindle with the qwerty keyboard, something I deeply dislike.

I must admit I haven’t tested a Kindle to see how quickly you can enter text trough the keyboard, but I’m deeply fond of the touch screen of my Sony Reader. Simply because it allows you to write text with a pencil, just like normal paper would. So I don’t get the obsession with qwerty keyboard in eReaders. It simply makes no sense to have them on something you’re supposed to read. Not to mention that it takes up space and it makes pages flipping somewhat less intuitive.

Anyway, I think it’s great that Google got on the market, simply because they will spur competition and maybe ultimately lower the prices. But I’m kind of disappointed that they preferred to go with the Kindle design than to offer something new. I expected more from them. After all, they have almost unlimited resources which if applied to something so relatively simple as eReader could have led to a really cool gadget. They chose the cheap way. Oh, well. Next time :)

First Google eBooks Device To Go on Sale at Target This Week

By Todd Wasserman | Mashable – Mon, Jul 11, 2011

The iriver Story HD will retail for $139.99 at the chain July 17, according to a blog post from Google. The device sports a qwerty keyboard and a black-and-grey screen similar to the Kindle. It also can access more than 3 million free Google eBooks and hundreds of thousands of paid ebooks in the system. The device is the first to be able to access titles via a Wi-Fi connection.

source

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eReaders vs Samsung Galaxy Tab

As promised, I will share my impressions on Samsung Galaxy Tab. In the previous post, I discussed Apple iPad. As I said there and then I was very disappointed by the whole look and feel of the iPad. It’s shiny and sweet and colorful, but as an eReader it sucks. It’s heavy and it’s back-lit and I can’t imagine myself reading for hours on it. It’s good, however, for scientific pdf-s, or technical manuals or textbooks. First because it has color, second because it has much bigger screen and third, because it has multitouch, which allows you to easily zoom in and out of sections you’re interested in. Great for figures or small text. I was extremely surprised, when I spoke with a guy at the dentist waiting room, who also thought that the iPad is HEAVY. I mean, I’m a girl, it’s normal to be heavy for me. But for him?! So, obviously, I’m not the only one who noticed that. And if you search the Net, you’ll find that many people share my opinion.

Anyway, today’s issue is dedicated to Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab (T-Mobile)

Ok, I loved it. I completely utterly fell in love with it. Seriously. It’s small. It’s light. It’s cute. It’s sexy. And it’s not very expensive. Well, it’s more expensive than a normal eReader, but still, it’s a great great present. Anyone?

Seriously. It’s a great gadget. It’s smaller than the iPad (only 7in) and also lighter. It has amazing color screen which is very responsive to the touch. It has Android, which can be good or a bad thing, depending on how much you love or hate Google. Basically, it can be a great eReader for certain types of books. You can also play games on it and do whatever else you can do on an Android phone. You can also use it as a phone and it has camera. I played a little with it, it’s very quick to react and from what I’ve tried, everything worked flawlessly. And unlike with normal eReaders, you can use the whole armory of Android applications, which is quite cool.

Having said all that, it has one setback. It’s major advantage – its great screen, is also its major disadvantage. Just like with iPad, it’s back-lit, so its LCD display will make your eyes extremely unhappy if you read for hours. True, people get used to LCD screens, I can read on my laptop for hours, but if you want to read for pleasure,  it’s no comparison for the E Ink eReaders. True, it’s a lovely gadget, one that I really really want to buy. But it’s too big for a phone and too bright for am eBook. I guess it’s best for games and multimedia experience. But it’s not what I want from an eReader. And also, I’m not sure how much its battery lasts.

For me, the perfect gadget is one with two types of screens – LCD for multimedia and E INK for reading. I know I want too much, but hey, we have to aim high in our dreams.

My conclusion is that Samsung Galaxy Tab is adorable, but if you want to read eBooks, it’s best to buy an eReader. If you want to browse the net and to play games and to do whatever you do with your phone on bigger screen, but yet one that you can carry in your pocket or purse, then buy Samsung Galaxy Tab. You won’t regret it! Because it’s simply adorable.

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB :

- Carriers: Available now from T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Wireless; coming soon to AT&T and U.S. Cellular

- Operating system: Android 2.2 (Froyo)

- Price: $400 with two-year contract from T-Mobile or Sprint, $600 from Verizon or $699 from Amazon

- Weight: 13.58 ounces/384 grams (!!!)

- Size: 4.74-by-.47-by-7.48 inches

- Screen: 7-inch WSVGA display; 1024×600 pixels

- Camera: 3-megapixel rear-facing with LED flash, 1.3 megapixel front-facing; 720p video recording

- Storage: 16GB microSD preinstalled, expandable up to 32GB

In short – Samsung Galaxy Tab is simply great. Me wants.

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E Ink in color?

You don’t like your lovely eReader in black and white. Well, then, soon it will be also in color. Look at the following very exciting news I found.

E Ink, maker of Kindle display, to offer color

November 9, 2010 By DANA WOLLMAN , AP Technology Writer

E Ink Corp., the company that makes the black-and-white display for Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle, said it will begin selling screens that also show colors.

The new technology, called E Ink Triton, displays 16 shades of gray, along with thousands of colors. As with other E Ink displays, people should be able to read it anywhere without having to squint.

Amazon did not immediately respond to inquiries Tuesday on whether that means a color is coming.

Amazon has said that although it hasn’t ruled out color E Ink displays, the technology isn’t yet ready for prime time.

The first with a color E Ink screen will come from Chinese manufacturer Hanvon. The e-reader will have a display that measures 9.7 inches diagonally, and readers will be able to get online through either Wi-Fi or a 3G cellular connection. It is expected to go on sale in China for about $440.source

How cool is this?! I’m not sure how important color is for an eReader since the main idea of the eReader is to be just like a book. True, there are books in color – like books for children, but is this essential for adults? As long as we talk about a normal book and not a textbook or a magazine, not at all.

But imagine the perspective that will uncover when it comes to use. You can color figures in your eBook (ok, not you, but your children), you can have eMagazines or even eNewspapers where the sexy girl from the sports page will be in color. You can read textbooks or scientific articles in color. It is progress. So I approve.

Someone pointed that the color won’t be the same like on a computer screen or iPad. well, it doesn’t have to be. This is an eReader. An electronic book. Not a computer. And just like normal books, you don’t expect them to show you videos. You expect from them to read without recharging every day and without the annoying glare and back-light of LCD displays. Well then, that’s precisely what you’ll get.

Can’t wait for the new color eReaders to come. I know that Nook offers color eReader, but they don’t ship in Europe so. Sony, I’m waiting!

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eReaders – the hit of the season

eReaders are obviously among the highest trending products and the most desired presents. At least this can be confirmed after a brief look at the printed and online media, which promote eReaders like crazy. For example you may read the following article in NY TIMES : Great Holiday Expectations for E-Readers. Look at the following quote:

“And many of them will be bought for other people. Research from Simba Information, which provides data and advice to publishers, has shown that 1 in 5 of those who own a Kindle, Amazon’s dedicated e-reader, received it as a gift.

In a recent Consumer Reports poll, 10 percent of the adults surveyed said they planned to give an e-reader as a gift this year, up from 4 percent in 2009.

That has corresponded with an increase in e-book sales. Two years ago, publishers said that sales of e-books constituted 1 percent of total book sales, but the figure is now closer to 9 or 10 percent.”

And this is only one article! And there are so much more that I found. It’s clear that the time of the eReader finally came. I’m very happy with this, because I really like the idea of eReaders and because I’m profoundly content with my Sony Reader.

But if that cannot convince you  how good idea is to buy fancy eReader for your friends or relatives, I have one more good news. Until now, the main problem in front of eReaders were the lack of enough digital books. As you can see from the following news, one more obstacle was removed with a deal between Google and the biggest  French publisher “Hachette Livre”. If this deal is finalized as expected, this will unleash the power of digital books. Why? Because for the moment, eBooks are limited to mainly old US books and also, the newest additions of Amazon and other publishers. But the big part of printed books were out of reach. With this decision and with the ones that will follow (hopefully) Google will scan thousands of books that will later be available to everyone for free or not. How about that, huh?

Google Reaches Deal With France’s Biggest Publisher

France’s largest publisher has agreed to an arrangement that’ll allow Google Books to scan many of its out-of-print works.

“Under the agreement, which will be finalized in the coming months, Hachette Livre can dictate which out-of-print books it wants Google to scan and the price at which they are sold.  Google is then free to sell the electronic book under the condition that it shares the revenues with Hachette Livre, a unit of Lagardere SCA.”

The arrangement is supposed to involve thousands of books, too, not just a handful for which Hachette has no use. source

P.S. There is no need to mention that after that deal, Google will have enormous advantage in this business. Do we like it? I don’t. But it’s some kind of progress. And that we must respect.

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eReader or iPad

Today, I finally got an iPad in my hands. Not only this, but I also played a little with Samsung Galaxy Tab! So in the next two blogs, I’ll describe my personal feelings on the the two gadgets.

First, few words about Apple iPad.

Apple iPad MC497LL/A Tablet (64GB, Wifi + 3G)

$877 (or $525 for 16GB WiFi)

 

I must admit, I had big expectations about it. We’ve heard a lot about iPad, seen a lot of ads about it and still, it failed to make me fall in love. I really expected something cute, sexy and useful. What I found was something kind of heavy and not very functional. I’m a practical person, above all I appreciated usefulness. If I want to buy an iPad, I need a reason to do so. And playing with the iPad today, I genuinely couldn’t figure what the iPad does better than my netbook (for example). I’m sure there are million of pretty cool applications for iPad. But what should convince me to buy it?

Good sides:

Clean design, simple to use, kind of intuitive. Endless applications. Multi-touch screen (Lovely!). Good battery life I hear.

Bad sides:

It’s heavy. Ok, it’s 680 gr/1.5 pounds. But it’s heavy! I had it in my hands, I checked it how it feels to read on it, well, it’s heavy! It’s not only its weight but also its shape and how it strains your hands. Sure, if I’m 90kg, I probably won’t feel its 680g. But I’m 45kg and I don’t feel comfortable reading on it. Not for long pleasant book-time on a cup of tea or coffee. It’s too heavy for that.

Also, it’s not very intuitive. I’m not very used to iPhones (played with one, but only that), but still, I found navigating trough it for somewhat odd.  On my Sony PRS-600 I needed 30 secs to get all the functionality of the menu. On the iPad, I had to move forward and backward for a while to figure out what what to do and how. True, my eReader is thousand times simpler than the iPad both in its hardware and software, but after all, the iPad is not a computer. So, I think navigation could be improved. Not so much in moving forward and backward – that’s easy, just touch it. I’m thinking more in the direction of grouping applications to be easier to find what you need for each occasion – business, education, play and so on. Maybe that option is already available, but what I saw, was a screen full of random applications. It was hard to find what you want or even to get an idea if there’s anything you might want.

I checked the apps for iPad. I see that some of them look interesting. But how well they deliver, I cannot say from one glimpse.

Which brings me to iPad’s best side, especially in connection with eReaders. What I find iPad best for is for technical literature.  As I already said, the smaller eReaders are not good for reading scientific textbooks, because of the formula and plots. They are just not suitable for pdf-format, even though they can read it and display it. So here comes the iPad. It’s perfect for pdf-s and textbook. It’s perfect for writing formulas on its mathboard app and I’m sure it also has some professional applications in this direction. I think the strongest side of that device is its educational purpose. If we don’t count the entertainment, that is. But it’s simply perfect for reading textbooks. A downside is that its reflective surface and back-lit screen may be unpleasant for the eye (in the least), but since it’s so uncomfortable for reading of normal books, I doubt people will actually feel it. But for textbooks – it’s great.

So this is my first glimpse – first touch impression from iPad. In short, it’s a good gadget, but nothing truly impressive. I disliked its heaviness and reflective display (not good for a general eReader!) and also its somewhat chaotic screen. I liked the ability to show pdf-s and textbooks well. And since I would use it only as an eReader or for games, this is important for me. The only question is is this enough?

Next time, my impressions Samsung Galaxy Tab…

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