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Looking for a 'reader'

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#1 Carol L

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:37 PM

I have quite a few .txt format books on my laptop from gutenberg.org, and am currently looking for a simple (no internet), portable device to transfer them onto - hopefully via a USB cable. Is there anything out there that isn't loaded down with bells and whistles?
Preferably something so simple even a cavewoman can use it.
:grin:

#2 richard7

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 04:14 PM

No, I'm not going to call you a cave woman.
A Kindle E-reader should do all right. TXT is native in it.
That plus a simple format converter like Calibre will convert anything else you want and load it via USB.

#3 The Mighty Mo

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 04:27 PM

That's just what I was going to suggest. Just about any tablet or smartphone these days has basic office readers which will allow you to read .txt, .pdf, and even MSOffice files for free on Android.

#4 Carol L

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:38 PM

Thanks, Richard and Daniel.

"No, I'm not going to call you a cave woman."
Ok - just call me 'Wilma'. :lol:
TBH, I've never felt too comfortable when it comes to all of this tech-stuff.
Seems like whenever I finally learn something, it changes.
Anyway, the Kindle E-reader looks like it'll be perfect.
I've bookmarked the Calibre site, too.

Thanks again! :)

#5 derangedhermit

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:48 PM

You might consider a Nook, the B&N competitor to the Kindle. It reads txt, pdf, and epub; epub is the main competitor to the Amazon ebook format. You can connect it to your PC via USB. You can turn off Internet access.

If you want to find better formatted (and often better proofread) ebooks than gutenberg, try mobileread (the Patricia Clark library) and the University of Adelaide.

Calibre as mentioned is free and can convert between formats.

#6 Carol L

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 08:49 PM

Thanks for the info on the Nook! :) I'd asked about it when in B&N about 6 weeks ago,
but the clerk didn't know whether or not .txt files would be accepted.
And thanks for the additional ebook sites, too.
I've bookmarked them, and will take a look ASAP.

#7 bluesteel

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:57 PM

One thing to consider is the back lit screens. When reading a lot of text, my eyes start to hurt when viewing a computer screen. I do not have this problem with the older kindle that has a keyboard below the screen. However, if you read in the dark, there are cases with a "book light" that can be pulled out to read, or, the new kindle paper white is the bees knees, much better than a backlight like the kindle fire, and the illumination is much more even than the nook alternative.
Calibre is a fantastic piece of software as well to change any format of text to one that is recognizable by any e-reader you decide to get.

#8 rockethead26

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:47 AM

Carol,

The Nook Simple Touch, which is what I have and love, just went on sale at Barnes & Noble for $39. Unbelievable!

#9 JonNPR

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:13 PM

The Simple Touch is a terrific bit of tech and the new price made me cry! The expand ability via whatever size SD or micro ones they accept is priceless. Kindles do not have an expansion slot.

If you like the backlit innovation, the new Glow version is an excellent choice. Kindle has it with the PaperWhite although it still has no expansion slot.

Another option to consider. The new Nook HD 8" tablet is very light, thin and capable. Makes a fine reader, but with internet web and many app options. On sale also now for an absurd price of $79.

Jon

#10 Carol L

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:28 PM

Thanks for all the replies! :)

Backlighting won't be an issue - all of my reading spots in the house have adequate lighting. I tried reading in the dark on the laptop once, but wound up turning the light on.

Jim, thanks for the heads-up on the Nook's sale price - looks like the scales just tipped WAY over to B&N.

Ok, I've been looking into things and so far, there's a few points I like more about the Nook:
1) The sale price. :grin:
2) No onscreen 'offers' (advertisements). Several Kindle reviewers complained about them, and B&N makes a point of mentioning that there aren't any on the Nook.
3) Storage (as mentioned by Jon). Kindle reviewers complained about not having any external memory. They need to store things in a 'cloud' - apparently some sort of online storage provided by Amazon?

That being said though, there are a few Nook things I'm wondering about:
1) The stats info says the memory is 2 GB... 1 GB for content, and 750 MB "reserved for B&N content". Not really a problem since the device accepts external memory, but it makes me wonder what kind of "B&N content" is taking up nearly half of the installed memory?
2) About 1/2 way down this B&N page, the only supported text file types mentioned are ePub and PDF. It was previously mentioned by Member 'derangedhermit' that the Nook accepts .txt files but if this particular kind of reader doesn't, it's no big deal. Since learning so much about all this stuff in the last few days, I'd either: 1) download the Calibre software and convert my .txt files, or 2) re-download my books in ePub format and just dump the .txt files I've been storing on my laptop.

Thanks again everyone, and have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

#11 derangedhermit

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:05 PM

Carol, the Nook does reserve some of main memory for books bought from B&N. I wish it didn't, but I never had a problem. An ebook (epub or txt) without images is about 1/4 MB. A big cover can make it 1/2 MB. Conservatively, say 2 books per MB, or 2000 books per GB. Putting books on the Nook from other places besides B&N (or besides Amazon on a Kindle) via USB from a PC is called "sideloading". If you want to store you entire library on the Nook, you can add a memory card. Many people keep their library on their PC and only have a few, or a few hundred, books on their readers.

Calibre can not only help with format conversions, it can also give you a way to move books to/from the Nook, and download books from online sources. Otherwise, you can use the file manager on your PC to move books from your PC to the Nook.

The best place I know to get started is in the mobileread.com forums. The people are knowledgeable and very friendly, as much so as here. You can ask in the "What reader should I buy" forum :) or in the device-specific forums (Nook or Kindle / kindle tablet or Android...). There are other forums there for book sources, downloading public domain books, reading recommendations, etc.

If you already have a tablet (iPad or Android), you can read with it using a reading app instead of buying a reader, if you like.

My son is very happy with his Nook. I just converted from the Nook (which I used for years) to reading on a Google Nexus 7 tablet using an app called "Moon+', and like it a lot also. Whatever keeps you reading!

#12 BoriSpider

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 09:28 AM

Did you see this thread in the Stellar Media
forum section yet??? Might be a game changer.

#13 JonNPR

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:28 PM

The coupon is a standard, good discount version. But as always, it excludes Nook and Nook books iirc.

Doesn't change the fact of the incredible sale price for the Simple Touch Reader though. $39!!! Simply incredible. And the very nice and light Nook 7" HD tablet is also a steal now for $79. I paid about double for a gift to my wife last year. She loves it.

Jon

#14 Carol L

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 09:29 PM

An ebook (epub or txt) without images is about 1/4 MB. A big cover can make it 1/2 MB. Conservatively, say 2 books per MB, or 2000 books per GB.


Thanks for explaining how much space actually gets used with every book - from the sounds of it, the 1GB of usable space will be plenty for me but it's good to know that the extra storage capability is there if it's ever needed.

To everyone - thanks again for all of your help! :bow:
The $39 price on the Nook was too good to pass up, so I ordered it along with a cover - they'll be at the post office next week. :cool:

#15 rockethead26

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 10:51 PM

An ebook (epub or txt) without images is about 1/4 MB. A big cover can make it 1/2 MB. Conservatively, say 2 books per MB, or 2000 books per GB.


Thanks for explaining how much space actually gets used with every book - from the sounds of it, the 1GB of usable space will be plenty for me but it's good to know that the extra storage capability is there if it's ever needed.

To everyone - thanks again for all of your help! :bow:
The $39 price on the Nook was too good to pass up, so I ordered it along with a cover - they'll be at the post office next week. :cool:


Good choice, Carol. You'll love it. Light weight, great screen and the battery lasts forever.

#16 JonNPR

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 04:02 PM

Carol, I blame you for forcing me to buy BOTH the $49 special in store "old" B&N Glow Simple Touch AND the next day, the crazy priced $79 Nook HD. Thanks for helping Santa and our economy!

I really just wanted a reader that was lit, but both the excellent new PaperWhite and Glow lack the microSD slot for expanding skimpy internal memory. The old original Glow has it, but getting it home and trying it revealed the not so hot implementation of first generation backlighting. The LED lighting strip is visible at the top and quite bright. So...

Nook HD is pretty darn light, and has a superb Retina or better screen Rez. The built in Reader is excellent. At $79, it reached my personal Pit Of Too Low Not To Buy (POTLNTB).

Jon

#17 Carol L

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 01:34 AM

Carol, I blame you for forcing me to buy BOTH the $49 special in store "old" B&N Glow Simple Touch AND the next day, the crazy priced $79 Nook HD. Thanks for helping Santa and our economy!


Aw c'mon Jon, you ought to know by now -
CN members LOVE to help people spend their money! :lol:

Enjoy your new toys. :cool: :grin:

#18 JonNPR

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:36 PM

Right back at you, Carol!

:thanx:

Jon

#19 Carol L

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:00 PM

Well, I picked up the Nook at the post office this morning and am happy to report that we're up and running.
This little device is great - thanks again for all of your help and advice, everyone!! :bow:

#20 rockethead26

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:04 PM

Congrats! Enjoy the heck out of it.

#21 JonNPR

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:55 PM

Glad to hear it Carol. Although I bought the Nook HD on sale as an inexpensive lighted reader with a super retina level display, inevitably it's seeing use as an extra tablet.

I didn't root it so, sadly, can't get SkySafari. But I sprung for SkiEye - pro edition. With no gps, etc, it isn't an ideal platform for the software. But there it is. If one gets the urge to poke around the virtual sky.

Jon






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