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  #1  
Old January 25th, 2010, 3:53 am
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Electronic Readers

I was wondering how people feel about electronic readers like the Kindle, Nook, or Sony Reader. Some of my friends swear by their e-readers. Other friends are vehemently opposed to them and say they will never give up actual books.

Some questions to start the discussion:

Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?
What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?
Do you feel that e-readers change the nature of reading?


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  #2  
Old January 25th, 2010, 9:53 am
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Re: Electronic Readers

At the moment I can't afford an electronic reader. However, in some year's time, when they get cheaper... I can't deny that the posibility of having lots and lots of books without having to worry about the room they take up is quite tempting. On the other hand, my old-fashioned taste prefers actual, paper-made books.

In any case, I'd need to try the electronic reader before buying it: if I can read for a whole afternoon without getting a headache, then it would probably be a good investment for me, compulsive reader as I am (well, as long as the batteries keep up my pace...).


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Old January 25th, 2010, 10:31 am
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Re: Electronic Readers

I would like to get one! I usually read books either on my pc or my phone. Which hurts their batteries a lot. It would be nice to have something just for reading. I also think they have a lot of advantages. Like Mmbergerac said, books take so much space. And the e-readers would solve this problem. Also for people who travel frequently like me, face problems in taking books in their bags. They take so much space and are very heavy. So I end up taking only a book or two. . Electronic readers could be easily taken anywhere.

Still I wouldn't want to depend totally on it. I love collecting books. The same book feels more valuable as a normal book than as an e-book. Also for people who read too much I think it's better for their eyes' health to read from normal books.


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Old January 25th, 2010, 10:35 am
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Re: Electronic Readers

At the moment they are too pricey. However, I would consider one when the price comes down as I have a couple of subscriptions to journals that have the option of being available as .pdf files and heaps of background material which I am scanning so I can get rid of the hardcopies.


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  #5  
Old January 25th, 2010, 7:13 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?
I don't have one, and honestly, I don't think I would want one, either.

What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?
An advantage is certainly that it is way more environment friendly than books that use up billions and trillions of tons of paper to print. Plus, for the reader, an e-reader is probably a lot more convenient to transport and stuff. The main disadvantage ...


Do you feel that e-readers change the nature of reading?

... would be that reading without actual books is like .. eating without food! Just that feeling of opening up a new book, that smell that there is to it, flipping through actual pages, the reality of all that.

I mean, honestly, doesn't it scare you guys how virtual the whole world is getting? You don't listen to CDs anymore - you have everything on your iPod. You don't go to the movies, because you have everything on your laptop. You don't talk anymore, because everything is happening online on Facebook. And now they'll have books on a screen, too?
Why even bother having a life if there is everything in a second virtual world, too? I just don't like the thought.


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  #6  
Old January 25th, 2010, 7:41 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

I don't currently have (or really, want) one, but I might consider it sometime in the future once the prices drop.

I think one great advantage (if this is even currently an option, though I doubt it would be difficult to implement if it's not) would be being able to search the text for a specific passage or mention. I know sometimes I've flipped through a book, searching for something, and wished I could just "ctrl+f" to search and find it.

The fact that you can store tons of books in that small space isn't really much of a draw for me. I like having lots of books, and displaying them. I like the process of starting with a thick book, and making my way thorough the pages. I guess it might be helpful when traveling if you have limited space, but I currently don't travel enough for that to really be an issue for me.


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  #7  
Old January 25th, 2010, 9:03 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

I think their day will come, but not as they're designed currently.
I'm still a huge fan of books, dusty ol' tomes, shelves and shelves of 'em. Nothing will ever really replace that, but ebooks and readers have their pros, too, namely portability and searchability.

Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?
Not yet, but one day, when they finally get the design right.

What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?
Advantages listed just above. As to disadvantages, usually the screen is too small and the font too large. A "page" should be more than one or two small paragraphs! I like to be able to instantly skim over what I just read, and a bit forward too, and traditional books allow this better.
I think the ultimate Ebook reader design would make use of thin, flexible, e-ink/e-paper type displays, which would be just like pages. I envision a reader like so: it looks a bit like a typical reader with a body, a (large)screen, a few buttons, but also, in addition, 2 e-paper flex displays attached to left side, which lay on top and serve as flip-able pages. This would make it easier to flip back or forward a page as necessary, something I often do in trying to fully absorb the gist of something I'm reading and tie it all together. it would also give a slightly more classic book feel. That technology should be here already. (hello, Daily Prophet and Quibbler, heh)

Do you feel that e-readers change the nature of reading?
Dunno.. I'd like to see people read more, but whether or not it will affect that, is not clear. One thing that disturbs me among youth today is the increasingly shorter attention span and the desire for immediate gratification. I don't know if ebook reading will create a kind of "drive-by" reading style, ala "Cliff Notes", or allow people to find more time to read. Most technologies that were designed to grant people "more free time" have rarely worked out that way though, usually just the reverse.


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  #8  
Old January 25th, 2010, 10:05 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?
I don't think I'll get one, I have a problem with migraine and I'm spending too much time already looking at screens. I don't think I can afford it anyway.

What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?
Advantages would be less paper, and less to carry. It would also be easier to find books, I don't always find mine because they're buried beneath other books or papers. Disadvantages would be more time spent in front of screen, and no more books in my shelves. Sometimes I just look at my books and feel proud of how many I have collected.

Do you feel that e-readers change the nature of reading?
Well, some of what I like with reading books, is turning a page, and feel and smell the paper, it always makes me wonder how just some ex-wood and splats of inks making symbols translate into pictures in my head. I like looking at the cover too, and showing off what I read. I do prefer holding a book rather than some electronic device. Books made of paper feel and look kinder, I think.

I'm not against e-books though, and if it makes more people read I would be very happy. I think that it could make more people read in public, as I know some people who "haven't got the time" to read at home, but they don't want to read while waiting for the bus, doctor, etc., because they are a bit embarrassed about what they read, or indeed, that they are reading at all. Some are of the opinion that reading is for geeks, and most people don't want to be geeks. If e-books become a popular replacement for paper books, then more people would read and I would like that very much. As long as they don't threaten the existence of my beloved paper books!


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  #9  
Old January 25th, 2010, 11:51 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?
I want one but my mom told me i needed 2 99s on my quarter grades to get one so basically not getting one until they get MUCH cheaper.

What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?
Definitely the size. I have a lot of books that are extremely thick, meaning that I mostly can only get them in hardcover if I don't want them to fall apart and while libraries are nice, I don't like waiting so long for a book I really want to read, and then having to give it back, and the ebooks are a bit cheaper. And besides, they don't run out, which can bother me a lot when the book stores run out.

Disadvantages would just be the feeling of reading a book. I love being able to flip through a book and sort of feel it and breathe in the scent and everything that goes along with the experience. The scent of my amortentia would probably include a new book, and well, and old books.

Do you feel that e-readers change the nature of reading?
See above


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  #10  
Old January 26th, 2010, 2:12 am
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Re: Electronic Readers

Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?

As many have already said they are too pricey right now. At the current moment I really have no desire for an e-reader. For leisure reading I don't think I ever will. I like the smell of a new book. I like physically turning the pages and putting my book mark in place when I am done reading. I don't mind that my books take up space. Actually I am quite fond of my book shelves. Also wouldn't e-readers make it hard to share books. My dad, neice, and some other friends like to raid my bookshelves when they visit, as I do when I vist them. This would not be able to take place if we all had e-readers. I also don't mind that a book may take up extra space in my suitcase or carry on bag when I am travelling. I lovingly make sure to leave room in my bags for what book(s) I may want to bring. And of course I pack them where they are easily accesible for my time of travel.


What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?

A personal advantage for myself personally would be possibly for my text books in my college courses. Other than that I don't find a personal advantage. In general however e-readers may save on the usage and need for paper thus less need of taking down trees. So environmental these e-readers if they catch on big could help.


Do you feel that e-readers change the nature of reading?

I don't think I would find as much comfort in reading with an e-reader as I do an old fashioned book.


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  #11  
Old January 26th, 2010, 4:16 am
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Re: Electronic Readers

I have had an Amazon Kindle since 8/08. Love it.

I wanted one from when it first came out, but I didn't want to spend $399. Did you know that they sold out in 5-1/2 hours on the first day? I ended up spending $259 for mine. That's the current price of the K2I. The DX is $489. Much larger and better for reading textbooks and other books with illustrations.

For those of you who think it might give you a headache or eye-strain, you couldn't be more wrong. The screen is e-ink and reads very much like a book. There is no backlight. People who get migraines report that they don't have a problem at all with the Kindle. I can actually read much longer. The only disadvantage to this is that I used to read to put myself to sleep. Now, when I read my Kindle in bed, I don't get sleepy at all and I stay up way too late reading.

The obvious advantage is that I have several hundred books at my fingertips at all times. That includes compilations such as the complete works of Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Dickens, etc.

Public domain books can be downloaded free (legally), but I prefer to purchase the compilations because I have them all in one navigable file. The cost is negligible for the convenience (usually $4.79, although Dickens was $2.79). Also, many new Indie authors offer their works for 99 cents, and I have found a lot of good reads that way. The big publishing houses will also offer one of a series free for a short time to get people to buy the other books in the series. I love free.

I can adjust the font, search for words or phrases, highlight, bookmark and make notes. Amazon also allows you to download samples for free before you buy. If you hit the "buy" button by mistake, they will refund your money within 7 days of purchase. Newspapers can be downloaded daily with a navigable articles list, no classifieds and no ads, much cheaper than the newstand price.

I know students that scan in their notes into PDF. Then you e-mail the doc to Amazon and they send the converted doc back to you.

I can web browse from my Kindle and connect directly to the Kindle book store to purchase a book, which is downloaded wirelessly to my Kindle in 60 seconds through Sprint's Whispernet. There is no charge for this service.

No, Amazon doesn't pay me a commission. I'm just a committed Kindle lover.

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  #12  
Old January 26th, 2010, 11:31 am
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Re: Electronic Readers

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Originally Posted by crookshanks1177 View Post

A personal advantage for myself personally would be possibly for my text books in my college courses.
That wouldn't do for me. I like to fill my textbooks with annotations, underlined (in pencil colours) and post-it. There's nothing like paper for that!

Desraelda, how long do the batteries last?


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  #13  
Old January 26th, 2010, 2:47 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?
At the moment I don't have one and am not considering getting one. Aside from the price issue, I'm not that keen on having one right now.

What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?
The advantages to getting one for me would be to cut down on the space in my room that my books take up. Another advantage to the e-reader is that it's easy to transport when riding the subway or traveling in the air. Also, I'm not sure about this, but maybe the cost of an e-book is less than a paper book. Additionally, I think it would be easy to look up quotes or passages within a book with an e-reader. A disadvantage of having an e-book is that you miss the physical experience of reading a book. Some books I just need to have that experience. Others it's not as important.

Do you feel that e-readers change the nature of reading?
Maybe they'd make books more accessible if you can just download all publications off the internet. I think people who travel a lot would find e-readers pretty handy, but I'm sure there will always be people who would favor real books and never use e-readers.


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Old January 26th, 2010, 3:23 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

The amenity of e-readers for travllers is, I think, overrated particularly for those who like to travel light or get off the beaten track.

Admittedly I'm an old-school curmudgeon, but when I started lighting out for the territories people were unencumbered by electronics (except for the odd Walkman).

Now people drag around phones and laptops or netbooks and MP3 players and probably will feel compelled to bring along e-readers all of which require you to pack rechargers and are attractive to thieves.


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Old January 26th, 2010, 4:36 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

Quote:
Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan View Post

Also, I'm not sure about this, but maybe the cost of an e-book is less than a paper book.
It depends. Public domain books are free. Many big publishers offer free books. For example, Harlequin offered 16 free books on their 60th anniversary. The Crossroads Cafe was recently offered free (reg. $9.99) and I definitely enjoyed it (warning for vulgar language, but not excessive). There are always free books in all different genres. And you are not confined to Amazon. Smashwords and All Romance Ebooks, just to name two, offer Kindle compatible books, as well as for other e-readers. Manybooks.net and The Gutenberg Project offer free public domain books.

However, if you're the kind of person who wants to buy the hardback book the first day it comes out, you're going to pay a premium price for the e-book. Amazon has just begun to address the issue of the pricing by offering authors and publishers 70% royalties on e-books priced between $2.99 and $9.99, which must be at least 20% below the DTB (dead tree book) price.

Many indie authors offer their books for 99 cents and I've found some very, very good authors that way (Mike Hicks, Jeff Hepple, Dennis Batchelder, Margaret Lake, to name a few).

The easy answer is, it depends on how much you want to spend. I find my buying habits haven't changed from when I bought DTB's. I refuse to pay full price with very rare exceptions, and usually bought used books. What I was willing to spend before hasn't changed. I'll wait for the paperback to come out, which is when the e-book price drops.

Quote:
Additionally, I think it would be easy to look up quotes or passages within a book with an e-reader.
Absolutely, and you can highlight, notate and bookmark as you read.

Quote:
A disadvantage of having an e-book is that you miss the physical experience of reading a book. Some books I just need to have that experience. Others it's not as important.
Not at all. I skinned mine and got a flip top leather cover with an easel back. Now, all my books are leather bound. And I don't have to hold a two or three pound book.

Quote:
but I'm sure there will always be people who would favor real books and never use e-readers.
True. Some do go back and forth because many classics aren't available (most notably HP) ... To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Good Earth, just to name a few. Watership Down just became available a few months ago. When I bought my Kindle, only about 150K books were available. Now it's well over 350K and growing rapidly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MmeBergerac View Post

Desraelda, how long do the batteries last?
About a week before charging as long as you keep Whispernet off. You should turn it on only if you are downloading books, newspapers, blogs, etc. My battery is now well over a year old and the charge doesn't last quite as long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wab View Post
The amenity of e-readers for travllers is, I think, overrated particularly for those who like to travel light or get off the beaten track.

Admittedly I'm an old-school curmudgeon, but when I started lighting out for the territories people were unencumbered by electronics (except for the odd Walkman).

Now people drag around phones and laptops or netbooks and MP3 players and probably will feel compelled to bring along e-readers all of which require you to pack rechargers and are attractive to thieves.
I'll grant you attractive to thieves.

I only carry my netbook and Kindle. Music can be downloaded to your Kindle just like an MP3, and you can play music and read at the same time. Kindle apps are now available for I-Phone and PC (free from Amazon), so you could presumably only bring your netbook. As for chargers, frequent travelers find it cost effective to buy one Igo charger with tips for all their electronics. The Kindle does have a web browser, but it's pretty primitive.

Oh, and my TBR pile is just as huge on my Kindle as it is for my DTB's. But what I haven't read in DTB is going to Goodwill.


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Old January 26th, 2010, 5:38 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

freelantzer


Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
Also for people who read too much I think it's better for their eyes' health to read from normal books.
How can a person read too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nina__ View Post

Do you feel that e-readers change the nature of reading?
... would be that reading without actual books is like .. eating without food! Just that feeling of opening up a new book, that smell that there is to it, flipping through actual pages, the reality of all that.

I mean, honestly, doesn't it scare you guys how virtual the whole world is getting? You don't listen to CDs anymore - you have everything on your iPod. You don't go to the movies, because you have everything on your laptop. You don't talk anymore, because everything is happening online on Facebook. And now they'll have books on a screen, too?
Why even bother having a life if there is everything in a second virtual world, too? I just don't like the thought.
Exactly, which is why reading books should be one of the things left alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desraelda View Post
No, Amazon doesn't pay me a commission. I'm just a committed Kindle lover.

Any questions?
Sure, um hmm. Yeah could I have the books you do have since you'll have them on the kindle anyway?


Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?
NO. I would never consider getting an e-reader. That's turning traitor against books, and I understand the fact that they're environmentally friendly, which is a plus considering I've very big on the saving the environment, but it's like wasting the books that are already out there, the trees which have already destroyed. Now, if they stopped making books all together, and continued making e-readers, then maybe it'd be a possibily, but until then I don't think so. Which even then I'd probably go hunting for all the old books.


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Old January 26th, 2010, 5:56 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?

It's expensive and I doesn't like the idea very much (I just like the touch and smell of a new book...mmm...). But, as my job has to do with lots of books, I could consider buying one - but the condition would be the possibility of access to the libraries I need and possibility of copying texts I need (and that, I'm afraid, isn't going to be soon). But only for a professional purpose - as i use now a database or virtual library on internet. For my pleasure - a normal book, please.

What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?

Advantages: many books in one. Disadvantages: as I said above. I like the contact with a real book. And a paper book doesn't need bateries, electricity, and such. And with my poor weary eyes, I can't imagine myself staring more hours into a screen than I do now.


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Old January 26th, 2010, 6:28 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

I sort of question the whole thing about ebooks being more environmental.

For one thing, books, -paper- is easily recycled, and trees can be (and are) regrown. Unfortunately, not at a balanced rate, but they could be.
Books are, for the most part, all natural.

An eBook reader is made of plastics, and most plastics (except for a few rare soy based products) are made from oil and petroleum byproducts, and the oil has to be drilled for, first. Then there's all the chemical processes involved in synthesizing the polymers and plastics, circuit boards, and chemicals in the batteries, etc.. (and batteries can be an ecological hazard, actually. I use only rechargeables now).
Everytime a new, better model comes out, the old ones will get discarded, and wind up in a landfill somewhere.

Also consider, in order to distribute the ebooks, one requires a wireless router or computer, which uses up still more electricity/energy, and are also made of plastics, as is the much of the infrastructure of the Internet.

Books however, have to be printed, and physically distributed, so are also costly in oil and resources in that sense.

In the long run, is there really that much difference?


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Old January 26th, 2010, 8:03 pm
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Re: Electronic Readers

Quote:
Originally Posted by xhanax315 View Post

How can a person read too much?
Absolutely agree. No such thing as reading too much.

Quote:
Sure, um hmm. Yeah could I have the books you do have since you'll have them on the kindle anyway?
Nice try!! It's too expensive to replace books I already own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UselessCharmMaster View Post
Do you have an e-reader or would you consider getting one?

It's expensive and I doesn't like the idea very much (I just like the touch and smell of a new book...mmm...).
Pre-Kindle, I rarely bought a new book, so that argument doesn't work for me. And it's not like a new car smell, is it? DTB's = paper, dust, allergies.

Quote:
What do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of e-readers?

Advantages: many books in one. Disadvantages: as I said above. I like the contact with a real book. And a paper book doesn't need bateries, electricity, and such. And with my poor weary eyes, I can't imagine myself staring more hours into a screen than I do now.
May I say again that the screen is not backlit, so no glare. It uses e-ink which means no eye strain. It's like reading ink on a page.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grymmditch View Post
I sort of question the whole thing about ebooks being more environmental.

Everytime a new, better model comes out, the old ones will get discarded, and wind up in a landfill somewhere.
Not so. Most of us who have the first gen Kindle did not buy the K2 or the DX when it came out. Those of us who did (not me), passed the K1 on to their children or other family member. Some people always have to have the latest model of everything. I'm not one of them.

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Also consider, in order to distribute the ebooks, one requires a wireless router or computer, which uses up still more electricity/energy, and are also made of plastics, as is the much of the infrastructure of the Internet.
Again, not so. The Kindle comes with built in Whispernet (free from Amazon), which means I don't need to be anywhere near a computer or wireless router. I have downloaded books in my car, waiting in line in a store, sitting outside on my patio, and I do not have a wireless router in my house.


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Old January 27th, 2010, 10:32 am
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MmeBergerac  Female.gif MmeBergerac is offline
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Re: Electronic Readers

Can you download e-books you have in your computer to the reader? I mean, with a cable and a USB connector (I guess you can, otherwise it would be a poor design, but it's just to be sure).


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