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IainHarper 11 Mar 2011 12:07

eBooks, eReaders and Tablets
 
Hi All,

The number of adventure motorcycle travel authors publishing eBooks seems to be increasing pretty rapidly. A quick browse on the Amazon Kindle Store, for instance, shows Ted Simon, Sam Manicom, Carla King, Paddy Tyson, Lois Pryce and plenty of other well-known names.

I'm wondering how many HU folk own eReaders (e.g. Amazon Kindle, Sony eReader, B&N Nook, etc.) and/or tablets like the iPad?

For those that do, how useful have you found them on your travels? Any recommendations about the different devices, reading apps, eBook stores or the specific adventure travel eBooks you've downloaded?

Not looking for recommendations/advice for myself by the way - just throwing it open for discussion....

Thanks

Iain.

Sam Manicom 17 Mar 2011 14:06

Interesting to see this post from you Iain. My books have only just gone into e-book format on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk For a long while I was very sceptical about doing so - I like books! That I can hold that is.

But having now played with a Kindle, I can really see it's benefits. I haven't played with an i-pad yet but I hear good stuff about them too. And from my books point of view it really helps potential readers around the world to get hold of copies, where its difficult to snag a paperback version in particular.

The system is really easy to use too, and it has the benefit of potential buyers being able to read a good chunk of the first chapters before buying. Like the read? Buy it. Think its grim, no money spent, just a little time. Phew, I hope I'm not shooting myself in the foot with that comment!

I'll be interested to see what people think about e-books. Good idea? Paper books better?

John Ferris 17 Mar 2011 16:00

I have found a couple of old motorcycle books on Amazon that were very good.
Those British riding around before Ewan and Thingy.


Adventures of a Motorcycle Despatch Rider During the First World War [Kindle Edition]
By: W.H.L. Watson

Across America by motor-cycle (1922) [Kindle Edition]
By: C. K Shepherd

steved1969 17 Mar 2011 16:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Manicom (Post 328633)
I'll be interested to see what people think about e-books. Good idea? Paper books better?

Being new to the whole e-books idea I would say it almost entirely depends on the book.

If it's a reading book then I prefer the e-book approach, partly because of space (no need for huge bookshelves) but mostly for the convenience that it brings when purchasing books. Not only the convenience of being able to sample a book first, but it is so much easier to buy an e-book than a regular one, they are always in stock (assuming that an e-book version exists) and buying and receiving the book takes what, thirty seconds?

The only time I would prefer a paper book over an e-book would be if the book placed as much emphasis on photographs as it did on the written word. In that instance a paper book wins hands down.

Lonesome George 17 Mar 2011 17:00

I rode from Alaska to Panama with just books. I've bought a kindle for my Africa trip and so far I've been very happy with it. It saves a lot of space. You can load lots of books which means you don't HAVE to read the book you have or try to find someone to swap it with. And the battery lasts for ages.

A good buy in my opinion.

steved1969 17 Mar 2011 17:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lonesome George (Post 328659)
And the battery lasts for ages.

Important point that one, the thread is call eBooks, eReaders and Tablets - I own and use both a tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab) and an eBook reader (Kindle) and they are very very different beasts with respect to battery life. If the choice was between using eBooks on a tablet or paper books then paper books would win hands down. Tablets are only good for use as an eReader if you can charge them every few days or so (depending on use).

Sam Manicom 17 Mar 2011 17:46

Pictures are an issue. We looked hard at that before we put the books up as e-books. We tried to get round that by, within the e-books, pointing people at the website for the books where there are stacks of pictures.

You know, the only thing that kept popping into my mind as we were going through the process was that on the road we'd have missed out on some friend making opportunities. We are still friends with people we met as a result of looking for a book to swop. Then again, some of the available swops.... hmmmm.

And I'm told you can fit 300 e-books plus onto a Kindle. Now that's useful no?

Magnon 17 Mar 2011 19:00

My wife and I were discussing this just the other day. We are both avid readers and like books and as such have not taken much interest in E book readers.

When we spent a year on the road travelling from the UK to South Africa nearly 20 years ago pre internet, mobile phone, digital cameras and GPS we always had a selection of books with us but even so there were ocassions where we would run out and swops weren't always possible. We concluded that for the next trip we'd probably take something like an I pad a piece as we now need to check e mail frequently, my wife likes to write and I like to use the internet. We'd probaly combine 'phone and camera and not bother with GPS (although most smart phones have GPS facilities using google maps for emergencies). This combined with no camping and cooking means the luggage is getting less all the time :clap:

Redboots 17 Mar 2011 20:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Manicom (Post 328672)
And I'm told you can fit 300 e-books plus onto a Kindle. Now that's useful no?

Up to three thousand 500:innocent:


John

Caminando 17 Mar 2011 20:19

Like some who posted, I like the printed book. But I also recognise the future and the sheer handiness of these gismos. A few years ago I lugged 1000 of my books to a new home out of the UK. Maybe I shouldnt have bothered!

Can anyone tell me how you get a new book on your chosen gismo?
Of the gismos mentioned, any opinions on the 'best'?
How much does it cost to get a book?
Are there free, out of copyright books to get?
Are people offering books in the way you can download a free CD?
Are the books available usually just pulp fiction?

I note that Sam's book is available and that's certainly not pulp and is the kind of thing I want to get. For example how much is Sam's book in comparison to a paper book? Is there a financial saving?

I also note that the Municipal Library of Lyon in partnership with Google is scanning 500,000 books. Now that seems tasty if it doesnt cost the earth. Maybe the British Library has /will do the same.

IainHarper 17 Mar 2011 23:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Caminando (Post 328696)
Can anyone tell me how you get a new book on your chosen gismo?
Of the gismos mentioned, any opinions on the 'best'?
How much does it cost to get a book?
Are there free, out of copyright books to get?
Are people offering books in the way you can download a free CD?
Are the books available usually just pulp fiction?

I note that Sam's book is available and that's certainly not pulp and is the kind of thing I want to get. For example how much is Sam's book in comparison to a paper book? Is there a financial saving?

As with any kind of 'gismo', opinions will vary greatly about which one is the 'best'. To answer your other questions I'll use the Amazon Kindle as the example (which has something like 40%+ share of the eReader market)....

Once you've got a Kindle device and the associated Amazon Kindle account (free - just part of the setup), you browse the eBooks part of the Amazon website to find an ebook you want - exactly like you would for buying a printed book.

When you decide to purchase an eBook, it gets automatically downloaded to your Kindle device. You don't have to do anything clever - it just happens.

Prices for eBooks are generally a lot lower than for their printed equivalents. Sam's for example are 13.99 GBP for the paperbacks, but only 8.04 GBP for the eBooks.

Yes - there are loads of free/out of copyright books available. You get a few pre-loaded on the Kindle (e.g. Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice).

eBooks published as PDFs can be downloaded (to put on CD or whatever you like) although these aren't really eBooks in quite the same sense. You can read PDFs on the Amazon Kindle, but the quality is nowhere near as good as genuine eBooks that are produced specifically for the purpose.

Are they all pulp fiction? In a word, no. :)

There are lots of other places where eBooks can be purchased other than Amazon by the way.

Iain.

Sam Manicom 18 Mar 2011 08:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redboots (Post 328693)
Up to three thousand 500:innocent:


John

I knew there was a 3 in there somewhere! Must get my hearing aid recharged!!! : )

steved1969 18 Mar 2011 09:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Caminando (Post 328696)
Can anyone tell me how you get a new book on your chosen gismo?

As Iain mentioned, buying new books is easy, it's also worth pointing out that the download size of books is very small, so they download very quickly. As an example I have just fired up the Kindle application on my Galaxy Tab to purchase Sam's book 'Into Africa' - The entire process from entering the Kindle Store, finding the book, buying the book and then downloading it to the device took less than 30 seconds to complete. There is certainly a no more convenient way to shop for books.

One thing worth mentioning with the Kindle, they do two version, one connects via WiFi only, the other also has a sim card in it and can be used over 3G/GSM, this connection is free of charge, no download limits, no monthly charges and no roaming charges either. At present it can be used FOC in over 100 countries, not just for buying books, but also as a device for browsing the internet.

Caminando 19 Mar 2011 20:43

Thanx to those who gave info.

I'm looking for the cheapest options as I dont earn money. And it seems that there's stuff out there to suit this...

It's looking interesting!.....

Tim Cullis 19 Mar 2011 21:15

I love printed books and have a massive collection of factual books on history, geography, geology, travel and other 'serious' books. Nevertheless I've looked at the Kindle and I'd agree that if it's a straightforward read-and-discard type of book that you take on holiday and throw before you fly back then the eBook concept is fine. And I like the idea of being able to read out-of-copyright books FOC.

But the moment it's a book you want to keep and read again, or use as reference, then I'm afraid I want paper. And if it's a reference book I might want to use Post-it tabs to quickly delve to sections. I also have a habit of writing 'corrections' in the margins (lol).

I have a couple of old travel books in PDF format that I really want to read, but I can't be bothered sitting at a computer screen to do this. Maybe I should print them out!


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