Shannon Stacey

My iPod, AKA reading central

I’ve been asked this question twice in the last week: “Hey, Shan, since you only read digital, when are you going to upgrade to a real ebook reader?” Real, in this context, meaning dedicated, I guess—the Sony Reader, the Nook, the Kindle—instead of my iPod Touch.

First of all, I have a Sony 505. I prefer the iPod. And as for upgrading to a new and improved model? No reason to. I’m pretty happy reading digital books on my iPod Touch.

Here’s a screenshot of my “reading page” (1 of 6 screens of apps—ouch):

I can read almost anything from almost anywhere, which enables me to shop around for the best price. That’s usually Amazon, but Fictionwise has good sales and they own my Micropay rebate-loving soul.

I’d say Stanza’s the reading app I use most often. That’s how I read the books I buy from Fictionwise or BooksonBoard or most other retailers.

Then comes the Kindle app. Between the free books they offer and having the lowest prices on the books I buy, I’ve been using it a lot more often. (People tell me I’m crazy, but I truly believe it’s slighly harder on the battery than Stanza.) It might even be an even split between the Kindle and Stanza apps now.

And just in case B&N has a good deal, I’ve got the B&N eReader app. So far I’ve kept the dictionary, though I usually use the app (but because I spend a substantial amount of time in a place with no internet, having an offline version is handy) and a free non-fiction title that looked intriguing. It’s definitely not going to replace Stanza or Kindle as my favorite reading apps.

The eReader app I rarely use, but occasionally Stanza will refuse to grab a book from my Fictionwise bookshelf, so I’ll grab it with eReader. Glitches in the Stanza/FW relationship are the only time I use it, though.

I’ve played with the Kobo app a little, but I don’t really get it. As far as I can tell, the books stay in “the cloud” and the cloud doesn’t work for me. I spend every other weekend from April to November in a land with no cloud—hell, they’re still dial-up—so I have little interest in that.

The Classics app I grabbed mostly because it’s pretty and I really do need to brush up on my classics. Mostly it just sits there and looks pretty, though.

Indiebound I use for the lists, which are interesting and highlight books I might not otherwise hear about. While I try not to be, I’m a little biased against indies, though, because the ones I’ve been in here in NH have been outrageously snotty.

The Audiobooks app I haven’t really used a lot, though I always mean to. I just don’t have the attention span for audio books, so my mind wanders and then I have no idea what’s going on.

Then my news apps—NYT, CNN, USA Today, etcetera.

That doesn’t even touch on the other five screens worth of apps that manage a billion different aspects of my life. Why would I pay $300 for a device with only one purpose (and generally one bookstore)?

8 comments to “My iPod, AKA reading central”

  1. Kelly
      · February 17th, 2010 at 5:08 pm · Link

    See I think people that don’t like the iPod touch cause it’s too small to read from should wait for the iPad…why not get all the other functions availible along with the ereader applications too.

    I’m never without my iPod Touch. After playing with my son’s iPod, I had to have one to replace my eBookman. Boy was that an upgrade.

    I have a question, which app do you use to read eHarlequin books? I haven’t gotten one directly from eHarlequin cause in the past I’ve heard others mention having issues with reading from their Kindle. Everytime I scanded the site for a book I want I end up purchasing it from other locations. Would rather buy direct.

    I listen to audio books on it as well. If you are interested in listening to audio books check out iTunes first cause sometimes they are a bit cheaper…and so easy to purchase/download.

  2. Angela James
      · February 17th, 2010 at 10:25 pm · Link

    The Stanza app is actually in my bottom, main row. With the phone/messages/browser. Now that is sad!

    Did you see that B&N is starting to have free books that are different from Amazon? The one I grabbed today was Flawless, which is non-fic, but looks interesting. You should go get it, can read it on the B&N app.

  3. Samantha
      · February 17th, 2010 at 11:43 pm · Link

    See this is a picture of exactly why I don’t have a dedicated device so many options, and just for reading books! Eventually someone will make a larger device that will do it all (or apple will get off the horse and let flash in) and I will get one of those, I just can’t do a netbook, the too small for 2 hands but too big for thumbs keyboards irritate me and the next “hand held” I get will do movies (flash) as well as reading and might as well be physically attached to me.

    I see you have the great time suck wikipanion too, I can get lost for hours in that app just clicking the next article in the series. European monarchs, world cuisines Olympic athletes you name it.

  4. Shannon
      · February 18th, 2010 at 12:13 am · Link

    Kelly, there’s currently no LEGAL way to read an ebook bought directly from the eHarlequin site on the iPhone/iPod Touch. It can only be done by cracking the DRM, which is illegal. I prefer to buy direct from the site, as well, to take advantage of sales and the fact they release the books a month early digitally, but the only simple/legal way is to buy them through 3rd parties, such as Amazon and Fictionwise. I keep hoping they’ll come out with a format for us.

    Angie, Flawless is the one I grabbed. (Thank heavens for huh? ) It wasn’t a book I’d have gone looking for but when I saw it listed I thought it looked interesting and you never know when it could be research.

    I didn’t know I could put Stanza in the bottom row. I’ll have to look into that because I never, ever use the “stock” video button down there.

    Samantha, it does bug me at times that the iPod doesn’t support flash, but it’s not something I run across a lot. And you can’t have an iPod without Wikipanion! I use it every day. That and IMDB

  5. Shannon
      · February 18th, 2010 at 2:04 am · Link

    Now Stanza and the Kindle app are holding places of honor in my bottom bar. Moved videos & photos out. :)

  6. Shannon
      · February 18th, 2010 at 2:27 pm · Link

    I thought about getting the Kindle DX for my husband. He liked the e-ink screen of the Sony, but eyesight’s a bit of an issue. I can get him to muster enough enthusiasm for digital reading to justify the expense, though.

    And at this point, I’ll probably wait and see how the iPad turns out. Thinking about holding out for second gen if I can wait that long.

  7. Ellen Fisher
      · February 18th, 2010 at 1:23 pm · Link

    I love my Kindle DX, but then I need a big screen because I keep resisting getting bifocals:-). By now I’ve gotten used to the big screen and probably wouldn’t enjoy reading from a smaller one. If I were buying this year, I’d probably wait to see what the iPad looks like (even though I can’t say the name without snickering, LOL).

    It’s great that there are so many options out there, and that the ebook reader world continues to expand. Moving two thousand books convinced me of the worth of ebooks like nothing else could have. I want to keep the buying of paper books to an absolute minimum from now on!

  8. Kelly
      · February 19th, 2010 at 12:49 am · Link

    Thanks Shannon. I was wondering about eHarl. but since the ones I’ve wanted were availible at third party venues I grumbled for having to wait but other than that didn’t worry too much about it.

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