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Ebook Reader for College

  1. Dec 1, 2009 #1
    hi, I'm thinking of getting an eBook reader this Christmas for college. However, before I do I would like to know how effective it would be for studying. Does anyone have any experience using ebook readers in college?

    I'm studying physics and maths (and material science but maybe not next year). I try to read my textbooks but I mainly use them for reference.

    There are somethings I'd like to know about ebook readers:
    1) Are there many textbooks available for them and are they cheap or free (I'm in the UK by the way), and are there ebook versions of the main textbooks?

    2) Can the ebook readers annotate the ebooks?

    3) Can ebook readers display pictures?

    4) Can I add my own files?

    I'm aware that there are different ebook readers but I'd like to find one that can do all the above. Any other comments / thoughts are also wanted
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2009 #2
    I own a Kindle 2. I wouldn't consider it as good as a text (not as yet at least). The texts that are available for purchase can be downloaded and converted to Kindle format (which now supports PDF), but there isn't so much variety as one would have with texts. It would be a better option to borrow the books needed from a library.

    1/ You can get many free textbooks online and convert them to PDF format. Check the Math and Science Learning Materials forum. Many texts are good. By main textbooks, if you refer to the standard texts used at college, you will have to check amazon.com to see their list.

    2/ For Kindle 2, annotation is not yet a feature for PDF files. For txt files, such a feature is available, but who has plaintext text books?

    3/ Yes

    4/ Yes
  4. Dec 3, 2009 #3
    You can read books from the site named <a href="http://www.ebookserenity.com/">http://www.ebookserenity.com//</a>.. [Broken] You can try out this site for downloading!!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Dec 3, 2009 #4


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    anirudh, do any of the ebook readers display color pictures? For example, my Kindle will display pictures, but they are black and white and poor quality (think black and white newspaper photos). I love the Kindle for reading books, but would not recommend it for textbooks or studying. I don't know if any other ebook readers really have addressed those issues yet either.

    As far as I know, for textbooks, you're still better off reading the ebooks on a computer screen than an ebook reader. Part of that is also due to some layout issues and scaling for screen size. For textbooks, I really think we need a larger screen, like an 8 x 10 screen (don't really need the margins so much). I think that would still be a great improvement over the standard textbook for students to just carry around a single ebook reader with all their books loaded onto it. But, then again, might as well go for a lightweight laptop and have everything you'd need in one place.

    I still would keep paper books, myself, because I'm old-fashioned and just use textbooks in a different way than what an ebook reader allows, but I can understand the strong appeal for a student to spare their back and not lug around giant textbooks all day.
  6. Dec 3, 2009 #5
    Hey moonbear,
    I think there was a super-expensive color e-book reader that came out a while ago. I think it was this one
    I think they are having problems using the e-ink technology to display color. The Kindle 2 has 16 shades of gray which makes it one of the best as of now. I have science papers and books on my Kindle, and I must say I am satisfied. This is, ofcourse, after the firmware update that has come out on Nov. 24th. This makes it convenient to read books by introducing native PDF support and also by introducing the option to rotate your screen. This option has made it possible to "zoom in" on PDF files, making it easy on the eyes. (Boy, I make a good sales pitch if I say so myself :tongue:)

    A laptop might be a good option, but it is harsh on one's eyes. As you mentioned, there is also the additional bonus of portability.
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