I purchased a smart phone in November 2009 for the first time, and since my phone is Android based I had a hard time vetting the right eReader for it. You may disagree with me, please do, in fact. I may be wrong, so I hope to learn more about this from anyone reading this.
iPod Touch eReader by Adactio
Aldiko: This came pre-loaded as an app on my phone, and I love the interface and how it works, but I couldn’t easily transfer ebooks to it. In fact, I never figured out if it’s even possible to buy new books and add them to this reader. I could read all the creative commons books I wanted and while The Invisible Man is really great, and stuff, I don’t want to be forced to read Middlemarch just because that’s all I can find to read.
Calibre: I really loved the idea here, and I still do. Calibre lets you manage all of your ebooks from desktop to phone to laptop to work computer, etc. I tried it, and I loved it, but I still didn’t have any new ebooks to read on it. Maybe once I’ve built up a few ebooks I will use this to manage them, but I still had none. Except The Invisible Man and Middlemarch.
NetLibrary via Ada Community Library: I love the idea of this because I am such a voracious reader that spending $20 every other day on a new ebook is an outrageous expense, to me. However, I tried to search for fictional books only, and that wasn’t available as a limiter. I did search fiction as a keyword and found Middlemarch and some other books, but mostly I didn’t enjoy the selection. I didn’t even get to the part where I would download software. Something tells me that would be difficult.
Overdrive: I tried out the eaudiobooks from Boise Public Library with Overdrive. I downloaded the app Overdrive Media Console to my Android phone, but I can’t download eaudiobooks to my phone. First I have to download them to a desktop or laptop and then I can transfer the files to my phone.
I called for help at some point because in the catalog for the Overdrive titles ebooks show up. The staff who answered told me that even though the titles show up, that doesn’t mean we have access to them. This bummed me out because eaudiobooks are not preferred. I find them to be incredibly, terribly slow. Like I said, I’m a voracious reader. I don’t have patience. The only eaudiobook I ever enjoyed was when someone gifted us The Da Vinci Code and we were at the tail end of a ten day road trip that ended crossing Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.
So, with Overdrive I am so far the most satisfied, but the selection is still lacking. I only found 147 eaudiobooks in English. I didn’t want to read American Pastoral again, and I don’t want to read 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. I searched for Pulitzer Prize winners and received no results. I guess I should be clear about what I’m looking for. I’d like to read new books (like past week new), bestsellers, or at least award winning books that are fiction on my phone.
Barnes and Noble Desktop eBook Reader aka B&N eReader: I really, really, really liked this interface. I downloaded it to my PC and was able to read sample chapters of books I might want to read, as well as a few sample books (freebies!) that were not Middlemarch. Does Barnes and Noble have an app yet for Android? No, they don’t – even though the Kindle is Android based. But allegedly they will by “Summer 2010.”
Amazon Kindle App for Android: This is coming soon. So, not yet available. I wonder what it will be like. In the meantime, I still want to read books on my phone.
eReader.com: I was somewhat dubious about this company when I first happened upon it, but with some closer inspection I noticed that it is a part of Barnes and Noble. This made me trust the website/company a bit more. I reluctantly downloaded the app to my device. I purchased a new ebook that I wanted to read, and I read it! I read it quickly, and happily. It automatically bookmarked where I’d left off, but still has a bookmarking function. Now, selection is better than the other companies. I suspect this has to do with Barnes and Noble. However, I wouldn’t say it’s great, but I expect it to get better.
B&N’s Lend Me eBooks: This really doesn’t have much to do with my Android phone at all. I can’t use this feature on my phone yet but I expect it to be a feature soon. The Lend Me eBooks program features new releases. Kathryn Sockett’s The Help is listed in this pool. Lend Me would allow us readers to share our eBooks like we shared books way back when (I know, we all still do that).
WordPlayer: This is probably the best eReader for reading Google Books or any of the freely available eBooks. Of course, this is really only relevant for free, self published titles (vampire romance anyone?) or public domain titles.
FBreader: This apparently will work with a bunch of eBook formats, but I had trouble loading titles. Maybe it’s just me, but I really want it to be easy. Still, could be a promising tool for some. Do you like it? Let me know.
Confused yet? I really, really am too. If you want to find out more about all the different eBook formats available, try this handy link on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats
Happy exploring, and please share what you find!