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I had never heard of an e-reader prior to learning about the K.  I had seen a Sony in Target and B&N from a distance, but never bothered to explore it.  My question is, what did users of other e-books do before Amazon came along with all of their e-book offerings?  Is Sony's store as extensive?  Were there other companies that had e-readers?  Where did they get their books?
Just curious.
Thanks, deb
 

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There are other places you can buy electronic books, I frequently buy books from Fictionwise which offers books in many different formats.
 

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I'd heard of e book readers off and on over the years.  They were always too expensive or for one reason or another just didn't float my boat.  In the last year or two I'd seen Sony advertising in the Washington Metro.  I saw the Amazon Kindle when they released it and thought it was intriguing. . . . .especially the whispernet part and one of the things that did not excite me about other readers was having to load up books with a USB cable or something.   I didn't think it looked as sexy as the Sony, but I did my research and due diligence -- checked out the Sony at the Sony store in Tysons Corner Mall -- and decided to buy my Kindle last July.  By that time I knew that there were a LOT of books at Amazon available for the Kindle as well as A LOT MORE free public domain books from other places.

Ann
 

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I read ebooks on my Palm T/X for about a year before I got my Kindle, and enjoyed them.  I liked the backlight, I could read in the dark (just sayin').  One feature I wish I had on the Kindle was the ability to scroll through a book and set the scroll speed for my reading speed.  (Too lazy to even turn pages, LOL!)  I could also choose the font face I liked out of four or five choices.

Betsy
 

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I started reading ebooks on my desktop then notebook starting in 2000(I think) with MS Reader.  I used to purchase books from Simonsays, Amazon, and ereader.com  I then purchased an HP ipaq rx3100 Pocket PC primarily to read ebooks.  I used both Microsoft Reader and eReader.  That worked great for awhile but I eventually started reading regular books again.  Reading a lot on a normal LCD tends to give me bad eyestrain and headaches.  Anyway, I've been very pleased with my Kindle 2 so far.  I've always loved the concept of eBooks and am happy to see that it seems to be starting to go mainstream.
 

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I used my computer and then the revamped Rocket that was rebranded as Ebookwise which was a subset of Fictionwise.
 

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I had one of the original Rocket Ebooks (1999).  To this day I think it was an absolutely superior reader.  The only thing that would have to have been improved over the 10 years would be weight, as it was pretty heavy.  However, it has a high resolution touch screen and is a terrific reader (I still use it occasionally to reread some of the books I got for it).  The reason it never caught fire, I think, is that there weren't enough books available for it and the books that were available were too expensive.  Publishers were determined to charge as much or more for ebooks as for physical books.  Sound familiar?
 

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ellenoc said:
I had one of the original Rocket Ebooks (1999). To this day I think it was an absolutely superior reader. The only thing that would have to have been improved over the 10 years would be weight, as it was pretty heavy. However, it has a high resolution touch screen and is a terrific reader (I still use it occasionally to reread some of the books I got for it). The reason it never caught fire, I think, is that there weren't enough books available for it and the books that were available were too expensive. Publishers were determined to charge as much or more for ebooks as for physical books. Sound familiar?
I liked the eBookwise revamp of the Rocket. I agree it was heavy but I actually liked the "bulge" that housed the battery because it made a nice handgrip. The screen was nice for the time but the text was not as crisp as I would have liked and within 30 minutes in the sun the backlit screen had gotten so dark I could not read the text. This was a major bummer on my cruise.
 

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I had been reading eBooks on my PDA for some years before Kindle. It was definitely secondary to DTBs for me as I really didn't care for reading on such a small screen. But it came in handy when traveling, which I did a great deal of back then. I purchased primarily from Fictionwise, but pickins were slim.

I went into my Fictionwise account and found that I bought my first eBook from them back in Feb. of 2003.
 

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>I liked the eBookwise revamp of the Rocket.>

The original Rocket had a higher resolution screen than anything that came after it.  Since I never read outside, the fact the backlit screen didn't do well outside didn't matter to me, and since I do read in bed, the backlighting was appreciated.  IMO it was superior to Kindle in several ways:  backlighting, shape (I also liked the bulging roll on one side), ability to change the screen orientation, and no keyboard making it bigger.  Of course it was inferior to the Kindle in many more ways, but I wish the original inventors had kept refining it instead of selling it to a company that just cheapened it.  Watching what happened to the Rocket made me very reluctant to invest in another ereader.  When Kindle came along I finally decided to take a chance that Amazon would actually stick with it and be able to make enough books available so that an ereader would be worthwhile.  So far so good, but I'll admit if Amazon doesn't come up with folders in a future iteration, and if publishers continue their push to charge as much for an ebook as for physical books, I won't be buying another Kindle.
 

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ellenoc said:
>I liked the eBookwise revamp of the Rocket.>

The original Rocket had a higher resolution screen than anything that came after it. Since I never read outside, the fact the backlit screen didn't do well outside didn't matter to me, and since I do read in bed, the backlighting was appreciated. IMO it was superior to Kindle in several ways: backlighting, shape (I also liked the bulging roll on one side), ability to change the screen orientation, and no keyboard making it bigger. Of course it was inferior to the Kindle in many more ways, but I wish the original inventors had kept refining it instead of selling it to a company that just cheapened it. Watching what happened to the Rocket made me very reluctant to invest in another ereader. When Kindle came along I finally decided to take a chance that Amazon would actually stick with it and be able to make enough books available so that an ereader would be worthwhile. So far so good, but I'll admit if Amazon doesn't come up with folders in a future iteration, and if publishers continue their push to charge as much for an ebook as for physical books, I won't be buying another Kindle.
I also had a Rocket (in fact I still have it). It was a bit heavy but I too was dismayed with the lack of longevity of the format. Luckily I had mostly free public domain works on my Rocket. I guess I never really trusted that it would last - the selection never convinced me that they were in it for the long haul. I remember the screen being pretty crisp but it was definitely better suited to reading in the dark than in bright sunlight. But I probably read in the dark more often than I read outside.
(I burn too easily
)
 

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I had heard of the Rocket ebook reader when it first came out back in the 90's, and I was intrigued with the idea, but not enough to actually buy it. Then I looked into it back in 2007, not too long before Amazon announced the Kindle, and I was disappointed to find that it was no longer being manufactured. And of course the Sony Reader was out at least a year before the Kindle - I have a problem with Sony that I won't get into here, but the relatively small book catalog was also a deterrent.
 

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My husband has something called Bookeens but I really don't know much about it.  I know when he got it I told him he should get a kindle that was before I even owned mine.  He tried to pawn his bookeens one off on me I told him keep it and I got the Kindle 2.
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
I read ebooks on my Palm T/X for about a year before I got my Kindle, and enjoyed them. I liked the backlight, I could read in the dark (just sayin'). One feature I wish I had on the Kindle was the ability to scroll through a book and set the scroll speed for my reading speed. (Too lazy to even turn pages, LOL!) I could also choose the font face I liked out of four or five choices.

Betsy
Yes to all of this. Except I started in 2000. I still read books on my PDA phone.
 

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After endless grumbling about the 7-10 books that I would pack into my luggage for every trip, DH bought me a Gemstar ebook in 2002. I loved it, especially the backlighting (it made a great nightlight in unfamiliar hotel rooms), but it was hard to see in the sun and the book selection wasn't great. In 2003, Gemstar discontinued it. However, before it disappeared, I bought about 40 books, and then only used it on vacation so that I could make them last until a new reader came along. In 2006, I discovered that Fictionwise had bought the rights to the old Gemstar reader and I could buy new books from them. I only had about 5 books left by then, so I immediately loaded up again, and started using it all the time. Luckily, when my Gemstar finally started fading last year, the Kindle had been released. It's a huge improvement in most ways (and so many more books are available for it), but I must say, I do miss the backlighting.
 

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I saw advertisements for ebook readers before the Kindle, but nothing ever reached out and grabbed me. I just never had the time to read. I had my mp3 player, then my iPod and was perfectly content listening to audio books. I saw the Kindle on Amazon and knew I had to have it. I think it took about a month to buy it and then another month to wait for it to show up.
 

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I started reading books on my Palm E2 and bought my books from fictionwise.  I wasn't real thrilled with it and kept toying with the idea of buying a Franklin Bookman for a while.  Then came the Kindle and the rest is history.
 
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