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Kindle, Nook or iPad? How to Choose the Right eBook Reader for You

Kindle, Nook or iPad? How to Choose the Right eBook Reader for You

    There are many different eBook readers available on the market these days, but three stand out from the pack: the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Apple iPad.  Each has their own pluses and minuses and all are fabulous devices, but its easy to get overwhelmed with all of the features. If you’re in the market for an eBook reader and are looking at the Kindle, Nook or iPad, check out my handy guide below which will help you make your decision.

    The Amazon Kindle

    There are two varieties of the Kindle – the Wi-Fi only version, and the Wi-Fi + 3G.  The Wi-Fi only version is priced at $139, while the Wi-Fi + 3G version is priced at $189. Amazon touts their new 3rd generation devices as their best yet.

    The Kindle sports a 6-inch E Ink screen, which if you are not familiar with, is much easier on the eyes than your traditional laptop or desktop screen.  Looking at one, it looks amazingly like a matte piece of paper, and there is no glare or reflections.  It’s exceptionally light and sized closer than ever to a mass market paperback book, so it doesn’t feel like you are holding a clunky device.

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    The downside of  the Kindle is its refresh rate, which Amazon says they have improved.  It’s still not quite as fast as flipping a page in a traditional book, and this is because of the E Ink screen.  But, in terms of the Kindle, it’s their best reading experience yet.

    The Kindle also features the Webkit browser, which is sufficient if you just want to look something up online while you’re reading, but it’s definitely not for heavy or regular internet use.  Still, it’s interesting to see the Web in full-on grayscale.

    The latest version also supports PDF files, which is a major bonus, but it does not yet support EPUB files (boo!). There’s also a feature that allows you to share your books.

    Who Should Buy It:

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    Those who just want a nice reading experience, and who aren’t concerned about all the bells and whistles.  As of publication, the Kindle Store has just over 900,000 titles to choose from, so you’ll have a fairly good selection of books to choose from.  If you’re an Amazon Associate and earn gift certificates for your commission, this might also sway your choice because you can apply them to your purchase.  The same goes for SwagBucks users who might cash in their points for Amazon gift cards.

    The Barnes & Noble Nook

    There are actually two varieties of the Nook to choose from, the Nook ($149) and NookColor ($249).  The standard Nook features a 6-inch E Ink screen and is most similar to the Kindle.  If all you want to do is read, this is a great device.

    The NookColor features a 7-inch, full-color touchscreen LCD screen, and offers enhanced books, magazines, newspapers, & interactive kids books, and can be used as a media player as well.

    Both the Nook and NookColor include the unique LendMe feature, which allows you to share eBooks with your friends, something that the Kindle lacks.  B&N also has a Lifetime Library, which allows you to store your favorite books for download anytime, anywhere, with any device that you have the Nook app installed on.

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    With over 2 million titles to choose from, you’ve got a great selection of books to read.

    Who Should Buy It:

    If you want lots of choice in terms of titles, the Nook has it.  B&N has more than twice the number of titles available as the Kindle.  If you want an upgraded reading experience, with color instead of grayscale, a nice internet browsing experience, and lots of features, get the NookColor.

    The Apple iPad

    The Apple iPad is not a dedicated eBook reader.  Rather, it is a computer device with eBook reader functionalities and capabilities. The iPad features a 9.1-inch full-color touchscreen LCD, and because of it’s larger screen size you can turn the screen horizontally and have 2 pages of an eBook open at a time, just like a real book.  Just like the NookColor though, the downside is that it is LCD, so you might not be able to read on it comfortably for as long as you could on a device with an E Ink screen.

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    The iTunes store offers you both eBooks and audiobooks that you can download to your iPad (as well as your iPhone and iPod). The 2nd generation model that was recently released starts at 16GB of storage and $499, with prices and storage capacity going up from there.

    Who Should Buy It:

    Casual readers or those who want a tablet computer first that can also serve as an eBook reader.  Apple fanboys and iTunes addicts will also like this.

    My thoughts:

    If you’re a serious reader and don’t care about frills, go for the Kindle or the Nook.  If you want something with all the bells and whistles, the NookColor is your best value and the iPad is the best all-in-one device.  If I were to be in the market to buy an eBook reader now, my choice would be the NookColor, which you can also reportedly hack and turn into an Android tablet computer.

    Readers – what eBook reader do you have? Do you like it? What made you choose it over the others? Do you have any additional tips and advice for our readers? Please share in the comments!

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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