I was one of the early eBook readers–I was also an early eBook author.  Illegally Dead was published in 2004 by the now defunct Pendulum Press.  I must say I was ahead of the curve.  My writer friends made it perfectly clear that eBooks didn’t count.  (They count now!)

I started out using the eReader application and read over a hundred books on my various, evolving Palm devices.  When I acquired my iPhone, I downloaded both the Kindle app and the eReader app.  Over time, I switched exclusively to the Kindle app.  I used a Kindle for a while, but sold it and now read on either my iPad or my iPhone.

I had a few dollars left on a Barnes and Noble gift card and decided to give the B&N Nook application a try.  It wasn’t because I’m dissatisfied with my Kindle app.  I have an iTunes account and the iBooks app, which I use from time to time.  I’ve also downloaded OverDrive Media Counsel, which is the program that allows downloads of Adobe EPUB ebook files for the iPhone and iPad from the Broward County Library (and others).

Those are my credentials to compare the readers.

While all of the applications allow mobile downloads and selectable font size, there is sizable variation with other features.  Keep in mind, however, that all the apps get the job done, providing an efficient digital read.

Website Amazon eReader iTunes Barnes and Noble Broward County Library
See link below See link below See link below See link below See link below or search for other libraries
Ease of use Simple when familiar Simple when familiar Simple when 

familiar

Simple when 

familiar.

Layout is easiest to browse.

Rather cumbersome, if you ask me.
Variety of selections Huge Huge Huge Huge Limited.  Also, the reader can only have a limited number of downloads active at one time.
Cost Varies but there are inexpensive and free reads available.  It’s harder to find the inexpensive books. Varies Varies Varies.  Has an under $5 link clearly posted Free
Availability Immediate Immediate Immediate Immediate Some immediate, but it’s 

common to “Place a hold”  and receive an email when available

The Application Kindle eReader iBooks Nook OverDrive
Library Yes Yes Yes Yes 3 week limit
Archive Yes Yes Yes Yes none
Mobile download Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sync to another device Yes No No Yes, seamlessly No
Pagination Numbers are the same on different devices but are different from print version Numbers are different when reading on the iPad versus the iPhone Numbers are different when reading on the iPad versus the iPhone Page numbers are the same on the different devices. Numbers are different when reading on the iPad versus the iPhone
Screen color Black, white, or sepia Multiple themes White Black, white, and sepia themes White
Page Turning Tap or swipe Selectable to swipe or tap, not both at the same time Tap or swipe Tap or swipe Tap or swipe
Dictionary Internally linked, seamless. (The most efficient) Has online options. Links to dictionary downloaded as part of the service Links to embedded dictionary Links to dictionary with online options as well None
Search Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Extras pdf reader included

http://www.amazon.com

http://www.ereader.com

http://www.apple.com/itunes/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks/index.asp

http://broward.lib.overdrive.com

If you’ve discovered a cool feature or a way to access something I got wrong or excluded, make a comment.  I’ll update the table if there are enough replies.

Keep reading.

GEB

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