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Kindle for traveling kids?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
We're preparing to sell our house and live on the road in the next few months. We already home/un/school, and the older girls LOVE the library - we always have dozens of books checked out, several requests, plus books galore at home. However, once we're living in a tiny home and traveling most of the time, library and book ownership will be severely limited.

So, I've been thinking about electronic books. I don't know much about the brands or options, so I've got some research to do ... but I've heard that the kindle is "easy" on the eyes. We've also considered getting an Ipad with kindle app - do you read it the same way>?

DD's will be turning 12, 7 & 2 during the winter, plus there is Christmas ... cost isn't that big of a concern, since it will be nearly the only thing they get for their presents. I'm more concerned whether or not there is age-appropriate reading material available - AND preferable cheap or free books (library?).

What about educational materials? workbooks ... science ... geography maps ... stuff like that?

thanks!
--janis
post #2 of 18
All the electronic readers (Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo) use basically the same display technology -- eInk. It's not backlit, so it's very much like reading on paper and doesn't strain your eyes like a computer display.

The iPad IS backlit and I would not want to read whole books on it.

I have a Kindle -- the book selection is pretty good, including lots of children's titles, both classic and brand-new. Percy Jackson, Beverly Cleary, A Series of Unfortunate Events -- that's just scratching the surface, there's really a lot available. The free books are mostly going to be public-domain classics: Tom Sawyer, Little Women, E. Nesbit, Alice in Wonderland ... otherwise, most children's titles run around $5-7.

You can't use library books with the Kindle. Some other readers do accomodate library books, but before you commit yourself see whether your library offers the service, and what kind of titles they have. You may find there's not much available.

Educational materials -- at this point, there isn't much. I have a foreign-language phrasebook I got free, and the Kindle comes pre-loaded with a dictionary. It's a poor format for things like maps because it's a black-and-white screen and the display is small. Workbooks wouldn't make any sense on an eReader, because you can't write in them.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
well, I was really thinking about "workbooks" in the sense of reading and discussing things. My kids don't object as much to "learning" as long as it doesn't involve writing answers. sigh.
post #4 of 18
Oh, I see. And I went and looked, and these look like fun. There's a whole series: http://www.amazon.com/One-Minute-Mys...789795&sr=1-12

I suspect my kid would like them too! She won't read my Kindle, though -- she says it's not a "real book."
post #5 of 18
I have both the kindle and the ipad. Sure, the kindle uses e-ink but you will need a light to read it in all but well lit areas. You are also limited in what file types are compatible with it. The beauty of the ipad is that you have access to kindle ebooks, the Apple ebookstore, Barnes and Nobles ebooks, kobo and a whole host of other games, maps and book applications. I've traveled extensively with both and I think the kids could get a lot of enjoyment out of ipad, especially the older ones because if you get them the 3G version they have internet everywhere, they can track where you are traveling on google maps and use the other apps to check out what attractions are nearby that they might want to visit, plus email friends and relatives and it's easy to read in low light or the dark. You can get a camera connector for it so they can sync the pics from your digital camera to the ipad and post them online if you have a family website or email them to friends and family.

There are really wonderful ebooks for ipad for young children too check out this Alice in Wonderland one
post #6 of 18
I would get the Kindle DX. You can go on the internet with those too in a limited way. And backlit ... well you can buy a book light for a Kindle. I would not want my kids reading a backlit screen close to bedtime. Bad for the melatonin production. Reminds me too much of chickens living in an artificially shortened day.

I plan to get those for my kids but do not know when I will want to spend the money.
post #7 of 18
I went with the Nook. I almost went with the Sony ereader but the Nook had an awesome sale going on at the time.

At that point in time, before Kindles latest update, we found out Kindle was not compatible with our library's format.

We also had a friend very angry because Kindle's software (down loads) air proprietary. So if you decide to by another ereader or put it on your computer it may not be compatible.

There are plenty of books and free books for Nook and Sony eReaders.

For the Nook the expanded memory is larger. I have 8g but could go up to 16g. Sony was larger (I was looking at the midrange one). I have about 3g of music on my nook. Kindles I think was 2g (less so it was a draw back).

Wifi, 3g, download capability. I got the wifi one, the better connection for my purposes did not seem worth it. If I was moving and could not be sure of my internet connection then I would think about the 3g.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
I would get the Kindle DX. You can go on the internet with those too in a limited way.
Yeah, I've done it. But really it's like comparing a 1982 DOS computer to a 2010 imac
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
I would not want my kids reading a backlit screen close to bedtime. Bad for the melatonin production.
I read in bed sometimes using an inexpensive LED booklight and sometimes off my iPad. The booklight is much brighter than the iPad with the brightness level down.

Miranda
post #10 of 18
Also, black background with white text puts off very little light but is extremely easy to read.
post #11 of 18
I had the Nook (the eReader from B and N) and when the iPad came out, promptly returned the Nook for one. It has SO MUCH MORE you can do on it, and it's worth the extra money over the eReader. Like the PP said you have access to much more on the iPad than you do on any ereader device. Just mho, but if you can swing it financially, go for the ipad. I have downloaded books on to my iPad and read them just fine, my eyes don't hurt any more than they would reading a paper book for an hour or more, yk? Plus, you can sit in bed in the dark and read.
post #12 of 18
Yes I have had a kindle and sold it to get the ipad. I love it and so do my kids! Its very easy to change the background color to black. You just go into your accessibility under settings and very simple to just go on or off. I can still read my old books I had on my kindle with the kindle app for ipad.
post #13 of 18
We haven't purchased an Ereader yet so I don't have input on what to purchase, but the reason we are looking at buying one is to use with the currcula we are using this year. Many of those who publish homeschool curricula have gone to offering their materials in PDF format.

We are currently using Connect the Thoughts for Science and History and will swtich to if for creative writing in Jan:http://www.connectthethoughts.net/
Big Books of Lively Latin: http://livelylatin.com/site/index.php

Currclick has a wide variety of PDFs: http://www.currclick.com/
and Pandia Press makes both science and History available in PDF: http://www.pandiapress.com/history_odyssey.htm
post #14 of 18
sha_lyn, you've just touched on exactly the question I was about to ask. Can you read pdf's on the Kindle/Kobo/etc? I'm sure you can read them on an iPad, I'm wondering specifically about the e-readers.

I think I'm wondering for the very same reason as shal_lyn -- we use a LOT of e-book curriculum that's in pdf. Some gets printed off, for the workbooky pages, some needs to be on a 'real' computer because it's full of weblinks, but a lot of it is just to read... or instructions for the pages that are printed out that would be nice to be portable.

I've made do with an old pocket PC, but I'm curious about the e-readers now.
post #15 of 18
If the chart I found on wkipedia is correct, they can all read PDFs except for the Azbooka (whichI haven't even heard of)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...e-book_formats
post #16 of 18
FWIW my current roommate has a Kindle and after a year its just about 'dead'. The Kindle won't always hold a charge, the buttons dont always work correctly etc. The few times I've tried to read on it, I get a headache. IDK if its because I have glasses or what but I just dont care for Kindle. I've only seen the IPAD in Apple stores but it seems to do so much more plus the color screen does not hurt my eyes.

But then again if I want to download books I have that ability from my local library so... Im just not sold on the e-readers yet. However I am totally NOT sold on Kindle- if that makes any sense at all.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilMamiBella View Post
Yes I have had a kindle and sold it to get the ipad. I love it and so do my kids! Its very easy to change the background color to black. You just go into your accessibility under settings and very simple to just go on or off. I can still read my old books I had on my kindle with the kindle app for ipad.
So is reading white text onto black hard on the eyes? My impression of the Kindle is that it still looks like paper, so wouldn't that be black text on white but unlit background?

Just trying to get all the facts!

If we buy an Ipad, it will really be for me - I'm not ready to share the internet so freely with the kids.

I've also heard that maybe the Nook is more what I want ...
post #18 of 18
I much prefer the sepia option to white-on-black, but I think it's a personal thing. Some people really like white-on-black, though I think they're in the minority. But for someone worried about light exposure at bedtime (as Marsupialmom mentioned) this would give just a tiny fraction of the light of reading from a regular book with a bedside lamp or booklight or whatever.

I'm not sure whether the kindle or nook do white-on-black. The iPad certainly does, both for iBooks and in the Kindle app.

Miranda
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