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Tiri

What ebook reader are you using?

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Tiri

I started to have a problem when I couldn't pack all my books into luggage to take them back home. I obviously need to start reading ebooks. Here's my problem though: I don't know anything about them. Does every ebook reader support chinese characters? Is it safe to order an ebook reader from Taobao? And which one is the best at affordable price? I ask you guys to share your experience. 

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yi78

I have a Cybook Odyssey (actually a Saraiva Lev, but it's the exact same device) which supports Chinese quite well. Mine already came with a proper Chinese font, and you can add your own if you want. Sometimes you do have to specify which font you want so it displays different languages properly (which probably won't be a problem if you only read one language in addition to English since any font supports the latter). There's a version with backlight, and I expect that all newer models have the same Chinese support if not better. When I bought mine it was more affordable than the competitors and with better functions.

 

I don't know much about other devices.

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Luxi

Chinese characters are not a problem these days, they're usually there and most devices and apps have simplified and traditional characters.

It all depends on where you'll get your ebooks from and what file type they use. Ebooks you buy from Amazon generally can only be read with an Amazon Kindle reader, I don't know if the DangDang Reader and similar devices in China are more flexible, you'll have to ask people who have them, but you should expect the same restrictions in most serious stores. The 'epub' file format is generally more flexible and can be read in multiple devices (though not in a Kindle)

In most (all?) cases, you'll be able to upload your own DRM-free files (text, pdfs, Word docs), but some functions in the Reader may not work well with them. Pdfs, if not OCR'd, can be quite illegible.

A Reader bought from Taobao or eBay or similar independent sources, may give you very limited choice of reading DRM-material, there are ways around but they involve removing the DRM and, therefore, are not legal.

If you're happy reading from a PC or tablet screen, you may not need an e-ink Reader to start with. E-book stores have their own free reading app, some are quite sophisticated and have very nice features - choice of fonts, embedded dictionaries, note-taking and highlighting, etc. The e-ink reader is essential for reading outside, but otherwise, reading from a modern PC or tablet screen is more comfortable than it used to be and has several advantages over dedicated readers. 

In any case, the chances are you'll end up using a combination of screen and e-ink readers for your eBooks. Especially if you look around for e-book special offers, sales and freebies, as well as because not all e-book stores have the same books or the same editions.

 

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skylee

I read ebooks (English and Chinese) in epub format. And I use an Android app Lithium to read them on my cell phone. I like the app a lot.

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lechuan

I use Pleco Reader to read Chinese ebooks, as I really like the integration with the dictionary.

 

I use Calibre to convert to epub format first if the book is not already in epub format.

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renzhe

We used a pair of Chinese no-name readers from Taobao which were relatively cheap, but broke within a year or so.

 

We then went with a pair of Kobo readers with backlight, and they have been perfect. The advantage of Kobo is that it is compatible with widely used epub format, unlike Kindle. The disadvantage is that it is trickier to get books bought on Amazon to work. Kobo has its own bookshop with a really wide selection, but the prices can be higher than on Amazon when you consider discounts, promotions etc.

 

The device itself is excellent, reliable, and easy on the eyes. I would appreciate it if it had WiFi connection so I can access books from a local file server instead of having to connect it via USB, but that is a minor issue. The storage capacity is large enough to store hundreds of books and read through them in good time.

 

Chinese works fine, but you might want to install a few good unicode fonts with full Chinese coverage if your Kobo was bought in Europe or the US. The original installation seemed to have Japanese, but not Chinese (this may have changed in the meantime). It is not hard to add new fonts, just copy the fonts into a folder on the reader from your PC.

 

I have never managed to get a protected DRM book to work on any reader. I either strip the DRM off using a PC program, or I read older books which are not encumbered by such "technology".

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yueni

I have a Kindle Paperwhite. My first ebook reader was the cheapest Kindle on the market. I've never had a problem reading Chinese books on either one. 

 

I use Hamster ebook converter to convert any .epub books into .mobi versions and upload non-Amazon books on my Kindle via USB. I have also read .pdf files on it.

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furiop

Using an Android tablet there's a new App: DuShu.

There are some interesting ideas in Android DuShu app (upper pinyin, avoid pinyin for known words, definitions only for unknown words, multilingual phrase transltion by google translate, epub txt and html text are allowed for importing...) but also some critical defaults (it's impossible to change dictionary, or read pdf). Not yet DRM ready .

After installation there are, ready to read, some sentences for each HSK level. 

Interesting.

DuShu.jpg

sentences.jpg

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