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Proposal: E-books and E-book Readers

I'm going to assume that this site won't be a clearing house for any question on any device that one might read a book on. Questions on reading apps are likely to be ontopic, but questions about how to watch movies on a Kindle Fire are likely to be offtopic. If we agree on that, the lines start to get messy; at least I imagine new users will be confused.

So how will the lines be drawn between questions about reading a book on your phone and doing non-reading stuff on your "E-reader"?

Bonus question: Are questions about using an E-reader for audio books ontopic or not?

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"So how will the lines be drawn between questions about reading a book on your phone and doing non-reading stuff on your "E-reader"?"

Off the top of my head, I imagine the following questions would be allowed:

  • Questions about devices marketed as an e-reader. (This would include Kindles, Nooks, etc.) Since the device is (by nature of its primary purpose) an e-reader, all questions regarding its usage should be on-topic (by all questions, I mean anything that would normally be allowed on a Stack Exchange site).
  • Questions about e-reader applications on devices not marketed as an e-reader. If we're talking about an iPad or a smartphone, then only questions about using the e-reader application should be permitted.

Your example (the Kindle Fire) is marketed by Amazon as a "tablet" and therefore any questions that do not relate to reading e-books on it would be closed as off-topic.

"Are questions about using an E-reader for audio books ontopic or not?"

I'm going to vote on-topic.

  • That sounds good to me. I didn't know (or remember) that the Fire was marketed as a tablet. That does simplify things. (Let's hope nobody markets at general-purpose tablet as an e-reader!) – Jon Ericson Feb 17 '13 at 4:28
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    @JonEricson: I wasn't sure about the Fire either, so I received some assistance from Google. The first search result for "kindle fire" is a page from Amazon's website titled "Kindle Fire - the Tablet from Amazon - Only $159". – Nathan Osman Feb 17 '13 at 5:58
  • Sounds reasonable to me and I am exactly of your opinion. But where should one draw the line for "e-reader applications". Is a pdf viewer on a tablet enough for this? – Tim Feb 17 '13 at 21:12
  • @Tim: My personal opinion in that situation is that a question about any application capable of reading an e-book specific format would be allowed. An app that only displays PDFs would likely be off-topic. On the other hand, an app that can display .mobi or .epub files would be on-topic. – Nathan Osman Feb 17 '13 at 21:46
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    If the programs give an opportunity to improve the usability of the content on small screens (by reformatting, column based zooming, etc.) or to use bought content (drm, proprietary formats) they should be definitely on topic. But I cannot yet find a rational reason, why an application that allows to view only epub or mobi should be allowed, while an application that only allows viewing pdf, djvu or cbz is not (even though it feels right). – Tim Feb 18 '13 at 12:27
  • I agree with Tim, some ebooks floating on the internet are mainly formatted in PDF, also there might be other formats that can be used for ebooks. ex: .doc, .rtf, or simply .text which is not specifically for ebook but some authors might use. – forums Feb 19 '13 at 3:35
  • I agree with your answer. As long as it concerns ebooks, I think that it should be welcome. – Sekhemty May 14 '13 at 22:15
  • Audiobooks on a mobile, tablet or e-reader would seem to be on-topic. – K7AAY Nov 4 '13 at 18:47

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