UPDATE 11.19.12 | Just came across this Wall Street Journal post called A Bookman’s Guide to E-Book Readers via the Digital Book World newsletter. It’s another view “from the other side of the fence.” As the author so rightly points out, most readers don’t want to clutter their minds with specs. “All a bibliophile really wants to know is how a device compares with ink and paper.”

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Nate over at The Digital Reader has rounded up ereader Black Friday Deals for 2012. This is a good time of year to not only consider gift-giving and personal ereader plans, but also to take stock of your professional ereader line-up and see if there’s any gaps to fill.

QA’ing on ereaders is so important, but unfortunately can be a huge part of any professional ebook-developer’s budget. The ideal stable of ereaders for QA would include:

  • Tablets from every major vendor, including HD versions:
    • Amazon / Kindle Fire
    • Apple / iBooks on iPad
    • B&N / Nook Tablet
    • Google / Nexus 7
    • Kobo / Vox
    • Sony / Sony Tablet
  • eink readers from every major vendor:
    • Amazon (both older Mobi7 Kindles and the newer kf8 Kindle Paperwhite and Touch)
    • B&N / Nook Touch
    • Kobo / Kobo Touch
    • Sony / PRS series

And don’t forget ereader apps as well. Here’s an overview … if you’re up for it (coffee may help).

In a pinch, previewing on Kindle Previewer will work for Amazon; previewing on Safari will work for Apple; and previewing on ADE will work for B&N. But ideally we’re QA’ing on every device … if we have all the time and money in the world! So many of us try to find the happy medium between time and budget and the majority of the type of content that suits our publishing programs or clients.

On this subject … will you share what ereader you’re using these days for personal use (and the pros and cons) or which one you plan on getting, for personal or professional use or both? Every once in a while it’s good to get perspective from the other side of the fence.

As for myself, I’m this.close to getting an iPad3 for myself. The only thing that is holding me back is that I already have a MacBook Pro and an iPhone and, between those two, I’m pretty much covered. But it would be nice to have something in-between the “big” laptop and “small” iPhone. But is “nice” a good enough reason to blow my own digital budget for the year?

To end on a high note … here’s proof that dreams do come true. Here’s a tweet of mine from around this time last year (in 2011):

Santa heard my wish! Check out:

What’s interesting, to me, is that this post started out as a heads up for those of us considering buying ereaders this holiday season but (de?)evolved into an overview of QA issues. Is it possible for an ebook developer to have fun reading ebooks and turn off that part of their brain? … probably not. But let’s try to have fun anyways! What good is getting to work on ebooks if we can’t enjoy ebooks?