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I don't have a Kindle or Nook, I have a BeBook, but my problem appears to be universal to these readers as well. If I leave my reader in standby mode, the battery is dead within a few days to a week. But if I use it every night for an hour or so, I can make a couple of weeks on the same charge.
I have a Hanlin B/W book reader, and I enjoy it quite a bit. It changes pages rather slowly, but I learned to time it right so when I reach the end of the page it changes
I was playing around with a Nook at Barnes and Noble, I take it you like them a lot ? I was impressed at how slick and fast they operate. I was very tempted to pick one up last time I was in there. I am lucky it wasn't payday week
I would not recommend eInk for manuals with illustrations yet because I don't see a device that can do them justice. In my experience the PDFs were reduced so much so everything fits on a page, and the diagrams and text were almost unreadable.
But ebook readers for novels and such, totally as pleasant as holding a book in my experience.