This is the meter that I use, it cost about $20.00 on Ebay two or three years ago and it's readings check the same as a later model that a friend of mine has. It's accuracy to me is un-important as I use the figure as a comparison, 11% is perfect for my flat work, routing and turning. I'll be interested in the figures that other members consider ideal.
I have to assume you already know this. Taking moisture reading on the end will likely not give a true reading (as in your pictures). Wood generally dries in this order: the ends, sides and then middle. The ends are generally the driest of any given piece of wood.
From what I have learned researching about moisture meters, you want place the probe in the same annual ring to get a correct reading. In testing you will consistently get a lower moisture reading when the probes are perpendicular to the annual rings than placed parallel (though some meters are designed to do that ďRead Instruction ManualĒ
ouch, to determine the orientation).
With that said that leads to a problem. Who wants to take a reading in the middle of the expensive board and leave two holes in the face? One answer is to take the reading on the back of the piece in a place where they are not likely noticed. The second solution would be to probe where the wood will be cut or removed. The third answer is to buy an expensive non-pin dielectric moisture meter
In the past, like Oliver, I was not concerned with the moisture content of the wood. I went to the store, bought it, and simply left it in the environment where it would be used for a week or so. That was to let the wood reach Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) of the environment before working on it. I have a couple of scrap pieces that I take micrometer readings of all three dimensions once a month or so to determine how much they move.
I started to study about moisture content when I started drying cherry wood; likely I still have much to learn. The oak right now is 9% cherry 8.5%. I assume the piles I am drying right now 15-19% will make it to less than 10% range at some point. Like I said I am new to this and like you I would like others feedback too.