Author Topic: What do E-Books Need? Readers!  (Read 1953 times)

Offline iamacanadian

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What do E-Books Need? Readers!
« on: October 14, 2009, 01:11:31 am »
For those who care, there's a new post over on the Atomic Fez web-site. It is about e-books and the fact that what they need to get some real wide-spread market acceptance is some half-decent hardware.

“What do E-Books Need? Readers!” http://www.atomicfez.com/?p=1026
Ian Alexander Martin; Proprietor, Atomic Fez Publishing


Offline Rolnikov

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Re: What do E-Books Need? Readers!
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2009, 07:38:23 am »
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So… the iPhone, iPod Touch, Palm Pre, and Blackberry have one very distinct advantage over the expensive e-book readers available: they do things other than act as e-readers as well: take photographs, record video, handle e-mail with some sort of QWERTY keyboard (sometimes dedicated buttons, sometimes on the screen), let you browse the web, watch videos, play tunes, act as an appointment book, hold your contact list, play games; all of them, except for the iPod Touch, even operate as a mobile phone! What do the Kindle and Sony Reader do? Play tunes. They both handle RSS feeds in various ways, and the Kindle lets you $ub$cribe to The New York Times and a few other new$paper$, but that’s basically where you stop.

Perhaps it’s just me, but doesn’t everyone prefer to have fewer things that do more stuff, than the reverse?

People still buy toasters and kettles...

The devices you mention have advantages over dedicated devices - but not when it comes to reading books. If you only consider reading, the dedicated readers win by a mile, because of the e-ink screens and low power consumption. An iPod might be okay for a bit of reading on the bus, but I can't imagine anyone sitting down to read Clarissa on it.

Offline iamacanadian

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Re: What do E-Books Need? Readers!
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2009, 05:24:04 pm »

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Perhaps it’s just me, but doesn’t everyone prefer to have fewer things that do more stuff, than the reverse?

People still buy toasters and kettles...

True, it's tough to combine those two tasks. Either the bread gets soggy or the tea seems a tad dry.

The devices you mention have advantages over dedicated devices - but not when it comes to reading books. If you only consider reading, the dedicated readers win by a mile, because of the e-ink screens and low power consumption. An iPod might be okay for a bit of reading on the bus, but I can't imagine anyone sitting down to read Clarissa on it.

Frankly, there's a fair few books I'd rather have in a far lighter form than the printed one. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, as well as The Gormenghast Trilogy in a single volume, for instance. Christ, they're heavy enough to put a strain on one's arm that no amount of pint-hoisting will prepare you for!

The chief complaint about e-books is the impression that they're either going to cause the complete death of the paper book -- ridiculous -- or they're too difficult to read because of the screen size, as you've pointed out. The Apple tablet wil change that, probably: large, full colour, bright screen, plus it also serves up video, music, photos, web, etc.

Not that it exists of course. [cough]
Ian Alexander Martin; Proprietor, Atomic Fez Publishing


Offline Rolnikov

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Re: What do E-Books Need? Readers!
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2009, 08:05:36 pm »
People still buy toasters and kettles...

True, it's tough to combine those two tasks. Either the bread gets soggy or the tea seems a tad dry.

What I'm getting at is that by your argument, we don't need kettles because microwaves boil water, and do so much more besides... But in fact we still buy kettles, because they do that one job better than any multi-purpose device does.

You could read Clarissa on a tablet computer, but you'll need to recharge it so often in the process and replace your burnt-out eyes so often that it won't be much fun. Whereas on a dedicated reading device like the Sony or Kindle it won't need recharging and your eyes won't get sore.

The Apple tablet wil change that, probably: large, full colour, bright screen, plus it also serves up video, music, photos, web, etc.

A bright screen's the last thing you want when reading a book - it's too hard on the eyes...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 08:09:20 pm by Stephen Theaker »