Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Reading electronically

I think that is is clear that I like reading. In fact my worst nightmare is being stuck somewhere without a book. Even thinking about it can send me into a panic. That is why I like my (sorry our) eReader. It can store so many books that providing I remember to carry it around with me I'll never be without something to read.
Bonuses of the eReader include that I find reading books on it a pleasure, and that Norfolk Libraries have an eBook catalogue with which my device is compatible.

However I am a bit of a gadget nerd and in particular I like Apple products. I have a MacBook, and iTouch and an iPhone and I was lusting after the iPad.

Just before we went on holiday I upgraded my iPhone to the iPhone 4, and this comes with the iBook application. I've downloaded quite a lot of books into my library now, and read a few books in this format so I think I can comment on my new gadget, and compare it with my BeBook (and the real thing!).

The pros to the iPhone:
well I always have my phone on me and so now I really will always have something to read with me.
The graphics are incredible. The new phone has such an impressive screen that it makes looking at illustrations a dream.
The graphics also make turning the page a delight, it really does mimic reading a book in a way that my eInk reader doesn't.
There are lots of books available to download on to it, and many books have sample chapters so that you can try before you buy.
Using iTunes you can buy a book absolutely anywhere you have a good phone connection, you don't need to connect the phone to a computer to get new reading material


I don't like reading on it as much as from a physical books or even the eReader.

I think that a lot of this is to do with the screen size, perhaps an iPad would eliminate this as the screen is bigger.
The eInk is easier on the eye for reading, although the iPhone can be read in the dark.

I think that the main problem is that you can do so much more on an iPhone/iPad that I was getting distracted from the book, where as once you have a real book in front of you (or the eReader) all you can do is read.

Oh and thanks to DRM issues I can't download library books onto the phone (yet).

I am pleased to have a *good* book reader on my phone and for reading familiar books, or light weight tomes it is fine but I found it impossible to immerse myself in a book.
In fact I have purchased an electronic book and then had to get a paperback version of the same title because I just couldn't get into the version on the phone.

I love my new phone and all that it can do, but I think that despite all of the publicity the advent of iBooks has in fact lengthened the life of the real book rather than shortening it... for the moment!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post, Sarah. I'm gonna have to invest in some sort of electronic reader device soon - can't live in the 20th century forever!

    But what should it be. I think I'm most drawn to the iphone, especially if you say its graphics are even better than ever. The only problem I foresee with reading books on any ereading system is that it removes the physical relationship with the book and disrupts all the habitual signals of progress I have developed and which characterise reading. Feeling the weight distribution change as you get further in, that moment when you can break a spine for the first time. That sort of thing.