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The Elements of a Perfect eReading Device

Amazon is banking on the idea that dedicated eBook readers are what will drive paper book readers to the digital format. A recent article in September’s Searcher magazine argues that it is not. Nancy K. Herther, an anthropology and sociology librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries, took a look at the history of ebooks, ebook readers and the current market devices and determined that for so many reasons, even the most perfect dedicated eBook reader won’t move the market forward. (Thank you so much, Jody, for bringing this article to my attention).

For anyone interested in ebook reading, this article is a must read. Herther has a two page, historical timeline of ebooks. The article is chock full of statistics, quotes by leaders in the industry, and most importantly, some great insights into the ebook market.

Herther isn’t saying anything an ebook reader herself hasn’t said. Essentially, there are so many issues that plague the publishing industry as it relates to ebooks that perfecting the hardware side will not solve the impediments to ebook reading for many individuals.

On one side of the ebook equation, we have the hardware or ebook reading device itself. We’ve reviewed/previewed many of the devices in the past three weeks. In summary, a consumer has the following choices:

The consumer has to choose whether she wants a dedicated ereading device or a multi function device. Because I am a big consumer of internet based information and communication (via blogs, online websites, online chat, or emails), I prefer the multi function device. Some, though, do not like the size of the PDA/Smartphones and the Mini Computers aren’t really designed to be eBook readers (ie., what do you do with that keyboard?). The dedicated eReader, while suited for those individuals as Herther identifies as reading cover to cover, lacks universiality. The Sony Reader is moving toward being more inclusive as it is now able to read both the Adobe DRM’ed books and the Sony BBeB books but the Kindle has only one proprietary format that it can read, AZM.

Herther posits that the future of eBook reading is in a multi function device, particularly with the upcoming wave of teen readers who are never far from their cell phones. So the first step for industry folks that want to market digital books is to solve the problem of hardware function. Do individuals want to read ebooks on a multi function device or a single function device.

The challenges with a multi function device is that rarely do those devices do one thing well in an attempt to do many things. That is why the saying is “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” It’s not even Master of One. The problem with the single function device is that you spend a lot of money for a device to do one thing and even if it does it well, is it worth the cost.

E Ink technology, but it’s very nature is crippled as a multi function device. It cannot be backlit because of the way in which the technology works. Additionally, the technology is at such a stage that the refresh rate is very slow and the color aspect is also weak, making video a near impossibility on an eink device. Even typing on an eink device is hampered due to the slow refresh rate.

For many people, an iPhone or PDA screen is simply too small. Further, all these backlit devices have LCD screens and many people complain of computer eyestrain already. There are many who do not want to be looking at the computer monitor during their leisure. I find that to be true in looking at the statistics at Dear Author. Our highest rate of traffic is during the work hours and the work week. During people’s leisure time such as evenings and weekends, traffic drops thus reinforcing the maxim that readers would prefer to NOT be on the computer during their leisure times.

Fictionwise, I think, is putting a lot of money into the idea that readers would prefer a multi-function device. It has ported the eReading application to iPhones and since the iPhone 2.0 was released this summer, Fictionwise has been advertising its iPhone/iTouch compatibility heavily. Further, just last week, Fictionwise made eReader.com mobile friendly, meaning if you load up those two sites on your iPhone/iTouch or other handheld mobile device, you’ll get a much faster loading and slimmed down view of the stores. I prefer to shop at Fictionwise so hopefully that site will be made mobile ready SOON. (Also, I have some issues with the new mobile eReader site, but it’s a step in the right direction).

I think that there is a technological gap between what readers would like in the perfect ereader and what can actually be done. If you don’t like LCD screens, then you are limited by refresh rates and the inability of eink technology to actually perform some multi function device programs. If you don’t like to be limited by refresh rates, want a backlight, and ability to play video, browse the web, and even do a lot of typing (or editing of manuscripts), then eInk devices aren’t for you.

For me, the perfect device would be a slightly larger (6-8″ screen size) iPhone. I don’t mind the LCD. I like the touchscreen, the beautiful video abilities, and the expanded software options. I would like to be able to attach a separate keyboard for heavy blogging and have an integrated cellular service for internet access and telephone calls. I want the battery to last at least all day and for the device itself not to weigh over 2 lbs. I want it to be backlight and have a super customizable brightness setting (even at the lowest setting, I find my iPhone to be too bright on occassion). I want it to have instant on capabilities (which means solid state harddrive). An integrated webcamera would also be delightful.

What about you readers? What would you want in terms of hardware for a perfect eReading device?

Next week: The Software Solutions.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

28 Comments

  1. Nadia
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 04:41:40

    I just got an iPod Touch and upgraded so I can install apps.

    My biggest problem so far is finding something that can read PDF and Word docs without destroying the formatting and bookmark. I haven’t found any — Bookshelf, for example, clearly states that it cannot read PDF or display Word doc formatting correctly (formatting like underline / italics, etc.). A lot of my ebooks are in PDF. I’m not sure what software to get yet, so I’m basically using iPod to browse the web right now.

  2. Graham Storrs
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 05:06:40

    I have to agree with you that there are technical problems with ebook readers at the moment. However, there are many other problems that need to be solved – to do with file formats, DRM, usability, and the social aspects of book use. I list them in detail on my blog.

    The thing is, I value my books. I see them as being with me for life. I expect some of them to pass on to my children and grandchildren. So, naturally, I wonder what kind of technology could possibly do that.

  3. Teddypig
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 07:43:43

    I am so not impressed by eInk devices and specifically for the glitchy refresh rate issues and such. No touch screen and clunky little buttons.

    I think the iPhone screen is very nice and crisp and the interface is more than capable of handling eBook reading but it is simply way too small.

    If they ever make a bigger version of the iPhone or iPod Touch or whatever (iTablet?) with even the same interface it currently uses it would blow away any other eBook reader I have seen so far with it’s multi-usability, bright clean colorful LCD screen, easy to install apps, iTunes interface, etc etc.

  4. theo
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 07:45:42

    What do I want in an electronic reader…hmmm…I want it to be reader friendly. I want the ability to see the cover in the blink of an eye if I want, to flip to different pages and look something up immediately, to be able to take notes, highlight wonderful passages where the author’s words moved me. I want to grasp is, wring it, as I read the exciting finish to a great conflict. I want to be able to tell my friends, sure, I can let you read that story! You’ll love this author! I want it portable, lightweight…in short, I want a book!

    I want to read that book, smoothing the pages as I go along, simply for the tactile experience of holding someone’s words in my hands. Words they spent hours of their life creating for me. I want to fan the pages as I read because I’m anxious that the H/Hn are in trouble and wondering how they’ll get out of it. To be able to go back through to a spot I’ve dog-eared and flip back and forth to make sure I have something right, to curl the pages a bit if I need to, just enough so I can see the two, side by side, but without ruining the paper. To highlight a particularly awesome line, or phrase or paragraph and then later on, like a flip-book, run my finger along the outside edge of the pages and find it almost immediately. I want to hand that book to my friend and watch as they turn it over, flip through it while I laud the promises it holds. I want to look at my bookshelf with it’s thousand books and know I’ve read and enjoyed every one of them and have taken to the used bookstore at least that many that I did not.

    I don’t suppose I’ll ever be an eReader. I can see the benefits if someone travels constantly. Who wants to carry twenty books on the plane/train/bus/boat with them. But for me at least, there will never be an experience like crying over the ending of a good book and watching your tears fall on those pages to be soaked into the paper, becoming a part of the book.

    Somehow, watching my tears roll off an eReader screen to fall in my lap doesn’t hold the same meaning or importance for me.

  5. Statch
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 08:41:44

    I was using a Dell Axim X51V for e-book reading, but wanted a bigger screen and to get away from Windows Mobile, so I got the Asus EEE PC with the 7″ screen. I’m very happy with it as an ebook reader. The screen is big enough to see almost a whole page. It’s light (2 lbs) and it can do anything a full-size laptop can do. I downloaded a screen rotator utility, so when I’m reading, I just rotate the screen 180 degrees, turn the Asus on its side and read that way, so it feels just like a hardback book (except I’m only seeing one page, of course).

    I use Mobipocket so have all of my ebooks organized on the Asus.

    Two things would make it perfect for me: Much longer battery life, and the ability to detach the screen and use it as a dedicated ebook reader (so it would probably need a touch screen).

  6. Patty H.
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 09:01:15

    I love technology. I have it piled up all over my house. The number of outdated phones, PDAs, computers, etc. (also albums, cassettes, cds, 8-tracks–no wait, those are gone)make me crazy. It’s not green to throw them in the garbage so I have to find appropriate recycle choices.

    I will probably get an ereader. By the time I die, I’ll have had many and the thought exhausts me.

    My books are timeless and I hope, with my last breath, I’m clutching one of my favorites, not a hunk of screen.

  7. Jessica D
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 10:14:16

    I’m not yet sure what would make, for me, the perfect ebook reader, but I did just buy a refurbed iPod Touch, because I know that spending $200 on a multi-function device makes a hell of a lot more sense than spending $400 on a single-function device. (I looked long and hard at the EEE and XO, since I write on the go, but ultimately I wanted something pocket sized.)

    I think, in the end, this is the way consumers will have to move, for budgetary reasons as much as convenience, and it’s the market publishers will have to serve.

  8. Statch
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 10:20:25

    I suspect that those of us who are dedicated ebook readers will wind up with more than one device. I still use the Dell Axim because I can throw it in my purse, and it boots up instantly. I use the Asus at home and traveling. It would be nice to have ebook reader software that would truly sync between two devices so that I’d be able to pick up where I left off when I’m moving between devices.

    I only buy print books now when there’s no ebooks version. I’m also buying a LOT more books than I used to buy, because it’s too easy to buy them online.

  9. Keishon
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 10:59:08

    The iPhone is just a hair’s breath away from being the perfect ereading devie that is multi-functional. I just require a better reading app on it to where I can scroll and see the pages I have left when I read. I’d like the iPhone screen to be a bit bigger and with WiFi, you should be able to purchase your books and read them on the spot – that would be my dream device – an iPhone with those capabilities.

    As you know, I did buy a Sony reader and love reading on it. It is far from the perfect device but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with the E-Ink technology. I agree that with the technology that’s available now, I don’t think what we want to have is actually even possible.

  10. Kindles and Sony Readers vs. multiuse devices like the iPhone | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 11:00:30

    [...] this never-ending debate, DearAuthor quotes Nancy K. Herther, an anthropology and sociology librarian at the University of Minnesota [...]

  11. Lynne Connolly
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 11:28:28

    My eyesight is very poor with multiple problems including a tear duct problem.
    I prefer a backlit screen, but I want it to be easily configurable so I can turn the backlight down. I do that when I read in the dark. In ambient light I like the screen a little lighter.
    I loved my ebookwise until I broke it. I’m currently using an Ipaq, with the mobipocket reader (I love the ability to go full screen). I prefer it to dead tree books, because on a bad sight day I can enlarge the font size, even change it or bold it if I want to. I would like a larger screen, and I’ve seen a dinky rollup device that seems great, don’t know how long it will take to bring it on to the market.
    I’m also a cheapskate, and I’ve found the bargains you can pick up on ebay and other sites are superb. Geeks like the new stuff, so they ditch their old stuff. I’m not a geek, although I do love me a few gadgets, but I get sneers when I get out my Ipod mini (it still works beautifully, why should I want to upgrade it?) I don’t mind carrying 2 devices in my bag, and in any case, that ups the battery time. Do those battery extender thingies work?

  12. Kathleen O'Reilly
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 11:40:56

    I’m not a big fan of all-in-ones, because I don’t carry a lot of stuff with me, and for me (admittedly, I’m in the minority), a dedicated reader is the perfect device, which is why I love the Kindle.

    I love the wireless aspect. I’ve been stuck bookless on the tarmac at La Guardia, and I bought a couple of books, which came in handy for the flight (five hours delayed).

    I’m torn about a color LCD screen, because I hate charging things, and I love the looooooooonnnnnnng battery life on the Kindle. I would prefer the long lag between charges over the color LCD screen because that takes priority.

    After having read newspapers and magazines online, I don’t think they can match reading the paper copy, because I love my graphics there. I don’t like touchscreen, although I haven’t used the Apple touchscreen’s, but every other touch screen gets misaligned too easily. I wish the commenting ability was better on the Kindle, which would make it easy to read and edit manuscripts on the device, but I’ve already noticed that I find editing errors on my Kindle as easily as I do on paper — things that get overlooked on the computer screen, I’m not sure why.

    Honestly, I think the Kindle got it right. It’s a device for real, hard-core, ‘I’ve read the cereal box’ read-a-holics, of which I am one.

  13. MoJo
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 13:55:18

    Further, just last week, Fictionwise made eReader.com mobile friendly, meaning if you load up those two sites on your iPhone/iTouch or other handheld mobile device, you'll get a much faster loading and slimmed down view of the stores.

    I really like my eBookWise, but I do wish I could have a calendar and make lists and have a phone book without having to jump through a bunch of hoops.

    That said, someone on the MobileRead forum figured out how to hack the eBookWise so you could surf the net with it, which I thought was pretty exciting.

    My ideal would be eBookWise with an open format and a calendar, notepad, address book, and/or a functionality like KeyNote

  14. Melisse
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 14:20:44

    I read on Palm Z22, but I will eventually upgrade to another multifunction device, one with a reader, cell phone/internet and music. The small screen doesn’t bother me and now mass market sized books seem large and awkward. Plus the Palm is backlit and has autoscroll. IPhone interests me. Dedicated readers don’t interest me at all.

    In the meantime, my Palm holds the books I read, all my phone numbers, shopping lists, calendar, reminders etc. I’m not interested in packing round more devices if I can have it all on one.

  15. roslynholcomb
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 14:26:38

    Given my rather limited budget, I’m really interested in the little mini-laptops. I don’t currently have one, and it would be rather neat to have one that could be an e-reader. I don’t really need a multi-function device as I already have a cell phone.

    I think the two main things I would want would be long battery life and solid state technology.

  16. Sheryl Nantus
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 19:45:14

    I’d like my reader to be under $100, be able to deliver color covers so I can admire the art, be user-friendly so I could just attach it to my desktop computer with the USB port and NOT have to be a mechanical wizard or a programmer to get the story onto the reader. I want it to be paperbook-sized without a keyboard or anything else; I want it to be only an ebook reader. I can get a phone or laptop elsewhere, sell me just the reader!

    keep it simple and cheap and you’ll get my business. Make it impossible to use except through a variety of wild programs I have to download and transfer files and convert files and I’ll pass you by on the way to the paperbacks at my local bookstore.

  17. BevQB
    Aug 31, 2008 @ 21:40:58

    Perfect device for me would support multiple formats, including the 5 bazillion .LIT ebooks in my e-library. I really don’t care if it supports multiple formats directly or it converts them to its own format first. As long as it’s done right and done automatically so I don’t have to screw around with it.

    And as much as I love Microsoft Reader, its biggest irritation is that shutting off the device in the middle of the book is just asking for the dreaded “… cannot access…” messsage (which means finding and deleting the litpath.lpt file). When I’m in a hurry, I HATE fumbling with my PDA just to get back to my library first before I can shut it off. So the ability to just shut off an ereader and have my page just sitting there waiting for me when I turn it back on is an absolute must. As is the ability to insert text notes, bookmarks, to automatically remember where I left off, my furthest read, etc. and a progress bar showing where I am in the book.

    I would want a screen about the same size as a paperback. Even my tired old eyes would be happy with that and I wouldn’t care if it was backlit or e-ink. But it would have to have some kind of light (with adjustable brightness) either behind it or over it. And in addition to adjustable font size, I think it would also be nice to be able to select the actual font- some are just easier to read than others. I want the device to be thin with page buttons in more than one place so I can switch hand positions. And I’d want the option of attaching a keboard or just using a screen keyboard.

    I would also like it as lightweight as possible. My purse already weighs enough, thank you very much. Under a pound would be great, but I guess I could tolerate under two pounds. Oh, and forget screwing around with a protective case. I want a cover that opens like a book cover and can be folded back out of the way. That way I don’t have to screw around with putting it back into the case. Wouldn’t it be way cool if the whole thing just rolled up like a scroll? That’s what they did at the Olympics, right?

    Let’s see, I would like a USB port so I can back up to a flash drive. And I absolutely, positively do not want to have a wired connection to my PC. Every single problem I have EVER had with PDAs has been when they refuse to talk to my desktop for who knows what weird reasons (I had to trash my old Axim after I upgraded to IE7). So I guess I’m saying I want wireless and direct download as an option. And it has to be updateable– no fair making it obsolete. Make provisions for software updates.

    Hmmm… it would be nice to have Office on it. Excel in particular would be useful for carrying around a spreadsheet of what I have in my library. Maybe a game or two– I never get tired of Solitaire and Jawbreaker. But I guess I could skip all that if it kept the price down.

    And finally (or at least until I think of more must-haves), I would like all that at a reasonable price. $200-$300 would be perfect, but I’d probably pay up to $500-$600.

  18. Barbara
    Sep 01, 2008 @ 01:36:56

    I was reading on a Dell Axim x51v which I enjoyed but I wanted a bigger screen, it has a screen size of 3.7 inches.

    So I started my search for the perfect reading device for me, unfortunately there isn’t one.

    Dedicated ereaders were out because no blacklit and yeah I did want a device that would do other things.

    I looked at the UMPC but bad battery life and no instant on was a killer. Looked at mini pcs like the eee but bad battery life again and no instant on and also I don’t know why they can’t make those cheap ones with a swivel screen to fold over the keyboard to convert it to a tablet.

    Other pda/smartphones, most only go up to 4 inch screen, I wanted 5 inch at least. That’s when I looked at the HTC Advantage that has a 5 inch screen and runs windows mobile.

    This was as near to my perfect device as I could get, it is a bit heavier and thicker than I would prefer but that is my only real complaint. Battery life is great, windows mobile 6 works really well with mobipocket, the joystick at the front is great for page turning on it, comes with a detachable keyboard (which I don’t really use), also got benefits of being able to surf the internet, play videos, built in gps and camera. More expensive than I wanted too, but oh well…..

  19. Brit
    Sep 01, 2008 @ 13:45:01

    I like to read at night in bed with the ebookwise. Almost no movement, which would wake my dh, is necessary. The light is perfect for me. However, I’m waiting for the day when I hear enough raves to switch to something new. Maybe something easier to load.

    And I particularly like not adding to my paper book collection. One move across country cured me…three in two years kept me in remission. And I have a green activist living in my house.

  20. Belle Scarlett
    Sep 01, 2008 @ 16:58:53

    Although I gave away an Amazon Kindle on my website recently to celebrate my first e-book release, I’ve been reading e-books on my laptop since discovering them over a year ago because I’m waiting for the “perfect” e-reader gadget. For me, that means a next-gen Amazon Kindle that easily reads PDF, the most common format in which I receive my reading material, and has a back lit screen capability so I can read in the dark. I’d also prefer an e-reader that pops a piece of chocolate out of its side compartment at regular intervals with no extra charge.

    I’m a born romantic who reads omni-voraciously, but I’m not sentimental about old fashioned, musty, dusty books. Has anyone else noticed that books are freaking heavy? I hate lugging around my whole library every time I move. Even tossing just my Jane Austen anthology in my already overstuffed suitcase increases my odds of hernia when I travel. The advent of paperbacks made physical books more or less disposable anyway, yet still curiously expensive.

    Besides, can you imagine if people stuck doggedly to their chiseled stone tablets or handwritten scrolls after Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press? I’d love having my whole library, plus access to favorite blogs, newspapers, and magazines all on one, convenient, space-saving, lightweight device. But, sigh, before I give away my freaking heavy stacks of musty books and replace them all with e-versions, I’m holding out for that perfect e-reader to come out, complete with that chocolate feature, please.

  21. The Ebook Reader is Not the Future of Ebooks « Electric Alphabet
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    [...] Herther’s article in Searcher magazine, The Ebook Reader is Not the Future of Ebooks, at DearAuthor and Telereadamong other places. From most reports, the Kindle is a joy to use but despite [...]

  22. kerry
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 09:42:10

    I have an iPhone, an ebookwise, and (as of last week), a Kindle. My perfect device would probably be a combination of all 3.

    I love reading books on my iPhone, and I find the e-reader app works really well. LOVE the ease of purchasing books and then later adding them to my bookshelf with one click. On the minus side, for non-fictionwise/ereader books, the app Bookshelf works less well (I keep having issues with it quitting in the middle of books) and converting books is a pain. Some books I wanted were only available in MS Lit format and it was almost too much bother to convert them. Also, I find the iPhone a tad too small for comfortable reading.

    I like my ebookwise as well. However, it’s somewhat heavy, and loading files can be a pain if they aren’t in ebookwise format. I hate looking for things on ebookwise or fictionwise and not finding them in the ebookwise native format or an easily convertable one. Basically, getting material on the device is not fun.

    So far my Kindle is the best for actually reading books. It’s the perfect size, lightweight, and I lovelovelove the “sample” feature so I can check out books before buying. I don’t really mind the lack of other features. I haven’t tried reading other formats on it so I’m not sure how that would go. (I just use my iPhone or ebookwise.)

    I’d like to only have one device, but I can’t imagine it handling everything equally well.

  23. Carolyn Jewel
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 09:44:19

    I use my iPhone as my book reader and was totally sold on the experience. An author sent me a Word doc of her ARC, and I used Stanza to get the Word doc onto my iPhone. It was really really easy. And reading was a good experience, too.

  24. RfP
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 17:23:04

    perfecting the hardware side will not solve the impediments to ebook reading for many individuals.

    I’m sure that’s true for some readers, and I expected to be one of them. But in reality I’ve been surprised how important the hardware is to my use of ebooks. For me the iPhone screen is too small to read fiction, and I don’t want a backlit reading device. But I’m not sure I agree with this:

    E Ink technology, but it's very nature is crippled as a multi function device. It cannot be backlit because of the way in which the technology works.

    You may be right, but using the Sony Reader started me dreaming of future multi-function gadgets with eInk (or its next generation, really). So maybe it’s possible for eInk to develop in that direction without backlighting.

  25. The Daily Square - Bennie and the Jets Edition | Booksquare
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    [...] The Elements of a Perfect eReading DeviceJane at Dear Author looks at the perfect ereading device…it’s not what you think. [...]

  26. Walt Shiel
    Sep 03, 2008 @ 07:30:33

    I was very reluctant to buy a Kindle. Resisted firmly. Until I heard Joe Wikert’s webinar on “Leveraging the Kindle” sponsored by Book Business magazine.

    Joe turned the light on. Suddenly, I envisioned all sorts of ways to use the Kindle beyond just buying e-books from Amazon.

    Last week, I bought one. And I love it. I could never stand to read from a computer monitor (either my laptop’s or the excellent, large one on my desktop PC) for very long. I can read on the Kindle for hours with no eye strain. The only slight irritation is the flash during page changes, but I quickly stopped even noticing it.

    But I actually buy very few books for the Kindle from Amazon. I do read PDF, TXT, DOC, and several other formats on it all the time. How?

    You see, the Kindle will easily support TXT format. So, a lot of the material I used to copy-and-paste off Web sites to print out and read later I now just save as TXT and put on the Kindle using the USB port.

    The Kindle will also easily read Mobi’s PRC format (without DRM), so I use the free Mobipocket Creator software to convert PDF files to PRC. Takes a minute or two. Then I put that on the Kindle, too.

    At Slipdown Mountain Publications, we publish most of our print books as both Kindle editions (on Amazon’s site) and PDFs. We will soon also be offering the PRC format (for Kindle and Mobipocket users) and EPUB format (for Sony Reader users).

    Until you’ve spent some time with the Kindle, you just can’t appreciate how much different it is from a backlit computer monitor. Of course, it’s not perfect…but it is a big advance over standard monitors.

    Color would be nice. And a faster refresh. It doesn’t “feel” like a book, but it fits nicely in hand. I can switch between books/files easily without ever losing my place in any of them. And I’m saving a lot of paper and toner now.

    Count me as a Kindle Konvert. (I’d probably like the Sony device, too, but haven’t tried one and there are more Kindlized books at this time.)

  27. Jaime Maynard
    Sep 12, 2008 @ 12:38:35

    I buy e-books mainly because the ones I want aren’t available in print. I prefer print (the 2500+ books in my collection are testament to that), but I still buy e-books as well and would want a dedicated device for them. My print books aren’t multi-function, so my e-books don’t have to be either.

    Currently, I read them on my laptop because none of the readers I’ve looked at support PDF. I find the Kindle very appealing with it’s large screen and battery life – and if the next generation model supports PDF, I’ll buy one. Until then, I’ll continue to carry my e-books around on a jump drive.

  28. Shack Nickzam
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 23:06:02

    I like ebook because :

    1. Unlike paper-based books, eBooks can be easily updated. A eBook can even have a link to a website which contains the latest downloadable version of the book.

    2.If you need security, eBooks can be compiled so as to disable printing, can be password protected and can prevent individual files from being copied (although no-one has found a way of preventing anything from being re-typed!)

    Cheers,
    viewsonic v150p

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