While in Vegas this past weekend I was able to check out a lot of new technological advances in the e-reader realm.
Let me start by saying that I am a bibliophile. I love, love, love my books. I love the way they look on my shelves. I love the way they smell. I love the feel of all the different kinds of paper between my fingertips. I may not ever be a true convert to the e-reader technology, but since it is book related and I'm seeing it everywhere it was definitely a technology that I wanted to try out.
My experience is small, but I have a definite opinion after trying out some of the options.
The Sony Reader sucks. It's tiny. When the pages 'turn', (a better word would be 'change') it hurts my eyes. The screen morphs from grey with black text to black with gray text and then back to regular grey with black text. The screen is so tiny too that you have to change pages like every 20 seconds which means that the constant color change morphing of pages gives me a headache. I couldn't get used to it. Also the button for turning pages is on the side and I didn't like it at all. I just couldn't picture myself cozying up to this tiny metal piece of equipment.
I could say almost the same thing about the Kindle, but it is a little bit more technologically advanced and a little bit more elegant. The downloading capabilities are cool. I love my Amazon just as much as I love my books. The vast majority of my books are delivered to my door by Amazon so it would be an easy step to just let Amazon deliver all my books wirelessly to my Kindle............ except that........
I have an Ipad and it kicks ass. The main draw back of the other e-readers is the limited Internet usage. If I am going to carry something around all day it might as well be able to do other things beside just look at books, otherwise I would just carry around a book. They don't have Internet connections either.
But the Ipad is a tiny amazing thing that multitasks as much as I do. The coolest thing about the Ipad and the IBooks is that the books actually look like books. The pages are a familiar sight. It's not gray. It's white with black lettering. It's bigger than the other e-readers and the page sizes match an actual book. The coolest thing about the Ipad book reader is that you have the illusion that you are actually turning a page. You use your finger and swipe it across the page and the page turns just like in a real book, or a very accurate simulation. There is no strange screen jump, just as smooth transition from page to page. Not only can you download apps for copyright free books, you can get books from Apple and download the Kindle app for free. This ties my into my two favorite places on earth..... the Apple store and Amazon. It's downright amazing the crap I can carry around on my Ipad. Why would I ever get something that can only read books like those other e-readers? On my Ipad I can bowl, play air hockey, read Oliver Twist or The Lost Symbol, organize my day, check my e-mail and find out the latest Celebrity news.
Now I've had my Ipad for about a month. I'm not using it to it's full potential. I've downloaded a few books and actually bought a few with the Kindle app. Reading the books is another story all together. It still feels awkward to me. It's not the same as a book. I like to stop in the middle of reading, put in my bookmark, close the book and see how far I've come. This is not possible with an e-reader. There isn't as much of a sense of progress thru a thick text. It's more like a never ending cascade of pages. I'm going to keep trying and see if it grows on me. You really can't beat the convenience of the Ipad, but it is a transition from real books. I will never be able to give up the thrill I get from waiting for the UPS man to drop my books off at the front door, cracking open the box, and fliping thru a new book. No e-reader can substitute that thrill. The books are instant, but sometimes the actual books are worth the wait of 2 day shipping