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Ebook Readers – They’re Getting There

kindlesEbook readers are getting better. Amazon’s Kindle isn’t the only one that can go online and download ebooks. But there are still problems.

For example, apparently who owns an ebook still isn’t clear. In this short article called Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others, New York Time’s tech expert David Pogue describes how Orwell’s books disappeared from Kindle library – yes, George Orwell’s books!

Joe Wikert explained How Amazon Should Have Handled the Orwell Situation. Not surprisingly, he offers a good solution. The same blog also posted A glimpse of the future? I hope they’re wrong, I’ll bet they’re not and it means I’m rethinking what I want in an ebook reader.

boingboing’s getting into this with Petition for a DRM-free Kindle.

The New York Times also announced that Plastic Logic’s E-Book Reader Will Surf AT&T and Wi-Fi. It looks good and I’ve requested a review product – we’ll see.

CNET’s Gadget Blog, Crave reviewed Samsung’s ebook entry recently.

Ebook Readers, Ebooks & Accessories, although heavy in ads, seems to keep track of ebook developments pretty well.

Of course, people are reading ebooks on PDAs and cell phones. I played with reading on my son’s iPhone and it’s tempting. Very tempting.

What do you use to read ebooks?

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Image by ShakataGaNai

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Reed highlights the downside to any digital technology: format creep, the changing of storing/displaying digital or electronic media. Reel-to-Reel, 4-track, 8-Track, IBM punch-cards, Wang wordprocessors, etc.

    The encoded material degrades too. Where printed text on paper from 700 BCE is still quite legible.

    If I drop my book, it doesn’t break. Try chucking an ereader across the room when the plot of the story stinks and see if you can read another book afterwards.
    .-= Timberati´s last blog ..Green, Inc. =-.

  • I , am a Luddite. I’ve hidden (ok, lost) my PDA carefully away. I have no plans to acquire a Grendl or whatever that new-fangled thing is. I’m prefectly happy with those other things. Books. Gutenberg must be rolling over in his whatchacallit.
    .-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Watcher in the Night =-.

  • I am badly near-sighted and wear glasses/contacts. As a writer I stare at a computer screen for hours at a time and I know that is damaging for my already “weak” eyes. At the end of the day I have no desire to do pleasure reading on a screen as it gives me a headache and will do further damage to my eyes.
    .-= Gina-Narue Cheeseman´s last blog ..Coverage of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration =-.

  • @Anne

    With my reader, anyway, I find that the best formats are MobiPocket and epub.
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..Write everything as if writing for the Web =-.

    • Anne

      Scott, you’re way ahead of me… I’ll look it up. Thanks.

  • Reed Porter

    Mostly novels. I’ve read a lot of SciFi with a particular interest in the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series. One of the best new authors in the SciFi realm I’ve read in a long time is Randolph LaLonde. His First Light Chronicles is top notch and only available as an ebook until this year. He’ also in social networking and blogging so you get to stay abreast with the progress of the next installment. He’s just signed with Smashwords an ebook distributer that is new to me. http://spinwardfringe.blogspot.com/
    I also like biographies, and non-fiction business books in the ebook format. Technical books seem do better on the screen or in print.

  • Reed Porter

    I have read everything I can as an eBook for the last 8 years. I started with the Palm reader then replaced that with Microsoft Reader when I switch to a PocketPC. Microsoft Reader has fallen by the wayside, so now I use Mobipocket to read books. PDF documentsare the absolute worst choice for an eBook on a Pocket PC or SmartPhone. It just doesn’t scale properly.
    I prefer using a phone or handheld computer to read my books because they are backlit making it easy to read anywhere but in glaring light.
    Any more, I have to really want to read something to pick up a paper book. Sometimes even so, I’ll forgo the paper tome and read something else available electronically.

    • Anne

      Reed, what kind of books are your favorites?

  • Tracey

    I don’t use e-book readers. I can’t afford them, and I prefer the low-tech quality of print books. I like the look of them, the feel of them, the weight of them, the smell of them. I like the fact that you can open a real book in the middle without having to go through an electronic middleman. I like the fact that a real book exists whether or not there is power, a charged battery or a wireless signal (which is a very real consideration in a place that loses electricity as much as my hometown does). And I find pages easier to read than a screen.

    • Anne

      I’ve actually come to appreciate ebooks, although I still love the paper kind best I think

  • I’ve got a BeBook (http://mybebook.com) and I really enjoy using it. In fact, I use it so much that when I pick up a dead-trees book I’m kind of lost — I can’t find the power button or the buttons to flip the pages.

    Something that I’ve found, though, is that PDF isn’t the best format for ebooks (at least, not on my reader). The pagination sometimes gets screwy; when you increase the size of the type, the last few lines on a page get shunted to another page. And except for that text, the page is empty. Kind of disrupts the narrative flow of what you’re reading.
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..Write everything as if writing for the Web =-.

    • Anne

      So Scott, what format works best for ebooks… BeBook looks good… they are all in the high $200sUS it seems

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