May 24, 2011


I purchased the electronic version of Three Rivers Risingsince the print version is not yet available. While I didn't mind reading on a screen, I don't think I'll be buying many electronic books, mainly for the following reasons:
  • lack of page numbers: I found it difficult to skim through an ebook due to the absence of page numbers and chapter headings, especially if a book did not have a table of contents. With no table of contents, you have only three choices to go to: the cover, the beginning, or the location.
  • location search: I'm guessing that ebooks count the number of words in a story, so if you want to go to a specific page, you have to enter a word's location (i.e. its place number). This is fine if you've made an annotation, but if you're not in the habit of doing so, flipping through an ebook can be a dizzying experience.
  • picture size: The pictures in ebooks are smaller than the print versions, which is very disappointing. You end up missing a lot of detail, especially difficult if you're trying to decipher a map. In Three Rivers Rising, I wanted to make the map bigger, but wasn't able to do so.
Publishers shouldn't simply scan a book and call it an ebook. There has to be a bit more to it. I'm used to page numbers and a table of contents. Even if there's no table of contents, listing chapt.1, chapt.2, etc. would be helpful. And I want to be able to resize pictures. 

For a good example of an interactive ebook, look at Al Gore's Our Choice by Push Pop Press.

As for the different devices, I have an iPad on which I've downloaded iBooks, the kobo app, and the kindle app.
  • iBooks is useless; the bookshelves look nice, but their book choices are terrible.
  • I like the page transition styles of kobo (pages curl like a real book), but I don't like their Reading Life section, which seemingly tries to turn reading into a competition. It contains stats and awards, which is not something that interests me. 
  • I prefer kindle, since amazon still has the best prices.

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