Books v. eBooks: the Reader’s ExperienceJuly 3, 2007
Ebooks are wonderful — in concept. Lower manufacturing and distribution costs mean less-expensive (or even ) books and a . Decreased consumption of resources for printing and shipping gives a hand to a . The digital medium allows for carrying a shelf full of books without having to warp one’s spine.
But what is it like to actually read an ebook?
I work for an ebook company, and I firmly believe in its mission and business plan. Yet I have to admit that I’ve had my doubts about actually reading a full-length novel on a computer screen. Sure, I spend hours a day in front of a screen reading from a web browser. I’ll even curl up in bed or on the couch with a laptop to read web content or email there.
Yet there almost seems to be some kind of emotional block to reading long-form book content in a digital way, as though the words are somehow supposed to be printed on paper. Newspapers, magazines, comic books and reference texts seem natural enough — now (I’m having a hard time remembering what that earlier transition to digital felt like). with its pithy text was fine, too. But in general, books for pleasure haven’t quite made the transition for me. I often wonder if a kid growing up as a digital native (as opposed to a fully-assimilated digital immigrant like me) would even ?
Emotional barriers or not, some of the titles I’m seeing (like the ones in the Current Reads sidebar here) have lured me in, and I’m giving it a shot.
It helps that these particular ebooks look like print, with proper pages that follow the conventions of their paper counterparts. I think that part conveys a certain respect for the works that I want and need to see. We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll write about both the books and the experience here.
Have you read books in ebook format? What was it like for you?