Thursday, May 07, 2009

Are E-readers our future?

I certainly hope not, based on my experience with the Amazon Kindle * - compared with a normal book, hopelessly slow, hard to jump around easily. And forget trying anything but fiction and simple text. I've read some of the psychology books I've mentioned on the Kindle, and tables and references are either screwed up or simply not there. And for the fiction that I still read on an E-reader, I find the iPhone Kindle App more congenial that my original Kindle, because I'm carrying around the iPhone all the time anyway. This article by Brad Stone, on how E-readers might save newspapers, is a nice summary of some of the issues. Any large thin tablet device will have to have color graphic and videos, like our current computers (Apple is said to be working on one). I don't think I'm going to be happy even with that, because the site that I frequently use to excerpt stuff for this blog isn't as much fun as the real newspaper - which allows you to jump around more rapidly and easily in the content using our primitive biological search appendages - arms and hands. (Added note: a larger version of the Kindle has just been announced, which I still think doesn't cut it.)

*(An interesting fact arises from looking at the Kindle user base. Half of reporting Kindle owners are 50 or older, and 70 percent are 40 or older. Many report buying a Kindle because of a variety of impairments: hand arthritis, weakening eyes, etc.)


  1. The future is a 50-page "book" with each page a flimsy, indestructible, Kindle-like screen which contains interface metaphors for dog-earing and writing in the margins. You heard it here first.

  2. Deric: Absolute agreement. I need a book I can move around in, make notes, make notes on the front pages, double check, get at the index quickly while keep the other pages open...and in spite of my love of things electronic, Kindle is dead. Most of my books are 220 pages to 350 pages. The 50-page book is nonsense.

  3. The way , digital world has involved in our life,>we are going for compactness and easiness!....
    Most probably, that is going to be the future...
    But , i doubt,reading may lost its worth..