Had my first play on an e-reader the other day.

It was shit. Really starkly shit.

I mean, proof of concept and all, but it has a loooong way to go.

11 Responses to “e-readers”

  1.   Pearce
    October 15th, 2010 | 9:06 am

    Just out of curiousity, what sort was it and what was shit about it?

  2.   billy
    October 15th, 2010 | 3:23 pm

    It was on display at Whitcoulls in Courtenay Central. Called ‘kobo’ or ‘kodo’ or something.

    Basically the entire experience of using it was shit, IMO.

  3.   Pearce
    October 15th, 2010 | 4:44 pm

    Sweet, thanks. An IT guy at work was telling me recently to avoid those ones. He said it didn’t even have a bookmark function.

    I really want an e-reader, but not if it’s a shit experience. Ideally I want it to be the size of a thin paperback, with fonts & font sizes adjustable on the fly, a screen that’s easy to read in direct sunlight but which can also be lit (front-lit rather than back-lit for personal preference), a hard drive big enough to hold thousands of books, the capability to read any kind of ebook and most kinds of text documents from txt to pdf to doc to odf, really easy ways to flick through pages and utilize multiple bookmarks in many books at once, really easy ways to flick between different books without losing my place, a screen that’s hard to scratch, multiple connection options from usb to bluetooth to wifi, sensible and customisable index functions, etc.

    I also want (this is quite important for me) no stupid “I don’t want that” functions to clutter things up. I want an ebook reader that’s for reading ebooks – it doesn’t need to send faxes or play music or turn into a sailboat. The last thing I want is MORE distractions!

  4.   C G
    October 16th, 2010 | 2:24 am

    As long and exacting as Pearce’s list of requirements is, I reckon he has it about right. That is what I want too. OK not so concerned about Bluetooth, and back-lit is fine for me.

    If anyone finds such a device let me know, because I am terrible at shopping for technology and require the assistance of others.

    E-readers are a weird thing for me, because I hate the idea (god damn it I hate all digital media, from mp3s to downloaded movies) but acknowledge that it is both the way of the future, and much less destructive to the planet. The idea of possibly having access to 1,000s of out of print books is quite choice too.

  5.   billy
    October 16th, 2010 | 2:29 am

    The thing I want is to be able to make marks and notes in the margin, and write on it. which is fairly fundamental to my research process. Being able to cut n paste on the fly would be handy, ie to have a word processor in it, too.

    And a pony…

  6.   Pearce
    October 18th, 2010 | 4:57 pm

    Do you write in the margins of paper books? Eek!

  7.   billy
    October 18th, 2010 | 6:18 pm


    It is a research/non fiction process thing.

    Most of the value of my book collection resides in the fact that I have read and annotated them.

    I don’t write much, per se, more have a system of marking them up to enable rereading/finding key stuff.

  8.   Vince
    October 19th, 2010 | 7:34 am

    I had a go on the Kobo a few months ago (and probably at the same Whitcoulls) It just felt cheap, like it was going to crack within the first couple of days. I’d really like an e-book reader, mainly for saving shelf space. But not the Kobo.

  9.   Katie
    October 19th, 2010 | 8:55 pm

    I’m with Billy. If you own a book, annotating it is your prerogative. So long as the content is still readable, what have you lost?

    I spent English Honours working from books my mother had annotated when she was at uni 20 years prior. The experience was so much cooler for having a brief insight into my mother’s thoughts. Perhaps if a book is a first edition or similarly rare I can understand trying to keep it pristine but is why shouldn’t a generic penguin tome be covered in it’s owner’s scrawl?

  10.   billy
    October 20th, 2010 | 2:34 am

    katie: that would be cool, a connection across years; part of what is totally fascinating for me is to see what previous iterations of the process of self have come up with, too

  11.   Pearce
    October 20th, 2010 | 10:35 am

    I guess that I understand, but I remember being seriously annoyed when I bought a second-hand copy of Lolita that turned out to have many passages underlined with a heavy red pen, and (frankly stupid) comments in the margins. It made it very distracting to read. This is why I have never finished reading Lolita.

    I’ve also encountered annotated library books, which as far as I’m concerned should be punished by incredible death. (And I recently borrowed a library book that someone had cut photos out of – and not even from a photo section, but with text on the other side – a different issue, but one that also result in capital punishment.)

    I guess I basically think that books are sacrosanct, and am horrified by people who would deface them. I feel weird even writing my name on the inside cover.