We believe that as we get the smaller form factor, the screen has gotten good enough. Why is reading online better? It's up to date, you can navigate, you can follow links. The ads in the online reading are completely targeted as opposed to just being run-of-print, where many of the readers will find them completely irrelevant. The ads can be in new and richer formats. In fact the only drawbacks of the digital form are the things associated with the device: how big is it, heavy is it, how many hours of power does it have, how much do I have to spend to buy it? But those are things that once you achieve that threshold, in terms of the convenience and the cost, then you see a dramatic change in behavior. Today, for people who read newspapers and magazines, even the most avid PC user probably still does quite a bit of reading on print. As the device moves down in size and simplicity, that will change, and so somewhere in the next five-year period we'll hit that transition point, and things will be even more dramatic than they are today.Meanwhile, bibliophile Andrew Marr (right) ponders the tortoise slow arrival of the e-book in the Guardian, and puts it down to the fact:.
.. that traditional books are such good technology, even compared with CDs or newspapers. They are a little larger than the hand, extremely portable, nice to hold and look at and remarkably cheap. Yes, there is an environmental issue but most are made of cheap, sustainable woodpulp. Simple technology that works is unlikely to go out of fashion. Those futurologists of the 1960s who predicted a world of silver jumpsuits and food-pills forgot that socks, buttons and saucepans were simple technology that worked, and the same is true of books.But given the chance try out one of the latest gadgets iRex's Iliad (left) he comes away pretty impressed. ... Or he would be - if only the manufacturers could make it smell musty like a real book!
I know I've said it before but I can't imagine not wanting to possess physical books ... and there is an emotional aspect to book buying which a download could never fulfill.
But I'd love an ebook too and could think of a thousand and one uses for such a gadget.
Would ... erm ... any manufacturers out there like me to test drive one?
It would be nice to have an i-pod thingy too, I've decided after Madcap Machinist was kind enough to let me have a listen to his. (And you should have seen his face when I asked them if he thought these things would catch on!)