eBooks: I think I understand now.

The first e-book I bought was last week, by John Mighton called The Myth of Ability.  I bought it on the NOOK for PC, since I think I may be moving to electronic textbooks from here on out, and I think most of my books for SPU are on the NOOK.  Then I tried Adobe Digital Editions, and stuck all the PDFs floating around on my PC into that.  I have to say that getting free electronic editions of many classic books is pretty powerful, and may get me to go back and read some.  However, I am seriously impressed by the Kindle for PC.  The second e-book I have purchased is by Rafe Esquith entitled There Are No Shortcuts

A few things I like about the Kindle for PC application are:

  1. Besides just the size of the text and the color of the text and background, you can change the number of words per line.  Think about that for a second.  Suppose you like a magazine format, thin columns of text whizzing past you.  You can have it.  You can also have a more traditional book format, with ponderous lines full of words.
  2. I like the built in dictionary.
  3. I like the highlighting, notes and bookmarks.
  4. I like the “you are 75% percent through with this book” a good way to keep chugging along.
  5. I like the “report this error to our redactors”, since it cuts me free to criticize all the typos I see in the book, guilt free.
  6. I was amazed to see that when you highlight a line you see how many other people have highlighted a given line as well, pretty amazing to think that my notes and comments are becoming part of the community of readers of a certain book.
  7. I love that the search feature shows you where you are (your current page) relative to the search results, duh!
  8. I am reading a textbook now (Meece & Daniels, 2008) that has horrible glare under most desktop lighting conditions, I would gladly forego that with electronic editions of books.

I was a little irked that e-books cost more, sometimes twice as much as the cheap paperback or hardback edition.  However, I realize now how inert those paperbacks are (you can’t search them) and they are chains around your neck next time you want to move house.  Get digital, get useful!

Full disclosure, I don’t like:

  • That somehow all books aren’t digital now.  (Thus proving I’m typically techie in my impatience.)
  • That I have no idea (for sure) if my digital textbook I plan to purchase will really work on this laptop with the software I will be using.
  • Kindle for PC seems to have a bug that every time it gets focus again it doesn’t respond for a few seconds.
  • Kindle for PC has another bug that it sometimes can’t find the network.

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Also see:  Consumers Now Buying More Amazon Kindle Books Than Print Books

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