I read my first ebook… all the way through

August 19, 2010, 7:52 pm

I read my first ebook from start to finish. Sure, I’ve dabbled with ebooks before, I’ve even bought a few for my iPhone, but a few weeks ago I read one cover to cover over one weekend. Granted the book was awesome, but the thing about reading a good book is the fact that the content is great, not the tangible qualities of the paper. When I finished I wanted to download another.


The iPad is my eReader of choice. I’ll skip a review of the features because you can find that elsewhere, but it’s the first time I honestly felt that I could transition away from print.


Anyway. I came across a series of posts:


The author makes good points on both sides of the argument, but I wanted to address one: texture. The author raves about the “feel” of print but as a (former?) print book lover I must confess that it’s not a big deal. I can understand the point of someone talking about the cold impersonal feel of ebooks, but seriously, once I was about halfway through I didn’t even notice a difference… other than the efficient note-taking feature.


Reading is an experience, not a container. But it doesn’t have to be either/or. There are a segment of people out there (like my aunt) who will read more often if it is on a digital device. And she would use her public library more often if they could find a way for her to borrow books on her Kindle. Licensing content for ereaders should be a top five goal for librarians right now.


Weight was another thing that bugged me at first—the iPad is a bit heavy. My brother’s comment: “man up” — and he’s right— I got use to the weight after awhile and it became comfortable, even addictive. I didn’t want to let it out of by grip.


Lastly. The iPad had a cover allowing you to prop up the book (much easier than folding back pages!) and it actually has a great texture to it. I imagine these covers will become customizable before too long and that Apple will engineer a “hardback book feel” should it be desired.


Courtesy Renewal

I’m speaking as a patron here, not as a library employee. Why don’t libraries auto renew my books? Let’s say I have an item out… or 50… the due date is approaching. No one has a hold. No one has placed a recall. I’ve only had it for one loan period… why must I log in and click renew? Instead… it would be cool if I received a message three days before it is due back letting me know that the item has received a courtesy renewal of a few more weeks. You’d score big customer service points with me if you did that. Just a thought.

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