Posts tagged ‘books’

2011-05-05

The future of books

This post is inspired by a great blog posting by Martin Fowler who provides his perspective on the future of books as both an avid reader and an author.

I love reading and I love books. I have three rather large and almost full bookcases in my house, several magazine subscriptions, and a daily newspaper subscription. One of the most beautiful books I have is an early imprint of Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence that was my grandfathers. And I am thinking about moving to an eReader of some sort. For a long time I didn’t think there was enough content available to justify an eReader, and I didn’t like the choices that were available. I think both those objections are now resolved.

Most of my time is spent on line these days. I follow dozens of people via Google reader, and check the tweets of a great many more. Through my ACM membership I have access to hundreds of books on Safari and Books24x7. I also like both the ease and speed of books delivered digitally. The price difference isn’t always significant so it is less of a factor in my consideration.

I do all this reading on a variety of platforms, desktop PC, tablet PC, and Blackberry. None of these platforms is ideal for curling up in comfy chair, or stretching out on the couch. The tablet PC has some of the features I want and it is over 5 pounds and the stylus interface is less than ideal. The tablet PC is also a work machine and therefore I don’t want to add personal content to it.

I have been procrastinating about getting an eReader of some sort as the choices were limited. First there was the Kindle and its cousins. Everyone I have met who has a Kindle absolutely love it and I am put off by the fact that it is ONLY an eReader. Then came the iPad which is loved by many, and I dislike paying a premium for proprietary hardware / software. Then there are tablets based on Google’s Android operating system. The initial tablets were using the 2.x version, or earlier, of Android which wasn’t really designed for tablets. Android 3.0 is designed for tablets and is now hitting the store shelves. And finally is the RIM Playbook. Time to go shopping.

I have already decided that the Kindle is out because it is single purpose and I can get the Kindle app for any of the other devices. This narrows my shopping list to the iPad, the Playbook, or one of the two Android 3.0 tablets, the Motorola Zoom, or the Acer Ionia tab A500. I am hoping that once the Acer is released next week, one of the local electronics stores will have all 4 items available to be played with. And as much as I would like to support a Canadian company like RIM, I am leaning towards an Android device. I haven’t used Android yet, and those I know with Android phones rave about it. Yes, the Playbook is suppose to run Android apps and emulation is often less than 100%.

I will let you know what I pick and how happy I am with the choice in a future posting.

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