My thanks to Alan for asking me to produce something on eBooks for this blog, doubtless as a result of my recent post on my own blog. I'm talking primarily about books that I'm accessing from various libraries, rather than eBooks that I own. Since I don't own (and don't intend to own) a portable eReader, personally purchased eBooks are not of any interest to me. I guess my experience in reading eBooks is a bit different from anyone just reading chunks of a work, or seeking to read for pleasure. I'm reading a lot of entire books at the moment to broaden and develop my subject field knowledge. And because libraries increasingly want to save money on shelving space and re-shelving staff the eBook is a sexy prospect for them; but one that I would argue significantly diminishes the experience of the serious scholar.
Anyway between my previous post and the short film I've made, there's probably not a lot more to add - except to summarise what has been my experience to date:
- Reading entire eBooks on a computer screen is painful
- Publisher DRM heavy interfaces make the experience worse
- Being unable to easily print or access a copy of the book off line is a pain
- PDF is a more acceptable and intuitive format than most publisher interfaces