Ebooks Revisited

South Dakota / Sept. 2, 2012 / by Amy
Ebooks Revisited

Now that I’ve been on the bus for almost 8 months, I started thinking about a post I wrote about ebooks near the beginning of the trip. Since then, I’ve had the chance to use a Kindle (and the iPhone app), the Nook app, and the iBooks app so I thought I’d write another post about them. 

I’ve noticed many pros and cons to ebooks over the past few months; some things I expected, and some I didn’t. One thing I do know for certain is that I’m extremely happy about the invention of ebooks, otherwise, I’d have found reading an awful lot more difficult this year. 

One of the things that struck me most what that, while I still prefer having a book in my hands, and thus having a book I can put on my shelf once it’s read, reading is reading, and the essence of a book is still there in an ebook. 

I’ve been reading a lot more than I thought I’d get the chance to and I think it’s because I can buy a book that takes my fancy very easily (though not all books are available as ebooks). If I feel like a non-fiction book that examines people’s habits, I can buy it and then the next day, buy a lightweight novel. 

That, of course, is something that you can do with physical books too, but on this trip, I haven’t had the chance to browse in bookshops for as long as it usually takes me to go through the giant list of books I want to buy. Almost every time we’ve been, I’ve made a list of the books I want, felt the pressure of too many choices and not enough space, and then left empty-handed. 

I do find the editing and formatting in ebooks to be less reliable than in print books so I do think there’s something to be improved there. Indentation before a new paragraph is sometimes lost, one line of dialogue follows another without a new line or even a space, and the space needed to take you from one scene to another is often not as clear as in a book. 

I realize that it’s probably because e-readers offer so many options when it comes to font size but I do think that there should be a way to make sure that there are certain formatting options that remain fixed, like the break before a new chapter does, no matter how often you change it. 

Another thing about ebooks that I consider both a pro and a con is that they can be bought anywhere (as long as you have that trusty internet connection) and at anytime. I know that the advent of online bookshops also meant that you could be persuaded and tempted into buying a book at any time, day or night, but it’s not the same as knowing that the book will appear on your device within seconds. 

As you can probably see, I could write for pages about this topic but I’ll spare your eyes. When it comes to the different apps and devices, I also have a lot to say about them so I will leave that to my next post. Meanwhile, I will return to enjoying Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s ‘The Angel’s Game’.