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Testing e-books

Well, I have just finished my first e-book – from start to finish. I have tried before – using a Kobo, testing out Kindle for PC, even reading on my iPhone, but today’s the first time I have finished a book.

Mahtab’s Story by Libby Gleeson was read on my iPad, using the Overdrive app. I found it quite comfortable on the eyesight (though a little bit cumbersome to cuddle up to in bed). Lighting was not an issue – it seemed to be fine in a number of different lights. And changing pages was far better than I’ve found in the Kobo experience.

I borrowed the book through another school library as a test run – thanks, Therese; which was a relatively easy experience once I had set up the programs to be able to read it. I have the book on my iPad and my laptop, and could have set up on my phone, or an iPod (if I hadn’t lost mine). Looks like all would work as easily, depending on your eyesight!

Having also read using Kindle for PC on both my phone and laptop, I would also like to comment on the ability the Kindle app gives to sync across any media you use. It allows you to read the same book and keep track. I was amazed when testing book on my PC, and then opening it on my phone, and being able to pick up at the exact spot I left when last reading it. (I haven’t tested this on Overdrive).

I was given a Kobo as a gift, which gave me the chance to also test this, which I have on a few flights. It feels great, is light and provides the opportunity to have lots of books with you when you travel – except you have to switch it off well before you land (unlike a book which you can read until the seatbelt light goes off! But the same as any digital device…) It isn’t as easy or fast in changing pages as the iPad, but is easy to adapt to, and is clear in displaying which books you have, and where you are at with them.

It’s been an interesting exercise, though I confess to still really enjoying the tactile enjoyment of reading physical books. However, I can see the benefits we can gain from e-books (particularly when it comes to borrowing from a library – automatic returns, no overdue problems!). These also include:

  • Weight saving (imagine textbooks all on your iPad, iPod or mp3 device!)
  • Access for more than one person at a time (no waiting for books to be returned)
  • Appeal to the net generation
  • Multiple uses for your digital device
  • Ability with some to annotate texts
  • Immediate access (no waiting for books to be delivered)
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