I just read this great article from Wired, 5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet, Written by John C. Abell. The article discusses five shortcomings of e-books that should be fixed but at this point are noticeable short comings.
In a nutshell (my own summary) the five reasons are as follows.
1. It is too easy to forget that you are in the middle of an e-book.
I very much agree with this. I find for myself that this happens all of the time. I am currently in the middle of many e-books and find that I have difficulty remembering to read them. I never have this problem with print books. In fact, I go through one or two print books a day and have only finished one e-book to date. It is not that I don’t want to read them, it is just that I am busy with other things, as is everyone, and find that with the book hidden away in my iPhone, it is way too easy to forget, yet the print books in my shelf and on my nightstand frequently move to the ‘read’ pile. The article proposes a reminder to pop up after you haven’t read the e-book for a certain amount of time. I don’t know if I would like this.
2. E-books stay on the app that you purchased them on, so they can’t be kept all together.
This is one of my pet peeves. I can never remember which app has the e-book that I am in the middle of reading so I am constantly starting new books on the various e-book apps that I have. Combined with the first issue, I lose steam pretty quickly with the constant searching, starting, forgetting, searching, and starting a new one, and the cycle goes on. The article proposes that the e-books be kept in one section and after an e-book is selected, it opens the app that contains it. I love this idea!!
3. E-books do not allow readers to make notes in the margin.
I understand this idea conceptually but I myself do not write in books so this reason did not mean much to me.
4. E-books are considered to be disposable by the publishers but are not priced accordingly.
I very much agree that this is a big issue. To me it combines with the issue of Harper Collins creating a cap on lending e-books which means that after 27 lends, the library needs to purchase the e-book again.
5. E-books can’t be used for design.
This is in an interesting point that I also agree with. My bookshelves are filled with print books that show my style, they show what I like. E-books can’t do that.