IT’S A RAINY SUNDAY AFTERNOON and I’m sitting in a cafe in central Tokyo, desperately trying to enjoy a book on my iPad. Distractions abound: sloppy typography, misspelt words, confusing page breaks, widows, orphans, broken tables. These and more pull me from the narrative spell. In that moment I realize, although I’ve had this substantial object of glass and metal for a few weeks, I haven’t managed more than ten pages of anything.
What, then, is the problem?
It’s not the screen — I’ve happily read several novels on my iPhone.
It’s not the weight — it feels fine when resting on a table or my knee.
The problem is much simpler: iBooks and Kindle.app are incompetent e-readers. They get in the way of the reading experience and treat digital books like poorly typeset PDFs.
We can do better. (We have to do better.)
Posted: April 21, 2010