by Joseph T. Sinclair
I have said that ebooks will take over the book market soon. And I have walked the talk with over 200 ebooks in my Kindle account. In fact, I quit buying books in print some time ago. It’s true that I occasionally buy a How To tech book with complex typesetting that’s not available as an ebook, but I don’t read those. Rather I refer to them reading only the chapters that I need, only when I need them.
My 8” tablet is a great reader with higher resolution that the human eye can see. Type is as sharp as can be, and photos really pop with fine resolution and brilliant colors. I find the various tablet readers (apps) enable one to control the brightness so that eye strain isn’t a problem. And there’s even filter apps available for reducing eye strain that work just fine.
Although printed books are perhaps easier to navigate than ebooks, one gets accustomed to navigating through ebooks adroitly to the point where this one last advantage of printed books doesn’t seem like so much.
I have avoided buying several books I wanted to read because they aren’t available as ebooks. But that has more to do with price than an aversion to printed books. I have been able to get an ebook version of almost every book I’ve wanted to buy in the last few years. Nevertheless, I finally wanted to buy a book badly that was not available as an ebook. So I bought the printed book.
Even I was surprised. Surprised by it primitiveness.
- It’s a hardcover. A paperback isn’t available. It’s heavy. Twice as heavy as my tablet.
- It’s difficult to keep open with one hand, particularly opened enough to see the full page without some of the type hiding near the spine. A tablet shows an easily-viewed single page.
- It’s difficult to keep well lite. I used to have just the proper place to read with just the right light for printed books. But I’ve grown used to reading my tablet anywhere, and I’ve had to find a place once again to read this printed book where there’s a comfortable chair with the proper light next to it.
- I wanted to take the book to bed with me, but I no longer have a bed light for reading. Reading printed books in bed was always quasi uncomfortable in any case, but without a reading light it’s almost impossible. A tablet is as easy to read in the dark as in the light no matter in what position you hold it.
- This printed book is high quality with sharp print and high resolution black & white photos (of colored graphics). Yet the type isn’t as sharp as the type on my tablet, and my tablet displays gorgeous graphics in full color (e.g., photos).
I have read thousands of books printed on paper, but in just a short time I’ve grown so accustomed to reading ebooks on a tablet that I’m surprised I managed to get through all that print reading in the past.
Indeed, high-resolution hot-color tablets with well typeset ebooks that include color graphics are a new reading revolution coming fast on the heels of the low-resolution black & white tablets (featuring terrible typesetting) that started the first digital reading revolution just seven years ago.
To put things more sharply in focus, the revolution started with Amazon’s liquid ink black & white Kindle with barely adequate resolution. The liquid ink made it easy on the eyes while the resolution was high enough to facilitate reading but with only lack luster graphics.
Then Apple introduced the iPad. Today the iPad Air, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and other high-resolution tablets provide higher resolution than high-resolution print and also brilliant colors. The prices of tablets with such capability have dropped dramatically. Although the screens of such tablets are backlit with the propensity to cause eyestrain, manufacturers and publishers now use both mechanical and digital techniques to eliminate eyestrain and facilitate comfortable reading.
It seems like the end game for the printed book is in sight, so to speak.
The author of this article, Joseph T. Sinclair, is the author of twenty How To books published by national publishers.
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©2015 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.