There are arguments all over the web about eInk versus LCD versus paper. Everyone has their favorites, all for good reasons. But how different is the experience between them? Does the act of reading a book gain or lose something with each platform? I have devised a plan to try and find out!
For devices, I will use my Amazon Kindle, the Camangi Webstation, and a plain paper book. The goal in using the Camangi, by the way, is to be a stand-in for the typical smartphone ebook reader. I just hate reading on a smartphone because the devices are just too small, so I’m subbing in the Camangi’s 7 inch screen. The Kindle, obviously, is holding down the eInk fort. Supposedly there are these things called “bookstores” where I can find a paper book…
Since I like books, but not enough to read the same one three times, I’m opting to read three books from Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series. While I can’t create the consistency of the same book, using books from the same series keeps the general style in line. I plan to use the same scale to review the experience for all three:
• How long can I read comfortably without my eyes needing a break?
• Are the font and margins acceptable for reading?
• Is it formatted correctly and without error?
• Are footnotes and other navigational items easy to locate?
• Is bookmarking easy?
• Can I easily locate and use the table of contents?
•Can I comfortably hold the book/device for a long period?
• Are page turns fast and easy?
I’ve got 8 points there, so I will give one point for each item where a format succeeds. Look for a full report from me in about a week when I read all three!
In addition to my format smackdown, I’m looking for some feedback from you! Please either leave a comment here or email carly(at)geardiary(dot)com with your thoughts on why you prefer a certain platform for reading (paper or ebook) and why, and I’ll be sharing that in next week’s review article as well!