Monday, April 11, 2011

New graphic-rich ebooks

Graphic-rich ebooks are so far the step-child of the ebook world, but only because we don't yet have the large, high-resolution ereaders necessary. But this will change within the next year or two. (15-inch, 260-DPI iPad 3Super?) (Hey, there are already people who make a *21-inch* ereader tablet!)

And then... it struck me what an impressive list of advantages we have to show potential buyers of of these books, cook-books, comic books, technical books, fine art books, maps, etc etc.

  1. They are massively cheaper than their paper counterparts. 
  2. You can get updates, usually for free. Typos and new discoveries are no longer a bane of books. 
  3. The screen means that the pictures are sharper and have better colors than the paper books ever had. 
  4. You don't have to fear damaging the book, since it's virtual, it can always be replaced. 
  5. You save lots of shelf and storage space. 
  6. You no longer have to agonize over which books to let go when you clear out, or discover that you had let one go you shouldn't have. Electronic storage is virtually infinite. 
  7. There are interactive features, like note-comparing, which never existed on paper. 
  8. Many of the books will be a lot lighter and smaller than their paper counterparts, easier to handle when reading. 
  9. You can acquire the books much quicker and easier, from a global market.
  10. Certain features are there if you want them, like the ereader reading the text aloud for you, or for your child. 
  11. You can zoom in on graphics, getting far, far more detail than from a paper book. 
Me, I can't wait. These will be so rich experiences.  


Michael Kearney said...

I love the concept of eReaders and eBooks, but the cost is the biggest reason I haven't bought into the whole thing yet. I'm paying for a digital file that I (in most cases) cannot easily share, or know for certain will still be available 5 years down the road when the next generation of eReaders show up, and I'm still paying full price for it compared to a book which (given how well I take care of my books) could outlast me. Not to mention the several hundred dollar investment most eReaders require, which again, will likely be old and outdated within a few years at most. The book I bought last week at the store is almost identical in features and usability as one I bought 10 years ago.

The concept is great, but the execution of the plan leaves me wanting more, and willing to wait and see if it happens the way I would like.

todd bridges said...

The screen means that the pictures are sharper and have better colors than the paper books ever had.

Sharper, maybe - though doubtful. Better colors? Riiiight.

Timo Lehtinen said...

You don't have to fear damaging the book, since it's virtual, it can always be replaced.

Obviously you can not damage something you didn't have in the first place. An ebook is not a book. It is an array of bits. You are comparing data to a medium.

We've had arrays of bits -- including once that contain prose -- since the 1960s. Project Gutenberg, the biggest ebook distributor, started in 1971. What's this sudden hoopla about ebooks?

Philocalist said...

Not having even entertained the idea of something such as this ... I actually LIKE real books, and the tactile and sensory pleasure that goes with them ... what happens when this piece of equipment goes 'toes-up', such is the wont of similar technology, typically without notice?
I assume it takes the entire collection with it, that you MAY be able to re-download (if you have records and details, held elsewhere), or, dare I say it, a backup?
As an aside, I can't really ever see many of the books I enjoy and treasure ever being available in such a medium, which defeats the object entirely in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about all ebooks, but one thing that turns me off the Kindle is that you can only view them on that machine and nowhere else, you can't give them away to someone else, and you can't sell them.

I like the idea for magazines, but in practice it doesn't work. I used to get a few in pdf form but eventually switched back to the print version. I wonder if people born today will think this way or if they'll laugh at the dinosaurs of our time for even having print publications. They might view it as the same as the joke in the Flintstones of getting the newspaper as a rock slab.

I kind of doubt it though.

Anonymous said...

What's this sudden hoopla about ebooks?

Advertising has been telling people this is something they now want.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

The sudden hoopla comes because it took until the Kindle and in my viewpoint especially the iPad, before good hand-held readers became available.

I really wish I could be all blasé and calm and collected about it, but I can't, because I feel it strongly and deeply that this really is a big game-changer.

todd bridges said...

It isn't, it's just a fad but regular readers of this blog know how excited you get over new technological fads. When the ipad came out you were practically cumming all over yourself.

Anonymous said...

It also seems likely that once they're the only game in town the price will go steadily up.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Doubt it, didn't happen with the iPod.

Bronislaus Janulis / Framewright said...

I'm very enthusiastic about the advent of e-readers like the iPad, especially as they get lighter. Reading an illustrated book, with that ability to zoom in, is probably the future for most books. But the "retired" technologies will persist in the hands of artists and artisans, and may be a rebirth for the handmade book, as a luxury item, with digital copies for the "riff-raff". Even on an iPhone, an illustrated book like Winnie-ther-Pooh is a delight, as I'm a big fan of Earnest Shepherd.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yeah. A high-rez reader would also be ideal for Scott McClouds proposed "infinite page" comics, a comic on one big page which might be several meters if printed out. It might be one block, or meandering around, or be one long strip, or whatever.

(I'm not sure what file format would be best for it though.)