Learning from Replies

Yesterday’s blogpost “What Does an eBook Look Like” inspired a couple of replies for me to consider.  One, from CQ was packed with a number of things that made me think.

One was a link back to a blog post called “e-‘D’read’ers” which was a relatively recent post identifying a number of eReaders.  While my original post was based on me asking what the content of the eBook might look like, this post took a look at a number of eBook reading pieces of software.  This was an angle that I hadn’t really considered but probably should have.  I think that the message was that the features of an eReader and its customizability affects the reading process.

I confess to not having dug this deeply into the topic.  For me, I use Calibre as my reader of choice.  I remember exactly how I found it; I was searching for sources of free books.  Off the main site, there is a repository of DRM-free books that one might download and read.  You’ll find free books, priced books, and “name your own price” books there.  Certainly, it’s worth checking out.

I had also used the iOS eBook reader iBooks because, well, it’s Apple’s and you have to start somewhere.  I’ve also mucked about with Stanza and the Kindle Reader.  I didn’t think much about it but I now realize that this is the tip of the reading iceberg.  There are LOTS of readers available with all kinds of features.  Check out the big list here, if you’re interested.

The reply also dug into a couple of other angles with respect to books.  One touched on the concept of the quality of older books.  This was a very personal one for me.  My parents used to frequent flea markets looking for novels.  It was there that I learned about this huge business of buying and selling books for less than sticker price.  And, the value depends upon the author and, of course, the quality of the book.  Of course the first thing you do is flip through a novel to see if someone had used a twenty dollar bill as a bookmark…  But the point is valid.  eBooks may not have currency for bookmarks but they won’t yellow with age and sun exposure.

Finally, a huge consideration is the authors themselves.  Not everything an author writes gets published and put into mass distribution.  If you’re a fan of a particular author, you’ll want the complete set.  It’s definitely a great deal easier to go online and download rather than going from store to store and flea market to flea market looking for that elusive book to complete your set.  eBooks is also the perfect platform for that unknown author to self-publish.  If a big company isn’t going to sign you to a contract and promote your works, there are a number of self-publishing and fan sites to let you do the job in non-traditional manners.

I’m even envisioning compilations of student short stories made available beyond the traditional parent market.  What a way to write for an authentic audience!  It still doesn’t answer my original qu

As a result of the original post, I’ve got some additional thinking to do with this.  I love it!

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