Paper-free reading

Monday, October 15, 2007

I was reading Charles Stross' review of the latest in Sony’s line of e-book readers.  He gives a brief disclaimer about Sony’s status as Evil, and then goes on to talk about the device.  As much as I want one, I absolutely refuse to buy a Sony product.  But then he mentions the upcoming Bookeen Cybook 3, which should be coming out this month.  It sounds cool, as long as the price isn’t astronomical (The other competitor he mentions is $700, which is absurd.  People wouldn’t even buy an e-book reader from Apple at that price).

I’d really like to have a nice e-book reader.  It would be great on the Metro.  I would even pay for a few e-books if the reading experience was good.  Unfortunately, no one I’m willing to do business with has brought anything reasonable to market.

This is especially appropriate today.  Paper should soon be obsolete.  There will be those who still cling to their real newspapers and real books (And at least with books, I’ll be among them).  But once we have an affordable electronic alternative to paper, we need to just stop printing words on paper completely.  Forget recycling paper, we need to just stop making it.  We will all be better off if paper stays in living tree form.

It will ease the transition if e-book readers can include a nice search, both within the text, and a Google search for context and word definitions.  Every time I read the paper on the Metro, I find myself annoyed that I can’t click a link for further detail, or look up a word for the meaning or the context.  And I can’t get through a book without wishing I could do a quick search for the last time a character was mentioned to refresh my memory on something or other.

Anyway, if this thing comes out this month at less than $300, I will buy it.  Barring some unforeseen deal-breaker like no Ubuntu compatibility or something like that, I’ll buy it.

Posted in: Wind kissing