Yes, I want one. Just not yet.

There is an itch at the back of my head, and it is for one of these things. I’ve been musing about it since I read a press release about a month ago, and the mini-post that CS/D@\/E did a while back.

Now, I’ve not seen one of them in the flesh, so to speak, but I have seen epaper and I was impressed. And the facts and figures thrown up in the Reg review have me impressed. 160 average books in onboard memory, weeks of charge at a time, practically unlimited numbers of books if you use memory cards, and with 100 books thrown in for £200? What’s not to like?

The issues are going to be with the interface and the availability. Yes, Waterstones are doing a fair few, but what of the hundreds that are on my shelf? It’s not like you can create an electronic library of your own books like you could with your music; there’s no equivalent of ripping a CD…

The Reader will become a big thing, and I’ll definitely get involved at some point. But I’m holding out for two things:

  • An improved interface, with at least some way of searching through books rather than paging through them.
  • At the very least, book stores to give the option of an electronic copy (even if it’s DRM’d up the wazzoo) with paper copies for a nominal fee, or nothing.

The product is very interesting, and has great potential. And I’ll be there when it hits its iPod moment: when the product and the supply come together and all of a sudden it works.

Roll on that day…

4 thoughts on “Yes, I want one. Just not yet.

  1. Well, it is exactly the “ipod” moment we are all waiting for isn’t it?

    I’m not holding my breath, I mean what with the gutenberg project and a pda already available….

  2. PG is all well and good, but I like me a god many new books. So there has to be a way of getting them and the reader to mesh without having to resort to buying another copy for full price.

    I’m yet to actually use a Reader, but if it’s anything like the other ePaper things I’ve seen they’d be much handier to read from than a PDA. Plus, PDA battery life isn’t going to be in the league, is it?

  3. I have indeed got no soul. You’ve found me out…

    If you pay attention, though, you’ll note that I’d only be buying ebooks in addition to paper copies. Because then I could take my entire library on holiday, for example. Or have hundreds of books in my pocket when I get onto a plane. Which would be nice.

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