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 Â£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…