Tuesday, 1 February 2011
eInk, eInk, eInk....Bloody eInk
The otherwise excellent online radio show, Litopia falls flat on its face when talking about eBooks simply because most of the folks talking do not have a clue what they are talking about. Radio Four also did a report on eBooks and were mumbling on about the Ipad. And only today I read an article by Hadley Franklin that bemoans the loss of real books. You can find this article HERE but it ends with Miss Hedley writing - "But if the next generation grows up reading past bedtime by the glow of an ipad… well, I hope that their books will hold the same power".
Now an iPad is a mini computer and if one read entire books on it they'll probably end up visiting the opticians. Dedicated eReaders like the Sony, The Kindle, The Nook and others use a technology called eInk which closely simulates ink and paper and doesn't have a backlight. You'll still need a flashlight to read in the dark, Miss Hedley.
Miss Hedley also writes (note the word Tablet) - "I’m not running from technology or the virtual writing world. But here’s why I haven’t bought a tablet: I love the aesthetic of books. I love that smell, I love the lines of colorful spines on a shelf, I love pulling a book in front of my face and shutting out the world."
Now anyone wanting to really experience eBooks won't truly get it if they read-in on a phone or an iPad. They really need to visit a shop and test out a dedicated eReader, one that uses eInk. That is the only way to truly see what all the fuss is about. Reading on a dedicated eReader doesn't feel like reading on a computer screen - it feels like, well reading a conventional book but without the bulk. Yes you can read eBooks on computer screens and phones and iPads but the difference is immense. No screen glare with eInk, no artificial feel to the pages.
To offer an explanation - the difference between eInk and PC screens is as great as the difference between reading a real book or reading that book as badly photocopied pages. Your task is to inform not misinform.
Come on guys, get with the program.
If anyone owns a dedicated eReader - Sony, Kindle whatever then please leave a comment and explain how alike conventional paper and ink eInk is.