Sunday, September 30, 2007

ebook - egad!

I had heard of ebooks before I entered the digital age, so none of it piqued my interest much. Then reading Coffee and Critique Friday night ignited tiny explosions in my head. (Thanks, Tricia!) I wanted so much to read ebooks on my iPhone, but after a few hours of investigation, I made it as far as reading a few chapters of How Starbucks Saved My Life (by Michael Gates Gill) on Adobe Digital Editions on my MacBook. (I read the first 2 chapters and the last chapter - I've known for a while that Starbucks is regarded as a good employer, but now I don't think I have the skills to work at the expresso bar.)

What else I learned:

1. I registered with and purchased the ebook from eBooks.com, and I signed up with Readdle so I could access certain types of document files on Safari/web browser on the iPhone, but the ebook file type was not compatible with Readdle. Bummer. I tried to convert the ebook to pdf, txt, and doc, respectively, then load to Readdle, but to no avail.

2. Booksoniphone is easy to use - but their book collection is super limited, in my humble opinion. I tried to read Thoreau's Walden, but only 4 or 5 lines fit on the screen at a time.

3. iphonenova promises to provide unlimited access to wide variety of books, music, movies, TV shows, and games for a one-time fee of $49.95. I'm just not ready to commit.

4. There are TONS of blogs out there discussing this topic. I think I prefer an application that's NOT browser-dependent. I found at least one "unauthorized" application, but I'm too chicken to try it.

5. Reading an ebook on Adobe Digital Editions was interesting. Instant gratification (buy it online, read it right away) is nice, and manipulating the chapters and pages was cool. Saving paper is groovy. Cons - can't hold book up in front of students for a "book talk" (but I can tell them about ebooks - wonder how many know?) or pass book along to a friend (can I electronically pass ebook along to someone else?).

Does anyone have suggestions for my ebook to iphone quest?

6 comments:

Frumteacher said...

Sorry, Guess I can't be of any help here, although I will keep following the other comments here. E-books are totally new to me. I can't imagine reading a book without smelling the paper, feeling the pages between my fingertips. On the other hand, you are right about saving paper and space. Do you find it just as easy to concentrate on an e-book as on a real book?

Orchid in the Bronx said...

Can you get "lost" in the world of a book on a little screen? I have a hard time with it, somehow. Audiobooks are my mainstay - the aural quality of stories and poems. And GREAT for the commute. Try E. Gilbert's EAT PRAY LOVE on CD (the author reads, she's quite good). Love your camels, by the way.

roller coaster teacher said...

Seriously, my friends, the ebook experience bears little resemblance to a "real" (flesh and blood?) book. How do you compare blogging to writing in a paper journal notebook with pen? They serve different purposes.

I thought I would listen to books on audio CD on my new, longer (i.e. 40 minutes each way) commute to work. Instead, I've been listening to NPR, alternately clenching my teeth or spacing out during war reports, and 40 minutes passes pretty darn quick.

Tricia Grissom said...

Thanks for the link love.

The technology can be confusing, and until I started looking into ebook publishing, I though I'd never read an electronic book.

I hadn't thought about passing books to other people. Is it like music files where they try to prevent multiple copies?

I'm protective of my books anyway. Mine. Can't have them. Unless my bookshelf starts overtaking my room again - then they go to the library book drive.

WendyB said...

Interesting. I've never even tried an audiobook.

awomansblog said...

Hi roller coaster teacher:
One of my last courses I found it to be so much easier to study for exams using e-books. I discovered I could read much faster while simultaneously taking notes for review later. I remember a communications course a long time ago, when e-books were still off in the distance: my professor argued that she likes to lay in bed reading, before laptops were readily available, and didn’t like the idea of books online. I also still have a houseful of books and still keep Amazon out of the red.

I have only used e-books through my university library, though, so I don’t have any suggestions regarding ebookiphones but it sounds like fun and when I finish school I will miss the wonderful and seemingly exhaustive collection of e-books there. (Or maybe I should just stay in school until I’m 80 :-)

Yours in an interesting topic and it’s good to be back to blogging. I hope to update mine later on today.