A quick guide to getting and managing books on Samsung Galaxy Tab

Dear reader,

I present you this post courtesy of Ebook Friendly:

If you want to start reading books on Samsung Galaxy Tab, this post should speed things up and make it easier to pick up the best possible way.

Samsung Galaxy Tab devices come pre-loaded with Readers Hub, a set of three default applications that will let you read books, newspapers, and magazines.

The hub may well be the only thing you need to enjoy reading on your Galaxy Tab. Look no further to find out how convenient reading on a tablet is.

What’s more, the possibilities for reading ebooks are practically endless as you can download lots of other book reading & management applications from Google Play or Samsung App Store.

Applications

Since late 2010 the Readers Hub ebook reading application for Galaxy Tab is Kobo. Just like you have to open an account for Netflix, you’ll need to sign up to Kobo – and it’s worth it. Kobo is a Canada-based ebook platform, one of the largest in the world, where you can browse and shop over 3 million ebooks, including free ones.

Once you register an account at Kobo, you will be able to sync your ebook library across all devices that are at hand, no matter if it’s a computer, Android-based tablet or smartphone or a Kobo e-reader, if you’ll decide to buy it in the future.

A unique feature Kobo offers is Reading Life, which tracks your reading habits over time and lets you earn fun and surprising awards just for reading.

Kobo app may remain a primary source of ebooks for your Samsung Galaxy Tab and the main ebook management tool. However, the beauty of tablets is that you can pack them with any app you like to get all the titles you wish in any possible configuration.

For example, if you are an Amazon customer, and have a Prime membership, you don’t only have a free access to movies, but also can  borrow for free one book per month from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. That’s doable on Samsung Galaxy Tab. The only thing to do is to download Kindle applicationfrom Google Play.

Being a loyal customer of Barnes & Noble? No problem, try ebooks from B&N’s Nook Store by downloading a Nook app. There is also Google’s own e-reading app, Google Play Books.

With Kobo and/or Kindle app you can buy books from outside US. The content of Nook and Google ebookstores is limited to few countries, so please have it in mind before making a final decision on what should be your default e-reading application.

There are many other great book reading applications in Google Play. You can browse them in Book & Reference category. Most popular independent apps (not connected with any particular ebookstore) are Moon+ ReaderAldikoand FBReader.

Aldiko Samsung Galaxy Tab

Aldiko is one of the most popular apps in Google Play

No matter which book app you use, you can add your own titles to it. There are several ways to do it, usually via browser, mail or Dropbox account.

Formats

Most of book reading applications support modern ebook format called epub(Kobo, Google Play Books, Aldiko, FBReader).

Kindle comes with a separate format, and even if you’ve got an epub file that is not protected, you won’t be able to open it in Kindle app. For Kindle you’ll need mobi format.

The only Android application that supports both epub and mobi is Moon+ Reader.

Moon Reader Samsung Galaxy Tab

Moon+ Reader offers a lot of customization options

File protection, called DRM (Digital Rights Management) is another thing to keep in mind. Most ebookstores use DRM, and that means the book purchased in one ecosystem can’t be easily read in the other one.

Luckily, Kobo and Nook ebookstores use the same DRM system, that requires toregister an Adobe ID. Once you do it and once you authorize your Samsung Galaxy Tab with the ID you got, you should be able to cross-read books from both ebookstores. You can also collect all your epub books, including the ones from Adobe DRM-supported stores in a variety of other apps, naming only Aldiko, Mantano, or txtr.

Obviously, you can add pdf files to the e-reading app of your choice. While it’s fine on a big screen of 10.1 Galaxy Tab, you may find it hard to read pdf files on the 7-inch tablet. That’s why it’s good to make a decision to start collecting books in one of the modern formats, like epub or mobi, that let adjust font size and reflow text for maximum reading convenience.

Sources

The content for Kobo, Kindle or Nook app you’ll get from respective ebookstores. Apart from geographical and format restrictions, you may expect differences in prices.

Amazon puts an extra fee on Kindle books bought from outside US. Also, some publishers set different prices for different regions/countries. Before making a decision on the primary ebookstore to buy books from, you can make a research using ebook price comparison tools. I recommend Luzme or Inkmesh for that.

Apart from ebookstores, there are a couple of great sites, where you can get ebooks for free. I’ve listed them in a separate post, so below there is just a short summary.

A first place to visit is Project Gutenberg. It’s a collection of almost 43 thousand free ebooks that entered public domain. You can download each title in epub or mobi format, so it’s doesn’t really matter which app you use to open the books from PG. Other sources of free ebooks are Internet ArchiveOpen Library, andSmashwords. The last service is the leading platform where contemporary authors offer a lot of their books for free.

Management

A tablet is a more flexible device for e-reading than dedicated e-reader. On your Samsung Galaxy Tab you can buy/download books to different applications (and ebook platforms associated with them).

An app that requires registration usually offers synchronization of your ebook library. It’s one of the most wonderful benefits ebooks have. You can end reading a book on your smartphone in a subway, and open it on a tablet in the evening – exactly at the same page. What’s more, you can get synced not only the furthest read location, but also bookmarks, notes, and highlights.

Some applications limit full sync only to books purchased in their own ebookstores. That’s the case of Nook or Kobo. On the other hand, Kindle can also sync the side-loaded books.

 

Do E-Readers Really Present a Threat to Airplanes?

By Dan Eldridge from Teleread

The increasingly heated national debate surrounding the use of personal electronic devices on airplanes has been chugging along steadily for years now. And yet thanks to the laudable effortsof the New York Times‘ Nick Bilton, the conversation has once again become news.

As many of you are undoubtedly aware, a now-legendary Bilton piece appearing in the Times in late March—in which he criticized the F.A.A.’s  rules against using e-readers and tablets during taxi, takeoff or landing—actually resulted in a somewhat positive governmental response: The F.A.A. promised to take “a fresh look” at the issue.

Frequent fliers everywhere, of course, have long been equally befuddled and frustrated by the confusion surrounding the PEDs-on-planes regulation: Most of us, I’d like to believe, would be only too happy to stow our Kindles and iPads during the required periods … if only we knewwithout a doubt that such devices could indeed cause interference with an aircraft’s electronic transmissions. But we don’t know that.

In fact, in an Aero magazine article published in March 2000, Boeing admits that after undertaking several investigations, it “has not been able to find a definite correlation between  [personal electronic devices] and the associated reported airplane anomalies.”

* * *

Here’s another reason this issue is so endlessly frustrating: The vast majority of passengers who discuss it, or journalists who write about it, seem to approach the issue with their minds already made up. And yet because the F.A.A. itself doesn’t seem too terribly clear on the hows, whys and wherefores of its own regulations, it’s understandably difficult for those of us who are paying customers of the airlines to take the inconvenience laying down.

I found Kate Bevan’s recent piece in the Guardian to be especially even-measured. (My earlier reference to the Aero magazine article, by the way, came directly from her write-up.) Because she so smartly points out the logic behind both sides of the argument, I’d consider it a must-read for anyone who might be even slightly interested in the topic.

Meanwhile, Nick Bilton and scores of other journalists, bloggers and consumers are continuing to press the issue. I think it’s a fair guess to suspect that it was the ceaseless barrage of noise coming from both the media and the airlines’ consumers that eventually forced the F.A.A. into announcing its upcoming investigation.

Just five days ago, for those of you who may not be aware, the F.A.A. distributed a press release announcing plans for an “industry working group to study [the effects of] portable electronics usage” on aircraft. This almost certainly would not have happened if no one had discussed the current regulations–or debated them–in the first place.

And here’s where you come in. According to the aforementioned press release:

“As the first step in gathering information for the working group, the FAA is seeking public input on the agency’s current [personal electronic device] policies, guidance and procedures for operators. The Request for Comments, which will appear in the Federal Register on August 28th, is part of a data-driven agency initiative to review the methods and criteria operators use to permit PEDs during flights … Comments can be filed up to 60 days after the Federal Register publish date.”

To view or download the actual 14-page Request for Comments document, click here(PDF)

So if this is a situation you would personally like to see resolved at some point in your lifetime, please: Write about it, blog about it, mention it on your favorite social networking sites, discuss it in online forums, discuss it with fellow passengers and airline employees during your next flight–whatever it takes.

Why do people pirate e-books

Teleread‘s Julie Moore tried to answer that one:

Piracy is an endlessly debated topic. Views on it range from “don’t worry about it too much” to“it has a huge impact on sales.” What is often ignored are the reasons why people pirate and, from there, what publishers could do about it.


I’ve hung out in forums with e-book pirates. I’ve read about the subject, and I think I can distill my observations down to three main reasons why people pirate (or why they justify it to themselves). In this article, I’ll examine them. In my next article, I’ll discuss how understanding the reasons can lead to practical ways to reduce book piracy.

I expect this article to generate comments—some of them heated. Please understand that I’m not justifying or supporting the reasons presented below. I’m just reporting on my observations over the years.

1. I Like To Collect Stuff

There are a lot of “collectors” of e-books. I used to hang out on alt.binaries.ebooks, and I saw this syndrome frequently. People would just upload their entire hard drive worth of books. Think on the order of hundreds, if not thousands. I doubt many of them even read the books. In fact, I’m sure of it. Frequently the books in the archives were unreadable, or not even the same book as listed.

By the way, the same syndrome exists in the non-pirating e-book reader. A while back there was a thread on a Kindle group about, “How many books do you have on your Kindle?” I remember one person posting that she had over 4,000, almost all acquired as freebies. I doubt she’ll read even a quarter of them, and she’s probably still downloading more today.

2. I’ll Never Pay for An E-Book

I see this sentiment over and over again on message boards, forums, and in the pirate community. Some express it by only downloading free (but legal) books. Others pirate. While there is some overlap with the collector, many of these people do read the books they download. They either will not or cannot spend money on books.

And before you say something like, “you spent money on an e-reader; don’t tell me you can’t afford books,” stop and consider that e-readers are frequently given as gifts, especially to older adults. A significant percentage of the members of the Kindle Korner Yahoo group are retired adults on a fixed income. They have lots of time to read, but they can’t afford to buy many books. Students are another example. Many of them read on cell phones or their computers, but don’t have the discretionary income to buy books.

3. The Book I Want Isn’t Available As An E-Book

Fortunately, this is becoming less common in the United States. But with territorial restrictions, it’s still a huge problem in other countries. Globalization and the rise of the Internet have exposed us to content we wouldn’t have known about 10 to 15 years ago. It’s human nature to want something that looks interesting. It’s also human nature to be annoyed when we can’t get something, and to look for ways to acquire it.

While this problem is lessened for recent books, it’s still evident for backlist titles. And even when backlist titles are available as e-books, they’re often riddled with formatting and scanning errors. If you can find an older book on a pirate site, it’s often been scanned and corrected by a community of readers. I completely agree with the frustration of “I paid $7.99 for that!” Personally, I deal with it by extensively reading reviews of backlist titles, and avoiding the ones that seem to have problems. And no, I don’t then go pirate the book. I just move on to something else. There are more books available that I want to read than years in which I have to read them.

You can probably come up with other reasons for book piracy, but these are the big three I’ve observed over the years. Next, I’ll discuss ways publishers could reach these readers and sell books to them, assuming they want to solve the problem instead of just complaining about it.

Don’t wait to download your e-book

Dear reader,

Do you buy e-books? And do you pay for them by credit card? If yes and yes, it is wise to download your e-books as soon as you can, and keep them safe somewhere! Read on why, as I found this on “Opposing Views“:

DRM rears its uglymalformedmalignantcross-eyed head again. Despite the fact that, as Cory Doctorow so aptly put it, no one has ever purchased anything because it came with DRM, an ever-slimming number of content providers insist on punishing paying customers with idiotic “anti-piracy” schemes.

Combine this “malware” with digital distribution that sticks the end user with an unfavorable license rather than, say, an actual book, and you’ve got another ready-made disaster. The Consumerist has the details on yet another paying customer dealing with DRM stupidity. It starts off with this physical analogy.

[I]f reader Synimatik had bought a paperback book a few months ago and picked it up to read now, the book’s pages wouldn’t magically glue shut just because the credit card she normally uses at the bookstore has expired.

Obviously, no one would expect a physical book to be subject to the whims of the publisher or the store it was purchased from. A sale is a sale, even if many rights holders would rather it wasn’t. But, Barnes & Noble doesn’t see it that way. Sure, you can buy an ebook from them, but you’d better keep everything in your profile up to date if you plan on accessing your purchases at some undetermined point in the future.

Yesterday, I tried to download an ebook I paid for, and previously put on my Nook, a few months ago. When I tried, I got an error message stating I could not download the book because the credit card on file had expired. But, I already paid for it. Who cares if the credit card is expired? It has long since been paid for, so the status of the card on file has nothing to do with my ability to download said book. I didn’t see anything in the terms of service about this either, but it’s possible I missed it.

This is just one more reason to either not buy ebooks, or strip the drm off of the ones you purchase so you can you the book you BUY on all your devices without having to purchase multiple copies for no reason and have access to something you already bought when you want it.

Read more on  “Opposing Views“.

The best places for DRM-free e-books – part 2 of 2

By Joanna Cabot

From Part 1: I love DRM-free books! I know that for most people, DRM is an issue they might not think about often; if their books work, they’re happy. But for many more experienced e-book users, it’s an issue to care about. Unless, that is, you buy and read books that are DRM-free.

Smashwords logoThe books referenced and linked to below can be kept forever, converted using free software such as Calibre, and read on any device you might own. But where to get them? Here are some of my favorite sources:

3. SMASHWORDS

This is the Amazon of self-published books. Some genres are better represented than others, and quality can vary, but it’s a polished-looking ecosystem. You can view online (or download for later) generous samples, and read reviews and comments by other users.

For authors, it’s a one-stop shop; if you format your work correctly, Smashwords can get it into the Kobo, Kindle, Sony and Nook stores for you. There is also a growing sub-group of authors publishing via this platform whose books started their life with mainstream publishers and are being re-released by their authors, who have gotten back the rights.

Many free books are available, as well as for-purchase titles. Once you buy, you can re-download, in any format you choose, any time you need a fresh copy.

Five to get you started:

♦ Soul Identity by Dennis Batchelder (free): A computer hacker is asked to investigate a mysterious group that promises to transfer your wealth to your next life by tracking your soul into its next incarnation. A great suspense read.

♦ Alien Murders by Stephen Goldin ($2.99): Three sci-fi stories featuring a ‘literary broker’ who travels to alien worlds via virtual reality, and represents Earth’s cultural property to alien buyers.

Still Life with Murder by Patricia Ryan, writing as P.B. Ryan♦ Deadly Gamble by Connie Shelton ($0.99): The first in a series of mystery novels featuring Charlie Parker, an accountant-turned-detective.

♦ Radium Halos by Shelley Stout ($2.99): An excellent historical novel based on the true events of the Radium Girls, female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning in the 1920s from painting luminous watch and clock dials with radium paint.

♦ Still Life with Murder by Patricia Ryan (free): The first in Patricia Ryan’s historical mystery series featuring Nell Sweeney. Originally published by Berkeley Books.

4. FICTIONWISE

Fictionwise was once the e-book destination. Their sale to Barnes & Noble, followed soon after by the agency pricing fiasco, left them a shell of their former self. But they did—and still do—offer a good selection of DRM-free e-books. (Look for the word ‘multiformat’ when you’re browsing, to tip you off.) You can also select a genre and then use a drop down to filter your choices to only this type of book.

One drawback: Sampling is primitive, and often not available, and you’ll need to look elsewhere for reviews. But if you know what you’re looking for, you can get some good deals here. I won’t list prices for the following titles; if you’re a club member and wait for a coupon code, you can do much better than the list price.

Five good ones:

♦ Masters of Noir: Volume One by Ed McBain: The first in a series, edited by crime great Ed McBain and others, collecting classics from the crime noir genre into one omnibus volume.

♦ 3rd World Products: Book 1 by Ed Howdershelt: A fun and clever little sci-fi tale about alien first contact with Earth. They see our planet as a business opportunity! Try book one, and if you like it, go to Howdershelt’s website to get the rest of them in a much cheaper bundle.

♦ Fellowship of Fear by Aaron Elkins: The first in a well-regarded series featuring an archaeologist detective.

3rd World Products Book 1 by Ed Howdershelt♦ Rx for Murder by Renee Horowitz: Another creative take on the detective genre, this cozy read features a pharmacist sleuth.

♦ Dell Fiction MagazinesAsimov’sEllery Queen and other Dell magazines, both current issues and a few months’ worth of past issues. These don’t expire, either. They’re treated like an e-book, and once you have one, it stays in your shelf.

5. AUTHOR WEBSITES

If you find an author you like and his or her work is DRM-free, chances are they own the rights to the work, and control their own collections. This means it’s highly likely the author has a website, where you can frequently get series books in a bundle at a significant discount.

Some to try:

♦ Cory Doctorow: Doctorow gives away the downloads to all his books for free. Most of them have short ads at the beginning; you can find links on his website to vendors for purchasing a clean copy, or you can purchase a print copy to donate to a school or library.

♦ Simon Haynes: This author writes the popular comedic space opera ‘Hal Spacejock.’ He is self-pubbing his new Hal Jr. series, and you can buy the first four volumes of the classic series in a bundle for $9.99.

♦ Diane Duane: This author of the children’s series So You Want to be a Wizard sells both the original published version and a new updated version which is only available at her site.

♦ J.A. Konrath: He writes detective novels, suspense novels and blogs that are revered by aspiring authors. You can get autographed or inscribed print books, as well as e-books—including a bundle of every book he sells, for $43.99.

♦ Blake Crouch: A suspense writer and sometime-collaborator with Konrath. Alas, no bundles, but all the books are there with links to vendors for purchasing, and bonus features such as reviews and excerpts.

So, is that enough to get you all started? Happy reading!

The best places for DRM-free e-books – part 1 of 2

As found on Teleread:

By Joanna Cabot

Project GutenbergI love DRM-free books! I know that for most people, DRM is an issue they might not think about often; if their books work, they’re happy. But for many more experienced e-book users, it’s an issue to care about.

If you acquire 100 Amazon e-books and then you buy a Kobo, how are you going to read those books? If you spend years as a loyal Sony customer and then buy a Kindle, what will you do with the books you’ve bought and loved? Unless you are blessed with some technical skills—and either a country whose laws permit format-shifting, or a moral compass that doesn’t care as much about the letter of the law—you’re stuck.

Unless, that is, you buy and read books that are DRM-free. These books can be kept forever, converted using free software such as Calibre, and read on any device you might own. But where to get them? Here are some of my favorite sources:

1. PROJECT GUTENBERG

This is the oldest e-book repository on the Web. It has over 40,000 free books, with more available through affiliates like Project Gutenberg Canada and Project Gutenberg Australia. These books are all public domain titles, but you would be shocked at what’s in the public domain these days. It’s not just Shakespeare and the Bible anymore—there arepulp sci-fi and mystery titles from the Golden Age, early issues of Scientific American andAstounding Stories, cookbooks, children’s classics (including books for very young readers, such as the complete works of Beatrix Potter) and more. Many are illustrated. Some have audio book versions. Most of the newer ones were prepared through Gutenberg’s Distributed Proofreaders program to ensure they are error-free. New books are added very frequently

Browsing can be a bit of a chore—some of the books are sorted into topical bookshelves, others are not. But if you know what you’re looking for, or stick to the ‘new release’ or ‘most-downloaded’ RSS feeds, you’re sure to find something good. And the scope of this project—their goal is to have every public domain book ever published—is incredible. This is truly an unparalleled resource, and one of the great gifts the Internet has given us.

Here are five books to get you started; I suggest downloading the HTML, as it seems to convert the cleanest.

Harvard Classics♦ The Harvard Classics: The vast majority of the works in Dr. Eliot’s famous ‘five-foot shelf,’ a collection designed to give a reader a complete classical education with only the books which might fit in a single shelf.

♦ The Best Short Stories: A collection of themed short story collections such as ‘The Best American Humorous Short Stories’ and ‘The Best Russian Shirt Stories,’ sorted by country or origin.

♦ The Golden Treasury, edited by Francis Turner Palgrave: One of the best poetry anthologies ever published. The poetry bookshelf has some other good ones listed.

♦ Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg: This series draws together Jewish myth and folklore from a variety of sources, similar to how the Brothers Grimm synthesized fairy tales from multiple sources.

♦ Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: My all-time favorite novel. A gothic story of the forbidden love between the beautiful Catherine and the mysterious Heathcliff.

2. DELPHI CLASSICS 

Interested in reading the great classics but don’t want to take the time to download two dozen Dickens books, or seek out individual volumes of Sherlock Holmes stories? Do you want to read Andrew Lang’s popular Fairy Books as they first appeared with complete illustrations? Do you want to learn more about the great artists or poets, but don’t know where to start? Delphi Classics is for you!

This store is known for their lavishly illustrated complete works collections (complete works of Dickens, complete works of Austen, and so on) but lately has branched out into two new series: Masters of Art and Masters of Poetry, which, as their titles imply, present the complete works of artists and poets. These books are very well-done, withDelphi Classics D.H. Lawrence numerous illustrations, biographical information and other goodies it would take a long time to track down on your own. They’re also updated frequently—with corrections as well, with new works, as they become available.

If you buy from Delphi’s website as opposed to the Amazon store, you can download the free updates at any time from your account. Two drawbacks:

a. Some of the files are very large, which may slow down a less robust reader.

b. Also, you have to pay separately for the .mobi and .epub versions. I tried converting a mobi version using Calibre and after 30 minutes of trying, Calibre crashed. I don’t relish paying again for an epub if I move to a Kobo Reader down the road, and I think Delphi Classics should amalgamate their editions and let their customers download a purchased title in whatever format they choose.

My five favorites:

♦ Delphi Poets: Emily Dickinson ($1.99) – Dickinson’s complete works, with bonus biographical material including Dickinson’s letters, as well as photographs and illustrations.

♦ Dickens eVolume Collection ($3.99) – The complete works of Dickens, plus biographical materials and extras, in a zipped file of 20 volumes.

♦ The Brontes – Complete Works ($2.99): The complete vollected works of all the Brontes, including their childhood writing and work by their lesser-known artist brother. Illustrated with photographs and reproductions and all the usual bonus features.

♦ Andrew Lang- Complete Works ($2.99): The complete fairy tales books, in order, plus his other short story collections, poetry, other writing and so on. As usual, illustrated with all the usual bonus features.

♦ Masters of Art – Leonardo da Vinci ($2.99): Da Vinci’s paintings in full colour, zoom-able, with bonus details. I reviewed this unique series for TeleRead earlier this year.

New Study Shows eBooks Don’t Cannabalize Print Sales

October 11th, 2012 by  · No Comments · surveys & polls

One common justification for high ebook prices is the claim that ebook sales tend to increase at the cost of sales of paper books. While that is certainly true in my case, a study which was recently released by the University of Hamburg suggests that I might be an outlier.

This study, which was released with the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, shows that 22% of digital readers also buy 3 or more hardback books a year. That is more than the average readers who don’t use ebooks; only 15% buy those 3 or more hardbacks a year. The report also showed that the digital reader tended to buy as many paperbacks as they did before adopting ebooks, though there was slightly more purchases among some digital readers.

This report also revealed that digital readers spent around 50 euros a year on ebooks, while the survey group as a whole spent about 115 euros on paper books. And while it was not the preferred site, almost everyone had bought from Amazon at least once (79%). The most shopped bookstore, much to my surprise, was Thalia (24%), followed by Weltbild/Hugendubel (20%), iTunes/iBooks(19%), Project Gutenberg (7%), and Libri.de (7%) .

I don’t have many more details from the study (I’m still looking for it), but I do have one interesting detail. This study is based on a survey of 2,500 German readers, and 1157 read ebooks. That’s a remarkably high percentage. The latest data in the US dates from this Spring, and that showed that only about 30% of US readers had adopted ebooks.  Hopefully this is a sign that ebooks are catching on and catching up in Germany.

via Welt.de / via TheDigitalReader

E-reading devices compared

Dear reader,

More and more signals appear that the E-ink technology that is used in many popular e-reading devices is getting beating upon beating from the realm of the tablets. Not very surprising, as tablets become more and more affordable and offer more versatility compared to e-readers that you can ‘only’ use to read.

♦ So what is the difference of the reading experience between the two?
Here is some imagery from my own devices (forgive my lack of craftsmanship on these):

E-reader, large overview

Image from a piece of text on my e-reader. It almost looks like a book to me.

E-reader, detail

Up here you see a close-up of the text on the e-reader.

Tablet, black on white, overview

Here you see a snip of text on the tablet, with the device set to a white background and black text.

Tablet, black on white, detail

A close-up of the tablet’s display. Of course, you would never lie with your nose on a tablet this way, unless you fall asleep on it.

Tablet, white on black, overview

Here is the same text but then reversed in image. White text, black background.

Tablet, white on black, detail

And to be complete: here is a close-up of the text in white on black.

As you see, there is quite a difference when you look at the devices this way. The display on the e-reader seems a bit smoother. This of course has to do also with the way the tablet lights up its text: from behind, and the fact that this is an extreme close-up. When reading from it, the difference is hardly noticeable.

♦ And what is the similarity of the reading experience between the two?

Both devices do what I want from them when I read on them. The display is flicker-free, the response when paging is good (remember that you get what you pay for, do not expect snappy responses from a low-budget tablet). Both devices can hold a large number of books, font sizes can be adjusted and everything just works.

The tablet has an added benefit here: I can install free reading apps from anywhere (Aldiko, Kobo, Amazon, etc.) so I can purchase books from everywhere and read them immediately. This benefit also is a drawback. I want to read a book. Where did I buy it? Oh, yes, so I need that app to read it. That is something you don’t have to worry about on a dedicated e-reader, everything is on there. Which has in turn the drawback that when you want to buy something on Amazon and read it on for example a B&N Nook, you will need to do some trickery with conversion and DRM removal before you can load your purchase on your own device. Especially the latter part needs some attention as it is not legal to tinker with these things, even when you have bought the book.

For now there is one clear point where an E-ink device wins hands down over a tablet: reading outside. A tablet does not display anything clearly when you take it outside in bright light. And the brighter the light, the clearer E-ink is.

♦ The decline of E-ink.

I see why it happens. Tablets are more versatile. You can read on them, you can also browse the web, you can listen to music (which is possible on most e-readers as well), and you can run all kinds of programs and games on them. E-ink will have a hard time beating that – as well as getting a facelift to displaying colours.

Macmillan Reportedly Ready to Test Library eBook Pilot

Via TheDigitalReader:

Macmillan has long been on one the major publishers who has completely refused to sell ebooks to libraries but it looks like that might have changed. News is breaking today that the publisher is working on some type of pilot program which will finally bring Macmillan ebooks to US public libraries.

Details are vague, but that will not stop many from reading too much into it and getting their hopes up. PW reported that Macmillan reps have confirmed the existence of the pilot but didn’t disclose any other details. “We have been working hard to develop an ebook lending model that works for all parties, as we value the libraries and the role they play in the reading community,” reads a statement provided to PW. “We are currently finalizing the details of our pilot program and will be announcing it when we are ready, and not in reaction to a demand.”

While I won’t read too much into this bit of news, it is still a good sign. Well, it would be more accurate to say that in the case of Macmillan any movement that doesn’t include actually firebombing libraries is a good sign.

Clearly Macmillan is following in Penguin’s footsteps in at lest dabbling in the library ebook market. Penguin started a pilot program with the NYCPL back in June of this year. Of course, like Penguin’s pilot the upcoming Macmillan program will likely also be a sucky deal for libraries.

Penguin’s pilot involve the 3M Cloud Library selling library ebooks on a 1 year expiring license, which is their own unique way of jacking up the price. It’s a pity they are not more open about their price gouging; at least Hachette and Random House were more direct when they doubled and tripled the prices for library ebooks.

Ranting aside, there is another alternative for libraries. They could always buy ereaders and ebooks on the consumer market and led those out to patrons. Of course, this gets into the issue of accessibility, which some libraries like the Sacramento Public Libraryfound out the hard way.

And so the library ebook stumbles on for one more day.