Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The android tablet reveals the crown gem of ebooks

It had been a while since I had requested anything from Netgalley -- which is the most brilliant concept and I can only day I am green that I did not think of it myself! -- but I noticed last week that none of the last spate of electronic ARCs I asked for seemed to have the option to send the file to my Kindle. Someone in the twittersphere suggested it would return soon.

The 60-day clock (another innovation, that) was ticking! So, to read Lucy Kellaway's  British potboiler In Office Hours and then A Girl's Guide to Homelessness, Briana Karp's memoir derived from her blog, I pulled out the Pandigital Novel, the Android reader I bought last summer from Bed, Bath & Beyond. It was $149, I have since seen it advertised for $99, and if the $99 Kindle rumors are to be believed, I think  $50 ereader is possible by fall. I had not used it since September though, upon retrospect, the touchpad wasn't as bad as I'd remembered, I couldn't use it for checking Twitter as I kept inadvertently re-tweeting. And the Adobe Digital Editions software is so much clunkier than the consumer-oriented functionality of the Kindle! And the wires! I despair of those. But it is great for the Overdrive books from the public library...

Meanwhile, reading In Office Hours (in its epub format) was terrific. The font was sufficient, the cover art maintained. A Girls' Guide, which was pdf, was clunkier, because the spacing between lines varied wildly at the "large" font size,  and the margin symbols transformed into date stamps. Meanwhile, I couldn't read either Everything I Was or Plan B on the little tablet, because they crashed the Adobe software. They both have graphics-heavy front matter, but I can't see why that would be happening...



Then I found the crow jewel of ebooks, something that takes it to an entirely different realm. Something that threatens to be so democratizing as to evoke Gutenberg -- a gorgeous picture book on Preservation Hall done by LSU Press. With layouts that looked almost optimized for the tablet, the integrity of the text was such that you could see the effect that its influence would have on any reader, something I hadn't seen done with a purely electronic work. This doesn't do it justice:

video

I want some more of these...

In other events, my second generation Kindle is still waiting for a software update for pagination...

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't realized Pandigital was color! I'm sure it would make for much more comfortable reading than the format I'm using to read IN OFFICE HOURS right now -- propping up my 15" MacBook in bed!

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