Rebirth of the iBook?

mcdj

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
8,893
3,987
NYC
Page turning effects, zooming, flicking and scrolling, the beautiful font rendering...is it just me or would the iPhone make a pretty decent e-Book reader? Of course Apple would reinvent the format, make it proprietary and sell the iBooks on iTunes. Imagine BookcoverFlow.

Would you buy an iBook to read on your iPhone?

Discuss.
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,038
30
Salt Lake City, UT
Page turning effects, zooming, flicking and scrolling, the beautiful font rendering...is it just me or would the iPhone make a pretty decent e-Book reader? Of course Apple would reinvent the format, make it proprietary and sell the iBooks on iTunes. Imagine BookcoverFlow.

Would you buy an iBook to read on your iPhone?

Discuss.
The screen is too small. I want something with the same screen size as the average paperback book. All in all though, eBook readers don't excite me that much. Books take a long time to read, so why would I want to carry lots of them with me? I guess storage-wise (physical storage I mean) it would be nice, but I don't really want books in some proprietary format that won't be readable in 20 or 30 years. I have and have read books that are a lot older than that (and are out of print).

Of course, if Apple did it, they'd do it right at least as far as the device/UI goes. Still, I wouldn't buy books from iTunes (or whatever) unless they were completely DRM free.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,170
1,148
Colorado Springs, CO
:p

I'm glad I wasn't the only one thinking that. Clicked the thread wondering why was an iBook thread in the iPhone section.
Ditto, Ditto. I would've just called them eBooks. No confusion that way.

Anyway, I don't ever see eBooks catching on. Paper books don't require batteries, you just can't replace the feel of turning a page and people need a break from technology every once in a while. In essence, people like books because of the whole package.

I mean, why am I going to buy an expensive piece of hardware and then download books online when I can just go to the local bookstore or online store (Amazon, etc) and buy one?
 

swdesignr

macrumors newbie
Jun 30, 2007
27
0
New Mexico
The resurrection of the iBook

Give Apple a year or so, and I'd venture that the iBook WILL be making a comeback: as a paperback size, multi-touch, double screen, clamshell type notebook that you can open and read like a book or use like a mini-laptop. Might be another reason why Apple has been getting cozy with Google...and their digital book library. iTunes will then become just a division of a larger online nexus (iApple?) encompassing books, music, movies, phone products & services, HD projectors that connect to all their devices, and who knows what else.

Just a guess, maybe even a prediction. But if anyone can make reading books hip, easy, comfortable, and an enhanced, entertaining experience, it would be Apple.
 

Eilene

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2007
130
58
I used to love reading eBooks on my old Palm. I would do it again on the iPhone & it would be well done I bet.
 

joseftu

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2007
31
0
Same here. I used my Treo for reading e-books every single day--it was the best thing about it, and it's the only major flaw in the iPhone. If it had an ebook reader, it would be the most perfect device ever invented! (Well, a little hyperbole there, maybe, but you get the idea).
 

Doylem

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2006
3,858
3,640
Wherever I hang my hat...
There have been too many false starts and honourable failures, in trying to bring books to small screens. It seems like a solution looking for a problem. Nothing I've seen has come close to the experience of picking up a book and reading it. :)
 

joseftu

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2007
31
0
I'm an English professor--there may be no profession with a bigger collection of bibliophiles, with a stronger fetish for books as objects. I buy (paper) books all the time, and never get rid of any of them. I love reading "real" books and always will.

But there are features that e-books (especially on small devices) can offer that bound paper books can not. With the Treo, I could read with one hand, on a crowded subway train. I could read in bed, in the dark, with my wife sleeping next to me, and not have her disturbed by the light. I could carry dozens of books with me, all the time. I could search and copy and paste text from those books.

The e-book is most certainly not a replacement for the paper book...but it doesn't have to be, and shouldn't be seen as such. If you see each medium as having its own specific advantages, rather than seeing one as superior or inferior to the other overall, it's clear that there's plenty of room for both.
 

earnjam

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2007
672
0
North Carolina
I'm an English professor--there may be no profession with a bigger collection of bibliophiles, with a stronger fetish for books as objects. I buy (paper) books all the time, and never get rid of any of them. I love reading "real" books and always will.

But there are features that e-books (especially on small devices) can offer that bound paper books can not. With the Treo, I could read with one hand, on a crowded subway train. I could read in bed, in the dark, with my wife sleeping next to me, and not have her disturbed by the light. I could carry dozens of books with me, all the time. I could search and copy and paste text from those books.

The e-book is most certainly not a replacement for the paper book...but it doesn't have to be, and shouldn't be seen as such. If you see each medium as having its own specific advantages, rather than seeing one as superior or inferior to the other overall, it's clear that there's plenty of room for both.
great post.
 

Eilene

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2007
130
58
I'm an English professor--there may be no profession with a bigger collection of bibliophiles, with a stronger fetish for books as objects. I buy (paper) books all the time, and never get rid of any of them. I love reading "real" books and always will.

But there are features that e-books (especially on small devices) can offer that bound paper books can not. With the Treo, I could read with one hand, on a crowded subway train. I could read in bed, in the dark, with my wife sleeping next to me, and not have her disturbed by the light. I could carry dozens of books with me, all the time. I could search and copy and paste text from those books.

The e-book is most certainly not a replacement for the paper book...but it doesn't have to be, and shouldn't be seen as such. If you see each medium as having its own specific advantages, rather than seeing one as superior or inferior to the other overall, it's clear that there's plenty of room for both.
Well Said!!!
 

Zadillo

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2005
1,534
35
Baltimore, MD
Honestly, I think whatever future there is in eBooks will be from e-ink devices, not smartphones, iPhones, etc.

Not quite there yet, but they're getting more interesting. There's still something a bit off about the Sony Reader, but I'm curious about the upcoming Bookeen Cybook, for example:

http://www.bookeen.com/ebook/ebook-reading-device.aspx

But it's the e-ink displays that I think really make the difference - I love gadgets, I've loved my Newton, my PDA's, my Treo, and my future iPhone - but I don't like reading lots of text on them.

But I can see myself reading eBooks on e-ink displays.

Again, not quite there yet - the Sony Reader, for example, seems like it has more "dark grey text" against a "light gray background".

I think when e-ink displays get to the point where it is really indistinguishable from what a printed page looks like, that will be it.

Supposedly this Bookeen Cybook does have a better contrast ratio, so I'm interested in seeing that.

Of course, I'd love to see Apple get into making some sort of e-ink device as well.
 

blankleader

macrumors newbie
Jul 1, 2007
25
0
Little Rock
I've added some .pdf files of ebooks to my Web server so that I can access them through my site and read them on my phone. It's an ongoing experiment.

What I've learned so far is that I have no problem with the size of the screen, but you can't just choose any page in a .pdf in Safari and go straight to it. So picking up where you left off takes much scrolling. The workaround is to make separate .pdfs for each chapter or every 20 pages or something, and that takes work. If it's a nice long book, though, it can be worth it.