Lauren Leto

Reading with iBooks

Posted in book porn by Lauren Leto on April 6, 2010

I got a Wi-Fi iPad. It can’t connect to the internet at my house! I’m probably going to return it for a 3G iPad.

THAT BEING SAID, I’ve downloaded three books on iBooks. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (first chapter has the word “GhettoNerd” in the title, I know I’m going to like it), Wolf Hall and The Help.

Here is a sample of a page on iBooks:

The Good Points: Press on any word with your finger and the options “Bookmark,” “Dictionary” and “Search” appear. When you bookmark words or sections, they appear under a list in the beginning of the book so you can revisit those highlighted sections (great for book reviews/reports/research).

The Bad Points: The word count on the bottom of the page drives me insane. “62 out of 528” and “6 pages left in this chapter” – I’m reading for leisure not for a race. The dotted line with the square on it also moves as you work your way through the book. On one hand, I understand – many people probably like to look ahead in their books to see how many pages they have left and that would be hard to do if they didn’t include a page count. BUT, I wish I had the option to turn the page counts off. They distract me.

The Terrible Points: I can’t read the iPad in the sun. I can’t see the words at all. All I can see is my face and fingerprint smudges. Don’t plan on bringing iBooks to the beach this summer.

More Terrible Points: The screen rotates as you do. This probably seemed like a great idea, but the problem is that sometimes I read half laying down/half sitting up in bed or on a deck chair. When I do this, the pages constantly rotate. The option to set a permanent frame for the book would be helpful. [UPDATE: @CKD told me how to lock the screen, so consider this point moot]

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5 Responses

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  1. Lew said, on April 6, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for the insightful and practical points, however I think there is a switch on the side that allows you to lock your screen orientation so you can read on your side and what not.

  2. Wade said, on April 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Basically, a plus-sizes iPhone.

  3. Anupa said, on April 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Oscar Wao is one of my fav books of all time. I also picked it up precisely because the synopsis I read used the word “ghettonerd”. Aside from that, it’s great, effing awesome writing.

  4. Rachel said, on April 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Out of curiosity, besides not being able to read in the sun, how is the screen in terms of harshness on the eyes? Most eReaders have eInk, which was the reason I got one instead of waiting for an iPad, because the backlit screen feels like it would be too harsh to read for too long.

  5. teadevotee said, on April 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Wolf Hall is SO great – apart from the confusion of every other person being called Thomas… if it wasn’t already hard enough to keep track of which Duke is which

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