Tuesday, September 15, 2009

E-Reader Features

E-Readers, as we all know, are growing in popularity, but have yet to make the mark in the market as real books. It all comes down to one simple word: features.

What features are essential to an e-reader? What are the best features?

To me, an e-reader must, at the very least, have a readable screen in both dark and light situations--giving it an advantage over books at night (built-in nightlight anyone?) as well as still being usable when books are (during the bright daylight).

Some other features that are nice (and, frankly, expected) include being lightweight, easy to download books to, and easy controls.

But to me, an ideal e-reader needs more than this. Here's my wishlist of e-reader features:
  • Side viewing. Have you ever used an iPhone or iTouch? When you move them on their side, their screen shifts to the side. I want that on an e-reader, especially as I think it would be more natural holding it on its side.
  • Multi-function. I would use an e-reader to critically read, if I could. So if there was a feature where I could add comments (as in MS Word), that would be really cool. Likewise, a mini-writing program, a slim version of Word, would make it really useful for me.
  • Wi-fi and browsing access. If I can read books on it, I want to read the web on it. It's that simple.
But right now, the thing holding me back from purchasing an e-reader is simple. PRICE. The most important feature of an e-reader to me, right now, is to have a functional e-reader with the minimum of my standards, at a price I can afford. Likewise, e-books need to remain at a reasonable price. When the prices for both readers and some books go down, I'll be in that line to have purchase an e-reader.

So, why all the thoughts on e-readers? Because Book Blogger Appreciation Week is giving away an e-reader! Click here to enter.


Shannon Morgan said...

If you have any of these devices, you already have a potential e-reader (no extra cost - yay!). I use my Motorola phone. Dave uses the eReader app for his iPod Touch.

As for features, I find a smooth scrolling capability essential, so I don't have to tap/swipe the screen, or push a button, to turn pages. I also like that I can change the background, font type, and font size. Mine's set to dark brown type on a parchment background - very easy on the eyes.

Corey Schwartz said...

Just stopped by to say "congrats." I hear you are Critter's next stop!

Unknown said...

Shannon--I actually do use my iPod touch, but I kind of wish there was a larger version of it. I'm holding hope for an Apple Tablet....


Scott said...

One word: Kindle. It does have a basic browser so you can scroll the web. Oh, price has dropped as well.

I descended into the dark world of Kindle in March 2009. Yes, me, an avid reader, an avid proponent of books, an opponent of e-readers everywhere . . . bought a Kindle. I. LOVE. IT.

Now, I wouldn't mind the actual sound of turning pages every time I click 'next page', and a neat little aromatherapy function would be nice as well, plus everything you mentioned.

Oh, and with Kindle, you can download (upload??) MP3s to the Kindle so it softly plays music in the background while you read. Yes, I know, I could listen to my IPOD, but it's all in one and . . . simple. I like simple . . . sometimes.