hey don't me me wrong - I'm all for better looking books but that is mostly in the hands of the hardware makers, they control the price and availability of e-screen real estate.
I'd love a A4 sized e-ink + colour screen for reading in bed at about the price of kindle 3, but the tech. ain't there yet. e-ink locks us into grey, and A4 e-readers are scarce + v expensive.
but once I'm immersed in a story I really don't care much about fonts & styles. I think e-books already look as good as most paperbacks .
high on my software to-do list would be improvements to navigation, dictionary look ups etc though they are there already to some extent. (mouse controlled dictionary look up in Kindle for PC is much slicker than in actual Kindle and its just one click to from there to go on line to wikipedia or whatever ). oh - collection management on Kindle is pretty rudimentary also but that's part of the book owning/collection aesthetic, not part of the actual reading immersement experience
there's a couple of things that are easier to do with paper than e-book right now - one is to stick a finger on the current page, then flip back & reread some earlier bit of the plot that you've forgotten. to do that on e-book you have to mess about with bookmarks or writing down your location numbers. another paper trick is to flick ahead too see how many more unread pages are in the current chapter & thus assess if you'll get there before falling asleep!
I'd want e-book publishers to prioritize eliminating ALL typos / scan errors / line feed errors, and to implement a robust system of providing free upgrades of purchased books after errors like that have been corrected. lets get ALL the words to be correct & in the right order before we fret more about the layout!
this talk about optimum flow & psychologically pleasing etc seems like pretentious waffle though,
I am sorry to say.
optimum flow for me is just left to right followed by top to bottom, it does not need a design committee or a panel of experts to improve it.
& read all you like about fonts but the hardware makers have already decided which fonts to support - that is not open to debate now.
a good story is psychologically pleasing; a badly written one isn't - even if it's beautifully formatted.
just give the reader the tools to set line spacing & font size & words per line options ( already all done on Kindle) and to set iindenting preferences, not available on Kindle but is there in calibre
Last edited by cybmole; 02-15-2011 at 03:19 PM.