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Old 03-13-2009, 05:11 PM   #1
ficbot
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Reading on a small screen vs reading on a bigger screen

I just got a Sony Reader and am loving it so far. But I also love reading in my Ipod Touch. I find that the Touch is a better on-the-go device, for days when I want to pack light and only carry one device. It is also easier to read one-handed on the subway. But otoh its smaller screen is not comfortable if I try to read it while walking (e.g. on the treadmill) and the smudges can be annoying sometimes. It does seem though that there are advantages each reader has over the other:

ADVANTAGES TO LARGER SCREEN

- It can handle pictures. I had no idea I even cared about this until I checked out some of the lovingly formatted Mobile Read illustrated books. The pictures are quite nice and make for a more rich reading experience for certain kinds of things

- It can handle poetry. I downloaded Shakespeare's Sonnets and I could actually read them with proper lines! This assumes of course that you are not enlarging the font to within an inch of its life But poetry on an ereader! After my years of PDA-based reading, I thought I would never get proper poetry again

- There is some flexibility to make the screen look 'pretty' that you don't get with the smaller readers. I am all for reflowable text, and in a perfect world, this is the best thing. But if its something like a classic which is public domain and there are no issues with proprietary releases in one format only, it can be nice to download one specifically made for the scree you are using, with attention to how it will look

ADVANTAGES OF THE SMALL SCREEN

- You can fit more text on there than one might think and it's actually a pretty smooth reading experience. I find it quite comfortable but I can see how others might prefer a larger screen

- Device is more portable so you can read more often/read one-handed/read without needing to carry around a dedicated device

- Smaller screen is more forgiving of imperfect formatting. There are several text files I had which looked horrible when loaded onto the bigger screen, but somehow the formatting flaws were less evident on the smaller screen. So I will read those books there and still get to enjoy them

Overall, I do think in a perfect world my dream device would be an oversize iPod Touch with better battery life. But for now I am enjoying my two devices Today I have the Sony with me because I am still playing with it. Next week, I'll be out a lot and will probably have the Touch during the day and the Sony when tucking in at home for a good read
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:27 PM   #2
MickeyC
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I have both a 505 and an iPhone and have come to about the same conclusions as you. Ideally, I get the same book on both devices thus I always have one at hand.
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