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Old 06-07-2019, 11:58 AM   #1
leebase
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It is the Worst of Times for Reading EBooks

It is the worst of times....

Looking back over ten years of participating on this forum, I think it is the worst of times for reading ebooks. IMHO.

eInk innovation has all but come to a stop. Where are the large eInk readers with pen input and worklow? Where is color? Yeah, yeah...yet another one is "real close" and just showed something "promising" that they never said would make it into a tablet ereader.

eInk pricing fell to a certain point, and then stopped. Tablets are now cheaper than an eInk reader.

There are no more independant eInk devices to speak of. Surely not of the quality of the Sony line. Pretty much "eco system" plays like Amazon, Kobo and Nook are all that's left. And only Amazon has a healthy business.

Fictionwise and many many other beloved ebook stores are gone and are never coming back. Along with them are the special pricing deals that so many of us loved.

The rise of audio books is a detriment to actual reading. It's bad enough with the twitters, face place, and insta-whosit's of the world destroying people's attention spans....now folks are too lazy to learn to read and are counting listening to a book as if it's reading.

The big 5 are all still in business. There is no difference in pricing of books from the big 5 in any of the stores.

Sometimes eBooks cost the same or even MORE than a paper book.

You still don't own an ebook, you have a license for it.

eBooks are too d@mned expensive. Apparently.

Apple still sells ebooks.

DRM is still the norm. Everyone's ebooks can disappear at any moment.

People are going blind because they are reading on tablets and phones which shoot light DIRECTLY INTO YOUR EYE. eInk, where light must first bounce before finding your eye, isn't being embraced by everyone the way SCIENCE tells us it SHOULD.

It is the worst of times for reading ebooks.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:43 PM   #2
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I really must respectfully disagree. To my mind there’s never been a better time to be an ebook reader. There are many superb reading devices available at moderate prices, and there have never been so many ebooks available at price points to suit all pockets.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:55 PM   #3
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I really must respectfully disagree. To my mind there’s never been a better time to be an ebook reader. There are many superb reading devices available at moderate prices, and there have never been so many ebooks available at price points to suit all pockets.
Then the OTHER thread is for you
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:03 PM   #4
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It's cute what you did there, but splitting the discussion of pros and cons into separate threads will make discussion impossible. I vote for a merge.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:05 PM   #5
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I'm with Harry. I haven't really felt the want/need to upgrade hardware in several years. If only bug fixes for my Kobo were released, I would be perfectly fine. If there were no new e-readers released, I wouldn't mind. I can get plenty of ebooks to read.

What more does one want/need?
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:29 PM   #6
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... It's bad enough with the twitters, face place, and insta-whosit's of the world destroying people's attention spans....now folks are too lazy to learn to read ...
For me the big problems are television and youtube. I was on an all male forum and the younger guys when posting a link to something interesting, rarely if ever, posted a link to an article that was text, always to a youtube video. They also loved responding to posts with animated gif memes (and thought they were so clever).

Speaking of twitter, et al., back in the earlier days of science fiction, 1960s and 1970s for me, there were all those stories about robots. Now here we are with computers powerful enough to make robots but what's popular are the social networking apps. So much for robots; what we really want is to flap our gums and share pictures.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:32 PM   #7
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I'm with Harry as well.

None of the negatives I'm aware of are worse now then at some time in the past, and most are less of an issue.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:51 PM   #8
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I'm pretty happy with the current eBook and eReader situation. Most of my novels and non-fiction general (mostly historical) reading come from the library (Overdrive) and the technical, religious and older historical books I read are inexpensive or free (I'm trying to teach myself Python, and not doing that well at it, but I've the choice of a "million" free books). I convert online websites with Push to Kindle (which, despite its name, will convert to .mobi, .ePub or PDF) Calibre works great for de-DRMing and embedding the dark fonts I like or changing .ePub or .mobi into AZW8. I've finally gotten used to front-lights on eReaders and my Tolino Vision 2, with its latest upgrade is working great. And I've still got lots of old eReaders to play around with but when I pick up my stuff from Texas (soon I hope) most of those are going away. I'm doing a lot more reading than I was doing pre-eBook Readers. I'm happy with eInk (and I don't even have a 300 ppi reader yet).
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:45 PM   #9
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It’s never been better for digital reading. I do about 90% of my reading on my phone and iPad mini. I don’t see much prospect for improvement for eReaders on the horizon. My Voyage and 10th gen Paperwhite are just fine but are not as versatile.

EBook prices are quite reasonable, most under $3, and I borrow 3-4 books from library a month so I’m not spending $15 for those newer titles.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:57 PM   #10
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Now now....just because some of us have an eReader we like...wasn't it better when there was more choice? I mean, it's one thing for Sony to leave the business...but who took their place?

And while the original $400 price of a Kindle has come way down....how come there isn't a pretty nice $49 eInk device or even $25?

Remember when some phone had an eInk screen in addition to an lcd?

We seem to have these wonderful "reflected light" screens in less places than before.

Why isn't there an eInk reader that is agnostic and works with multiple book stores like an iPad or an Android tablet?

eInk devices still aren't great for pdf's. By now that use case should have been dealt with.

And what of those business oriented ones with the cool pen markup etc?

Not only did none of these pan out....it seems like no one even cares or remembers how bright the future seemed to be....ten years ago
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:28 PM   #11
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eInk innovation has all but come to a stop.
My initial impulse was to say that the Carta screens with 300 DPI are good enough and that's why progress has slowed. But then, I suppose I would have said the same thing when the Pearl was the best screen.

I guess the real problem is that eInk screens are a niche product. They just don't have the funds and competition required for faster R&D It would be nice to have darker text displayed on the screen.

Quote:
Where are the large eInk readers with pen input and worklow? Where is color? Yeah, yeah...yet another one is "real close" and just showed something "promising" that they never said would make it into a tablet ereader.
I don't understand the appeal of those type of devices. It just seems that a Surface or iPad fills those needs so much better than an eInk device.

Quote:
There are no more independant eInk devices to speak of. Surely not of the quality of the Sony line. Pretty much "eco system" plays like Amazon, Kobo and Nook are all that's left. And only Amazon has a healthy business.
Wasn't Sony just as much an ecosystem as Kindle, Kobo and Nook? Wasn't Calibre initially developed as an easy way to sideload books onto Sony readers?

Quote:
People are going blind because they are reading on tablets and phones which shoot light DIRECTLY INTO YOUR EYE. eInk, where light must first bounce before finding your eye, isn't being embraced by everyone the way SCIENCE tells us it SHOULD.
Finally! Someone who gets it!
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:34 PM   #12
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What does a pen have to do with reading? Writing, sure, but reading. And, what does color have to do with reading? My first Kindle cost over $400, a DX, and I just bought a far superior PW4 for less than a third of that. Anyone who says innovation has stopped hasn't been keeping up. Sure, the books being flagged as "read" is long overdue but it's here. I can remember when it was like Henry Ford giving buyers a choice of colors as long as it was black and Kindle giving a choice of fonts as long as it was the one.

Amazon Kindle has made some missteps, such as the Voyage and it's silly cover, but overall the progress has been impressive and affordable.

And, if I wanted to read on a tablet with color I certainly can but I don't. I want m ereader to closely match reading a paper book.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:35 PM   #13
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It's cute what you did there, but splitting the discussion of pros and cons into separate threads will make discussion impossible. I vote for a merge.
I agree - Dickens had it right. A Tale of Two Kindles
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:04 PM   #14
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My first Kindle cost over $400, a DX, and I just bought a far superior PW4 for less than a third of that. Anyone who says innovation has stopped hasn't been keeping up. Sure, the books being flagged as "read" is long overdue but it's here. I can remember when it was like Henry Ford giving buyers a choice of colors as long as it was black and Kindle giving a choice of fonts as long as it was the one.

Amazon Kindle has made some missteps, such as the Voyage and it's silly cover, but overall the progress has been impressive and affordable.
The initial quote was that eInk hadn't made progress. Despite their dominance, Kindle does not = eInk.

eInk Carta HD screens have been around since 2014.

If you want to talk about Kindle specifically, the Nook Glowlight Plus had a Carta HD screen and waterproofing back in 2015, so the Paperwhite 4 feels very late to the game.

Last edited by ZodWallop; 06-07-2019 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:08 PM   #15
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I have an open mind....what are the recent innovations? When was the last new entrant? When was the last device selling a screen that wasn’t the same screen everybody else is selling?

How is it that compete tablets sell for half the price of eInk only devices?

What new ebook store has come along? Where does one go to find a real deal on a popular ebook?

What cool feature is a new part of the ePub or mobi standard that’s actually being implemented?

Heck...when are the features we loved about Stanza going to appear in the Kindle app?

How can an iPad mini be thinner than an eInk reader?
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