Begging for Baker’s attention
Baker has long been a skeptic of e-text, as noted; and I hope he’ll now direct his energies to the issue of e-book standards, to which he briefly alludes in the New Yorker, mentioning ePub and the current eBabellers. DRM is another topic begging for his prolonged attention—given the fact that such “protection” detracts from the seriousness of books by shortening their lifespans for many readers, including those who like to upgrade their hardware frequently and may encounter difficulties along the way.
I’d love to see Baker claw away at Amazon for refusing to do an Mobipocket app for the iPhone, even though loyal Mobi followers have invested hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars in DRM-tainted books in that format. Although an e-book fan, I agree with Baker that there are many flaws about which to gripe.
In the next post or two, I’ll discuss the media’s skimpy coverage of one major flaw in particular: the inability to own many e-books books genuinely, thanks to DRM, eBabel and other problems.
Baker’s favorites for the iPhone/Touch: He mentions the Eucalyptus app and others, but I was also happy to see him put in a good word for my choice by far, Stanza, now downloaded by some two million people. Baker’s one-million estimate is out of date. I love Stanza because it is so bleepin’ customizable, and for the most part the interface is superior, at least for me. Novice e-book readers may disagree. But sooner or later the greenhorns will be experienced.
Another detail: At some point I hope to find time to switch over the fonts on my Sony PRS-505 so they’re bolder—stand out better against the background, especially when the room is dim and I don’t want to mess with a reading light.