I've also done a fair bit of e-book reading recently. Read below for my thoughts on the Kindle (which I don't have), Gutenberg, and more…
About a year ago I got a Kindle. I liked the idea of having a small device that would allow me to do some of my random reading without having a big heavy book to man-handle (at night I often read laying down with the book held above me), and that would do more electronic reading (I'm in the habit of reading the top slashdot page over lunch).
In the end, I took advantage of Amazon's great return policy. Note this was the original Kindle, not the newer version… Obviously, I found it fairly lacking. The screen was great, but I found it harder to hold than a book (the leather case didn't hold it very firmly, I dropped it on my face several times), and without the case it's hard to hold without changing the page. Page changes took a couple of seconds, and it was possible to change pages 5 at a time, so it often took quite a while to find out where I was.
There was a slashdot subscription you could buy that would download it via the built in cellular wireless, but I realized that I don't read slashdot like paper. About 10% of the time I right-click a story link to read the page that it's about, and another 5 or 10% of the time I will read the slashdot comments. Reading it on the Kindle was like printing it out and reading it, and just didn't work for me.
I usually do entertainment reading late at night, before I go to bed. If I'm reading paper (or a Kindle), I need a light on, and that disturbs Evelyn. So I decided to start reading the classics available from Project Gutenberg, on my laptop – which has it's own light source and it's concentrated enough that it doesn't bother Evelyn.
There's a lot of good stuff out there on Project Gutenberg. So far I've read Around The World In 80 Days, Great Expectations, and several Sherlock Holmes books. I've also read some Cory Doctrow books like Little Brother (I read that on the Kindle).
All of these sources are very nice – they don't have DRM and so I can just read them on anything I want.
Unfortunately, my favorite modern authors are not available to me without going to some sort of a secure reader. With tons of great stuff to read on the web and Project Gutenberg, I'm just passing on a lot of things I would otherwise be reading. I really have enjoyed Charles Stross and Neal Stephenson, but I'm not even that interested to re-read (or in some cases do initial reads of their stuff that Evelyn has bought) in paper format.
I know I'm being pretty picky, but Project Gutenberg and the web in general has really spoiled me. :-) I know some people really dislike reading on computers, but I've been quite enjoying it.comments powered by Disqus