Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
There’s been some discussion lately around large-screen e-readers. Michael Kozlowski of Good E-Reader launched an Indiegogo campaign for a larger-than-normal e-reader—13.3 inches—and TeleRead offered a couple different takes (here and here) on the hefty price point Kozlowski is proposing: $699.
I should say up front that I don’t use e-readers as often as I’d like to. I own a Kindle Paperwhite, but I probably haven’t picked it up in a month. When it comes to reading books, I’m a traditionalist and I still like the weight and feel of a physical book.
That said, I want to read on an e-reader more often, as I’m sure I’d be able to get more book reading done with it. I live in New York City, and for the 40-60 minutes I commute each day, the train I take is often so packed that it’s downright impossible to hold a book or tablet in front of you. And each can also feel cumbersome or uncomfortable to grasp with one hand while you’re holding onto a pole to steady yourself.
Now, I understand that for a lot of people, bigger screens are better. What I actually want, though, is the opposite: I want a smaller e-reader. More specifically, I want an iPhone-sized one.
Yes, I know: it’s quite easy to read an ebook on an iPhone. But I don’t like reading on my phone or on a similar type of display.
Despite the fact that I prefer print books, though, the bulk of the content I read is digital. All the news I consume through reading comes either via my laptop or iPhone, and I probably spend more time at this point reading articles of one kind or another than I do reading books (I only subscribe to one magazine, and I do indeed read the print edition of it).
Two notes about reading on these screens:
1) They hurt my eyes. I turn my dimness way, way down as a result. Therefore, I actively try to limit the time I read on them, and am in no hurry to start reading ebooks on them.
2) There are different types of reading. When I read a book, I dwell on it. I read it slowly. I sometimes go over a line a couple times. It’s a deep reading. When I read a news article, on the other hand, I shoot my eyes across the screen rapidly. I often just get a gist of what the story is. I do not mind reading this type of content on a screen.
So back to my wanting an iPhone-sized e-reader. As you might have guessed, I want it to be e-ink. In a perfect world, it would simply be a shrunk-down Kindle.
Yes, I’d have to carry around another device, but it’d be small and I could easily throw it into my bag or tuck it into a coat pocket.
But no, I don’t imagine this will ever come to fruition—at least not with the convenience the Kindle ecosystem offers. The Paperwhite (or similar e-ink devices) is small enough, and if most people want to read on an iPhone-sized device, they probably won’t be as picky as I am, and will simply read on an iPhone.
That said, I’d be curious to see if anyone has had similar thoughts.
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