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iPad Update

So now that I’ve had a little more time to read books on the iPad, here are some thoughts:


It’s VERY easy to buy a book. It’s easier through iBooks, but it’s not difficult through Amazon either. I haven’t tried the B&N app yet. Just one click and you own it. And you’re reading. Right there in the palm of your hand.

It’s great at night. If you’re in bed and don’t want to turn the light on because a baby is sleeping or your husband is sleeping or you’re in a tent and it’s really not comfortable to read with the battery pack of a headlamp behind your head, it’s fantastic.

Full color photos! I bought a cookbook through iBooks (you can’t do this with Amazon or B&N) and it has all the same graphics and color photos that the real book does.


It’s VERY easy to buy a book. Just one click and you own it. And you can’t return it. And it’s charged to your credit card. And you can’t pass it on afterward. I bought two books that I probably shouldn’t have. One I already owned in the paperback version but wanted to be able to read at night with the lights out. The other was a cookbook I wanted to take traveling without packing it in my suitcase. I used both for about five minutes each. It’s just too easy to make impulse purchases, and $10 here, $5 there, and $15 over there add up fast.

It’s great that there are so many things the iPad can do, but the drawback is that only one person can use it at a time. When I was on a four-hour plane ride and gave my iPad to my toddler to play games and watch Kipper to keep him from screaming and kicking the seat in front of him all flight, it was a godsend. Except that I couldn’t read any of my books. Fortunately, my 10-month-old was too busy jumping on my lap to let me read anyway. Still, on the return flight, I took a paperback along.

A lot of books aren’t available through iBooks yet, so you have to get them through Amazon. Which isn’t a bad thing, but the interface isn’t as nice (no color and the page doesn’t look like a real page.)

As much as I love my iPad, I still kinda prefer reading real books. Something about the feel, something about knowing what page I’m on, something about looking at the spine to see how far along I am in the book, I just love. I’ll keep reading iBooks, but I’ll keep reading real books as well.

What about you? Do you have an iPad? How do you like the e-reader function?


9 comments to iPad Update

  • Unfortunately I haven't gotten to use Andy's iPad much, but I did install the iBooks app on my iPod Touch. For me, Stanza is still my favorite reading app, because it's easy to get books/documents from my computer into it, and it's highly customizable (fonts and colors). I find the iBookstore hard to navigate, but the shelf interface is lovely, as are the pages when you're reading. Amazon is probably the most useful e-store, and its interface works well enough (although I hate hate hate hate HATE the "home" vs "archive" system they use, UGH).

    I don't have kids, so reading on the iTouch is great for me when traveling, and even at home on the sofa or in bed. That said, like you, I don't think it's a printed book *replacement* for me, more like a supplement.

  • I've decided to definitely buy a Kindle. the iPad pisses me off, because everything I hate about my iPod Touch, the iPad has on a larger scale.

  • Kristan, Tell Andy to hand it over! I haven't used Stanza yet, but I'll check it out. I don't mind the iBookstore, but there are SO many books that aren't on there yet, so I end up getting most of my books from Amazon. I'm not even sure what the "home" vs "archive" system is. And e-books are definitely a supplement (mostly for reading in bed and on the train while commuting), not a replacement, for me.

    Christine – really? The Kindle is cheaper, but I like the iPad so much better (My brother has a Kindle.) But you did mention before that you don't like the iPhone interface. I love it.

  • My brother just got a Kindle and I was looking at it the other day. The screen is way too small for me to simulate looking at a real book page. I hate the idea of seeing just a couple paragraphs at a time. I figured the iPad would be better in this regard, since the screen is so much larger.

    I still think books will survive as actual objects to have and to hold. We'll all have ereaders for stuff like newspapers and magazines but I think printed books will continue to exist. I guess it's kind of like the difference between seeing a movie and seeing a live performance or listening to a CD vs. seeing a concert: there's just something different about the experience of holding a book.

  • I don't have an iPad, but I have an iPhone, and I experience all the same pros and cons when it comes to reading on it (I use the Kindle app). I love to read in bed at night, and I love being able to read with the light out so my husband can sleep. But, like you, i prefer real books, spend a lot of money buying digital ones (and *cringe* sometimes both the paper and digital versions of a book), and frequently have my toddler stealing my phone on plane rides, leaving me with no reading material (or no battery life later). I can see how it might be nice to have a bigger screen interface for reading on the iPad, but do you find the size cumbersome, say, when reading in bed, or traveling?

  • Thanks for the review on the iPad. I was wondering what the "real life" user would think and I really like the idea of reading at night without bothering the hubby.


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