Wednesday, February 26, 2014

E-books...They're Getting There


E-book format is improving, but it still has a ways to go.

Most of the e-books I buy now have linked tables of contents. Thank you! That makes going back to find something much easier than the gazillion page-turning clicks one had to do before. A few even have the back cover blurb included somewhere near the beginning. Yay. Finally!

I don't know about you, but I have a HUGE backlog of books waiting TBR. By the time I get around to some of them, I've forgotten what the story is about.



Even if I haven't, I like to read the blurb to orient myself before proceeding to chapter one. If the e-book doesn't contain some kind of story description, I have to activate my Kindle's wireless and go to the book's page on Amazon to read itnot fun (or fast) when you're deciding among several books.

What features do you like in e-books?
Are there any you'd like to see added?
Are there any you feel are a waste?


41 comments:

  1. I used to read them on my phone, until my wife took pity on me and finally bought a real e-reader for me to use. I love that they are so easily transported and that you can search for keywords, plus that you can look up word definitions quickly. Hyperlinks in the table of contents are quite handy, I agree, especially for a reference book. I really don't like the time left estimate that appears on the bottom of the screen. I usually read fast, so it's a worthless feature to me. I'm not sure what I'd add, since to me having the text in a highly transportable medium is a huge benefit.

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    1. At first, I missed the page numbers. Once I got used to the 'time left' feature, I liked it. Strangely enough, it helps me anticipate what's going to happen. When I'm trying to figure out how the author is going to handle a certain aspect of the plot, I glance down and see how much story is left. Sometimes that gives me a clue.

      Thanks for visiting. :)

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  2. Never thought about the blurb not being in most eBooks.
    I've been an eBook convert for years now. I like that I can have hundreds of books on my iPad and they don't take up any room in my house.

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    1. Yes! The storage issue is a big reason I love my e-reader. :)

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  3. I...am still a Luddite. I don't have an e-reader, even though at this point, I do need one. I just love books - real physical books - too much. But I'll come over to the dark side soon, I have a feeling... :)

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  4. I told my husband I wanted an e-reader. He tried to buy me a tablet. Reading on the tablet sucked, and I stressed that I really only wanted an e-reader. He finally broke down and got me one (despite his techie brain shouting that it should have more functionality).

    I like that I can hold it easily in one hand while juggling a baby in the other, lay it down without worrying about a book mark, and pick it back up just as quickly.

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    1. Most definitely! I've propped mine up and read while eating a meal many time. :)

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  5. I love a linked table of contents in non-fiction books. Makes it easier to find things. I also love the search option and the ability to highlight/take notes.

    Plus, much like Alex, I can carry a library of books with me anywhere.

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  6. I still prefer my cookbooks in hardback, though. :)

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  7. The link contents and I like when author/publishers at links to the authors site or to the next book in the series, etc.

    I like the new (I think) search function.

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    1. I've clicked on those links occasionally.

      I love the search function. I love the highlight/note function even more. It makes writing reviews much easier.

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  8. I read a lot on my phone... I totally don't have an e-reader... and I never thought about the blurb thing before! I'm still making the transition. It's about 50/50 between e-book and physical book for me right now!

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  9. Love my Kindle Fire and most ebooks. I still like bound books for reference, but for novel reading ebooks can't be beat!

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  10. I was going to say basically what Julie Luek said. I read fiction exclusively on my Kindle Fire. I think the front blurb is a great idea. I haven't come across that in any I'm reading yet. I hope I remember to do that with my own next book!

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    1. Me, too.

      I have to confess... my reason for this post was partly to get a feel for the things people like in their e-books. :)

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  11. LOVE my little b&w Nook. It's great being connected to a bookstore and not having to go far to find my next read. Also like being able to mess with fonts and such. (Great for the visually impaired as well.)

    I hadn't thought about the blurb, either! It shall now go in the front of all of my stories. :)

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    1. Yes. Enlarging the font is great for tired eyes at the end of the day. LOL

      Cool! Glad you found something useful in my post. :)

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  12. I've never got into e-books. I've got a few apps on my phone, but they just don't feel 'right' for a variety of reasons - I can't feel the book in my hand in quite the same way, the size of text is all wrong...

    Maybe I'd find it easier if I had a proper e-reader, but I just can't get used to reading novels from a screen.

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    1. I can't imagine reading on a phone, even my new (first android for me) Samsung Galaxy.

      Yes! You would feel differently about a real e-reader. I thought I would miss the feel of a 'real' book, but my hand cramps now when I try to hold one for any length of time. LOL

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  13. I like not having to fight paperback pages when I'm reading in bed. LOL

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  14. I'm still mostly reading paper books. Nothing against e-books, but sometimes I get headaches if I stare at a screen for too long, and I don't think there's an app for that yet :).

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  15. I really miss page numbers, even though I understand why they're not practical. I sometimes like to stop reading at a nice even page number, like page 50 or page 100 so without page numbers I feel a bit like I'm in limbo. I don't know why, but it makes me feel accomplished to get to a certain amount of pages read. For now, I make do with the percent counter.
    The other thing, and this could be my lack of tech expertise, but I would love to have different eBooks be in different fonts. Having every book in the same font with the same background color makes me feel a little like I'm reading the same book by different writers.
    I guess I'm just really particular about what things look like. :)
    (Great topic!)

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    1. I did at first, too. It took me a while, but I finally got used to the % bar at the bottom.

      I'm not sure how it is with other e-readers, but my Kindle Fire lets me change both the size and the style of font. It even lets me adjust the margins. And Kindles hold your place without actually having to bookmark it.

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  16. Hm. Blurbs at the beginning. I've only seen that once, but I can understand that being a good thing. It confused me at the time. I really don't like table of contents. I mean, with ereaders you have bookmarks and it stays right where you left it. I guess I just read linearly. ;)

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    1. TOC can be helpful in when you have to go back and do the math on heading years - you know, when the story leaps forward in time.

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  17. I can't deny the convenience of an e-reader, but I still really prefer physical books. Good thing, too, as I have a huge pile to get through!

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    1. I still enjoy them, too, from time to time.

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  18. A couple of weeks ago, Janice Hardy wrote about how e-readers (and large TBR lists) are placing more importance on the first chapters. An author can no longer assume the reader remembers what was said in the book's blurb that caused them to buy it in the first place. So the first chapter has to introduce the story as if the reader had no clue what it was about.

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    1. Interesting phenomenon.
      That's why my blurb will come first. ;)

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  19. It's been two years since I've wanted to get an ereader! Gahhh! I've got a long list of blogging buddies ebooks I want to read but can't. I have downloaded the ereader for pc, but reading a novel on my desktop computer is next to impossible. I've tried it and almost fried my eyeballs. I just wish ereaders were more in my price range....

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    1. Aww. That's frustrating. :(
      I hope you can get one soon. They're wonderful.

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  20. Great post, Melissa! I've been enjoying the highlight and note taking functions on my ereader.

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    1. No doubt. Mine has 4 different colors! :D

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  21. Totally agree. And actually for me this is one reason I'm hesitant to go the self-publishing route, just because I'm not sure I trust myself enough to get the formatting really right.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, with Joy)

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    1. I'm hiring it done this time. May tackle that learning curve next book, but this time, there are too many other things to do. ;)

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