Reading newspapers is fabulous on the iPad. (I guess it’s not really a newspaper.) Text, photos and video work together seamlessly. The first Sunday morning I read The New York Times via the iPad, I was blown away. The Wall Street Journal interface is better still. And while people make fun of how “light” USA Today is, their iPad app has some pretty nice features. It’s great for quick look at what’s happening in the world.
Reading a book on the iPad, however, has not been quite as handy.
While the back-lit screen is great in low light, the shiny glass is not so good in many other circumstances. It may sound funny, but the weight, shape and size of an iPad are not ideally “bookish.” So, what is a person supposed to do? Travel with a laptop, an iPad, a Droid phone and a Kindle? That’s certainly not practical.
Someone will figure out the hardware part of this equation. It’s a sad fact that the iPad you (and I) love so much will probably be collecting dust in a couple years when it is replaced by something better.
Google, on the other hand, is forging a new path regarding some of the content we will download to various devices. They are creating a modern-day Library of Alexandria. The CBS news show Sunday Morning did an interesting piece on this effort. You can view it below. Google Books appears to be an incredible resource. They seem to be taking a very smart approach since you can access their digital library no matter what hardware platform you choose.