Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tablets are overtaking e-reading

Dear Len,

You express a little sadness that tablets are overtaking dedicated ereaders for reading. But I think it can be viewed as tablets bringing reading to more people.

If you think about it, a dedicated ereader only makes sense to somebody for whom book reading is much more important than web reading, games, email, and video combined. That’s not so many people!

Those “the rest of us” until recently at best had a laptop for all those things, and as you know, a laptop is not great for reading on. But now people kill pigs with birds on tablets, and they can now also read The Girl With The Dragon Kabooz on the same tablets. Net effect, serious reading is only a click away and will probably happen more often.

Another thing is that now that weight and price are coming way down for tablets, the e-ink screen is the remaining main advantage for ereaders. But it’s not an advantage for everybody. We are a sizeable minority who just don’t like the greyness of it, it’s too dark. Despite me buying every generation of Kindle, my ereading didn’t really take off until the iPad came along, and then it took off fast. And I hear of many people who read on their phones and are now considering the mini-tablet Samsung note or the Nexus Seven. It’s not everybody who are greatly bothered by backlit screens.

Also, maybe somebody will yet invent what I suggested on your show: an app which will make you wait a bit if you want to leave the ereading app, thus encouraging more reading and less Fruit Ninja.

Love, Eolake

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