Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, has died.

The younger generations have no doubt about e-Books.

It’s only the dinosaurs that have no idea what’s going on. We are still getting email stating that not one person is ever going to read books from computers!

Who will be the more well-read – those who can carry at most a dozen books with them, or those who have a PDA in their pocket with a hundred or more e-Books in it?

Who will look up more quotations in context? Who will use the dictionary more often? Who will look up geographical information more often?

He was sometimes referred to as the founder of ePublishing and eBooks. The above quote is from an interview in 2002.

It’s at least comforting that he saw eBooks take off in his lifetime. Perhaps not exactly as he had envisioned it, but it showed he was right about the use and practicality of digital books all along.

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Another Vote For iPad Reading

[NYT’s Editor’s Choice app] has changed my morning reading routine… it is graceful, placeful, and feels like The Times — the Times I know and love, as someone old enough to vividly remember what it was like when being a news junkie meant getting your fingertips stained black every morning — in a way that the nytimes.com web site never has.

The Daring Fireball link is actually about the state of magazine design for iPad apps. The above quote is from a parenthetical at the end of the article, but it struck me because, as I’ve said, I’m as excited about the iPad as a reader as I am about its computing prospects.

Apple Preparing For Great eBook Experience, Amazon Preparing For… What, Exactly?

I like Amazon, and though I don’t own a Kindle I use the Kindle iPhone app often. I also love the Stanza eReader. You’d think the Amazon name, the Kindle app, and Amazon’s acquisition of Stanza would allow them to be impressive competitors to Apple in the software eBook arena, but instead I see Amazon about to get steamrolled… Continue reading

Amazon Speaks: iPad Kindle App Will Be Cool, But Late

Amazon promises that the iPad version of the Kindle app it is working on will be cool, but it won’t be ready when the first Apple devices show up April 3. That’s because the e-commerce giant, like most other developers, hasn’t been able to test the app on a real device. And it’s going to wait until it can do so to finish the software.

They’re stupid not to deliver on April 3. With no Kindle App why not try Apple’s iBooks? Which is just what many will do.

It’s hard to believe they’re really waiting for the physical device to test with. Very few developers have the physical device yet there will be thousands of native iPad apps available on opening day. Besides, this is just an eReader, hard to believe the physical device will make that big a difference. Get the app in the store, and if the physical device makes a difference push an update out ASAP.

I think the real reason is that it’s simply not ready. Amazon dragged their feet since the iPad was announced. They’ve focused on agreements and posturing with content providers, an SDK for the Kindle, and pushing out a weak beta of Kindle for the Mac. All those things should have taken a back seat to the iPad.

Only thing left is for their late Kindle iPad app to kick ass. Early looks seem promising. If the buying experience isn’t significantly improved over the iPhone version, they blew it. Big time.

Good: Kindle For The Mac. Bad: Kindle For The Mac

Kindle_mac


Amazon very quietly released Kindle for the Mac (beta) yesterday. I think the reason they were so quiet about it is that it’s a pretty poor first effort. 

On the iPhone Kindle app, which has been available for a year, I can utilize fullscreen reading and modify the text color/background from one of three styles. Wouldn’t you think I could do at least that much on the Mac version? Well, you can’t. Seriously, they’ve had a year for this, and this is what we get? It looks like something Amazon slapped together over a weekend.

I love reading Kindle on the iPhone. As for the Mac, I’m glad Amazon took the step, but disappointed in the effort. It’ll be hard to get immersed in a book when the trappings of a computer (menu bar, etc.) are all around you.