I posted earlier about Michael Hyatt’s article about ebooks, and why he was switching to paper for 2016, and now there’s a semi-related post from The Ebook Evangelist (How do we define an e-reader? | The eBook Evangelist). In it, the blogger references how popular vernacular talks about so-called “e-reader” device problems:
- small screens (they mean like phones, which are not e-readers but rather phones that also have e-reader apps);
- large screens (they mean like tablets, which are also not e-readers but rather tablets that also have e-reader apps); and,
- blue-light, back-light problems (generally meaning phones or tablets, as most e-readers are e-ink devices without backlighting of that sort, although some e-readers DO now come with a different form of backlight).
Mostly though I’m sharing the link above as she has the same reaction I do — the articles are “confusing” (as she puts it) and “worthless” (in my vernacular) as they frequently throw apples, oranges and a few internet devices into the same basket, and then hope to draw some common issues with all of them by reviewing only one. A one-size-fits-all that really often fits none. and it hopelessly confuses the debate. Some other things bother me too:
- people who are passionate about ebooks over paper or paper over ebooks — personally, I don’t care about format, I only care if people read;
- people who argue that reading retention is less on e-devices vs. paper and that this is bad (first, we need to quantify those metrics, because they also include the person who switched from reading to playing a game, and the real problem with their retention isn’t retention but that they got distracted doing something else and didn’t read it in the first place; and second, before we decide it is bad, can we also revise the metrics to also measure engagement with the passive books vs. active e-devices, the opportunity for greater engagement with e-devices if they are actually used effectively, not just dumping raw text onto an e-device, not formatting it for an e-reading experience, and finding people don’t remember it as well as the nicely formatting paper book? People also retain books better than they do loose-leaf hand-written pages, the same medium in different “format”, so medium isn’t the problem); and,
- writers who claim an ebook is devaluing the work if it is sold for less than $10 or something.
But maybe that’s just me…