Ever since my brother-in-law started reading books on his original iPad, I became curious about how practical this would be for me. Turns out, very practical – and actually fun!
This spring I picked up an iPad2 and started using the iBooks and Kindle apps. I now have a growing library that goes with me everywhere I go.
iBooks by far has the best user interface, most options for highlighting and note taking, and smoothest integration on the iPad (since Apple makes it).
Kindle blows away iBooks in the vast number of books it has available for purchase in the digital format. That sometimes outweighs the basic features it offers for highlighting and note taking.
I wish both offered a simple way to “copy as citation,” where you could copy and paste text with an included bibliographical reference included.
I have read more books in the few months I have used these apps on my iPad than I have in the last 2 years combined! Why? They are always with me. When I have a good time to read, I simply pick which book I want to read.
I love how both offer the ability to download a sample. When someone recommends a book to me, I look it up and download the sample. If it is really good, I’ll but it and have the whole book on my iPad almost instantly. If it is not that impressive, I may just keep the sample around in case I choose to read it later.
I like how iBooks allows you to divide books into different categories. I do wish there was an “all” if you just want to browse the whole collection.
Apple removed Amazon’s ability to link directly to the Kindle Store from within the app. However, now Amazon has released a web app called the “Kindle Cloud Reader” which allows you to read online and offline with a direct link to the store. This comes in really handy when an author recommends a book or has a book of interest in the notes. Now I can once again click away to find the book.
There will always be a place for paper, printed books. However, if you have an iPad, I recommend you try carrying your library around with you. You just might find yourself actually reading a whole lot more. And that’s the point of any book, right?