I got an iPad about six months ago, and I’ve become a convert to electronic books. I was really skeptical that e-books would replace paper for anything other than pleasure reading. The best reading app I’ve seen, although I haven’t tried all that many, is the Kindle (there is a Kindle app for iPad; I haven’t actually used a Kindle device to any extent). So far, the problems I’ve encountered have been:
1) No page numbers, which makes it hard to reference. There are numbers that indicate the place in the text, but these are only good for that particular Kindle edition. I guess the same issue applies with print, but the lack of tangibility to the e-book makes this seem like a major drawback.
2) Kindle editions are published by Amazon with little or no bibliographic info. This is especially a problem with the free or very cheap public domain works. I’d really like to know if an edition is a reasonable one or a piece of crap. I’ve run into some truly awful Kindle versions of Shakespeare that misattribute speeches to the wrong character, etc. (I think these are 18th and 19th century editorial errors that are being replicated, but because you can’t tell what edition it is, you can’t judge the quality. It’s not a big problem for the free books, because there you can simply delete it without loss. But even for those that cost only a buck, I hate to spend any amount of money for a piece of crap. I’d gladly pay a few bucks more to know that this is the Penguin 1965 edition, edited by John A. Doe, for example.
3) Sloppy reproduction. I’ve seen errors—lacunas, duplicated text, really low-quality images and charts—that would never be tolerated in a print edition. And these in full-price editions of new books, not in the free public domain ones.
Overall, I really like reading on the iPad, which surprises me. Any other positive or negative experiences with ebooks?