From The Atlantic:
E-readers have been around long enough now that the novelty has largely worn off. To be sure, we still get the occasional article or blog post celebrating the smell of “real books” and denouncing the disembodied fakery of text on a screen, but not nearly as many as in recent years. E-readers are simply part of the reading landscape now — the first Kindle was released almost five years ago — and it’s time for a midterm progress report. How is the technology developing? What has been accomplished and what remains to be done?
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- LCD screens are as glare-prone as ever: though there are some screen protectors that claim to reduce glare, I have yet to find one that has a significant effect, so if you’re going to be reading outdoors the e-ink screens are still your best bet. However, it should be noted that all e-ink screens are more reflective than paper, so that some degree of glare management is intrinsic to the e-reading experience, at least for now. Technologies have not changed noticeably in this respect.
- E-ink screens today have much better contrast that the earlier ones did. That’s a big plus.
- E-readers still have limited typeface options and do a generally lousy job of handling kerning and spacing. I’ve seen little improvement in those areas.
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But it seems to me that the most serious deficiencies of e-readers involve readers’ interactions with books. In this respect we may be losing ground rather than gaining it. That I even care about this clearly puts me in the minority among readers, as I know from decades of teaching literature: it has always been, and it continues to be, difficult to get students to write in their books in meaningful and useful ways.
Link to the rest at The Atlantic