I started reading eBooks a few years back. I used to have a Palm Tungsten E2 Handheld which was a great device for reading eBooks. Eventually, I dropped the device a few to many times and the screen broke. My fault, not the devices. I’m pretty clumsy with things like that.
Earlier this year, I bought an ASUS Eee PC which has just been incredible for basic web browsing and story writing.
Back in the good ol’ Palm days, I used to buy my books from Fictionwise.com. They are not only still in existance but they have bought up some of the other eBook sellers over recent years.
I decided to look into getting myself set up to read eBook on my Asus EeePC and ran into a quick problem of not being able to install the eReader software that supports the main format that most of the Fictionwise books that I buy comes in. If you happen to buy the Windows XP version of the Asus Eee PC
, this isn’t an issue. The eReader software runs perfectly on Windows.
If you have the Linux version, however, you can run the eReader using a layer of software called Wine. Wine is an easy to install Linux program that allows you to install and run Windows applications. The eReader software works perfectly under Wine. It took me less than 2 minutes to install the eReader software.
So now, in addition to having a great little laptop to browse the internet, check my emails, and write stories, I can also read eBooks which I actually prefer over reading paper books. One of my favorite features is the auto scroll feature which is not available on the Kindle and other pure E Ink devices because of how those readers preserve battery by not refreshing the page except when the user tells it to change pages which leads to amazing battery capabilities.
I expect the Kindle, Amazon’s eBook Reading Device, to become immensly popular over the rest of this year and next. Oprah is starting to promote it and it seems to function pretty amazingly as an eBook reader. I considered going this route but decided that for me, the Kindle was not the best option.
The Kindle does do an amazing job of displaying text and handling all of the functions of being an eBook reader but that is all it really does. For the same price, I can get a fully functioning laptop that would let me read a lot of the same books. I am very excited that the Kindle is about to gain some common acceptance, though. As people grab ahold of any eBook reader, the demand for eBooks in general will increase which will hopefully encourage more publishers to release more of their books as eBooks.
Sony also has an eBook reader. Their Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital e-Reader System will probably not be as common in America as the Kindle but any push for competitors for the Kindle will be good for the eBook industry in general.