As an aspiring novelist, I'm always curious to see what tools other writers are using to work on their manuscripts. In his introduction to On Writing Well, William Zinsser partly lamented the rise of technology, because it made it far too easy for bad writers to publish their work. On the other hand, he liked that technology also made it easier for good writers to publish their work.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called "iPad Reading Apps: Kindle vs. iBooks" which received a lot of reads and comments. And I thank the many people who not only read the article but who took the time to respond. I enjoyed your many comments. Since that time, I have learned some new things about reading eBooks on the iPad.
I am an avid reader. I try to read at least 52 books a year. And up until the fall of 2011, I fought the whole e-book trend. But on September 17, 2011, I received my first e-book reader: a Kindle keyboard. And my conversion from being a print book reader to an e-book reader began.
For an interesting take on how two massively successful corporations operate, just take a look at Microsoft and Amazon. Both companies offer apps that rely upon users buying a subscription. When Microsoft released their Office suite for the iPad, they made it free, but users needed to buy an Office 365 subscription to access premium features. Amazon just bought the comic book reading app Comixology which also lets users buy and subscribe to new comic releases using the app. This is where the similarities end.
I’ve sold most of my art books. I don’t know if this was the intent of Open Door’s Alan Oppenheimer or not, but it was the result of him providing me with Art Authority ($9.99). My iPad is no coffee table book, but that’s a good thing. As Apple touts the pencil thinness of the iPad Air, coffee table books start to look more and more arcane. What coffee table books have over the iPad is the size of their canvas. But when one actually visit museums, art books seem a bit of a travesty of pure form. Books not only fail to represent scale well, they don’t reproduce paintings or drawings with anything like fidelity to the originals; and they offer no way to experience media or paint thickness or pen impression. And when it comes to sculpture they are, of course, overwhelmingly flat (not to dismiss pop-up books).