Monday, July 09, 2007

Books on iPhone?

"Publishers Ponder Putting E-books on iPhone" says the headline in a Publisher's Weekly article. "Not so fast!", says Apple. Publishers are interested, but Apple has plenty on its plate already with this year's most popular consumer electronic device, just released. Said PW in today's article, "Book publishers have been resistant to digital reading in the past, and text just doesn't show off the iPhone's multimedia functionality the way full-motion video and color photographs can. So book publishers will have to wait their turn. Nevertheless, publishers said that while Apple has yet to approach them about content, that day is coming."

I have my serious doubts about this as a format for books. Although I have yet to put my hands on an iPhone, what I've seen in TV ads make me wince when I think of trying to read a book on one. Think about all that scrolling! You hate to scroll a Web page now, what are you going to do with a page of book text? Furthermore, Web paragraphs tend to be shorter and more compact; book paragraphs are longer, wider, and more dense. It's going to be Hell reading a book on any PDA or other electronic device. How will it handle various fonts? Will you need to scroll side to side as well as top to bottom? Will you be able to adjust font size to make text easier to read and how will that affect scrolling? Will you be able to light the surface to make it easier to read in the dark? Will your eyes get as tired reading the iPhone as it does a regular computer monitor screen, which is already tiring to read?

See where I'm headed? People will prefer reading a book on paper. Mark my works ... on paper.

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