In this weekend’s LA Times, Carolyn Kellogg takes a look at the eReading experience on the iPad and compares it to the Kindle. For her, iPad comes out on top, because, she says, “Books on the iPad are electronic without losing their essential bookness.” By this she means that eBooks in Apple’s iBooks eReader app still look and act like books–from the page-flip-imitating graphics to the page numbers rather than Amazon’s “locations” to the illustrations exemplified by Apple’s inclusing of Winnie-the-Pooh with every copy of iBooks. These factors, she says, are what will leave Kindle in the dust.
Indeed she may be right when it comes to Amazon’s E-Ink device, or anyone else’s for that matter. But one thing Kellogg doesn’t factor in, however, is that iBooks is far from the only way to read on iPad. As we’ve reported here before, the Amazon Kindle app offers everything the Kindle itself does, and then some (minus, of course, the E-Ink). Plus, there are tons of other eReading apps–Kobo, Ibis, Stanza, and Marvel to name just a few. Amazon won’t be losing its eBook lead any time soon. The Kindle is really just a mobile store for them–they’d give the hardware away for free if they could–and if it moves to somebody else’s hardware, it’s still making Amazon money.
And we’re wondering which eReading experience seems more bookish to you. There’s no question that E-Ink looks more like paper, nor can one dispute that an eBook on iPad looks more like a wholoe book. So which one, for you, is more like good-ole-fashioned book-readin’? Or is that question already beside the point?