Recently I read a couple of books on the iPad using iBooks software. Here are a few quick observations on iBooks vs traditional aka “dead trees” books:
- When reading a traditional book, you orient yourself so that light shines on the pages. When reading an iBook, you do just the opposite — avoid light sources, which create distracting reflections on the screen.
- You can highlight passages in both iBooks and traditional books. You can do so in a more uninhibited way with iBooks, since the highlights are non-destructive and editable. In iBooks, you get a handy auto-generated index of all highlighted passages.
- You can carry a virtually infinite number of iBooks around without straining your shoulders or back.
- You can purchase and start reading an iBook within seconds of receiving a recommendation.
- Traditional books don’t need to have their batteries charged.
- Traditional books can be shared or sold when you’re done with them.
- Very unlikely that your kids will wander off with your traditional books and use them to knock down towers of wood and rocks in which pigs live.
Big idea: create a social network around electronic books. For example, online, impromptu book clubs that can form instantly and last a few weeks and then disperse.