Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The 'E' Doesn't Stand for 'Easy to Use' (Wired Campus blog)

Even when they haven’t come littered with ads, e-books have been slow to catch on with scholars, students, and the reading public. Why haven’t they made more of an impact? According to David H. Rothman, author of the blog TeleRead, e-books just aren’t very consumer-friendly.

“In the past few decades, at least 20 clashing e-book formats have popped up, including the infamous Microsoft Reader,” Mr. Rothman writes for Publishers Weekly, “and no format has performed strongly enough to crush the others.” As a result, even high-priced e-book-reading devices often cannot display certain formats of digital text. Until the e-book industry develops products that can be more widely used, Mr. Rothman writes, consumers are likely to be frustrated. —Brock Read