In my first outing with e-books, I read Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars on an iPad. When it came time download George Bush’s Decision Points, I assumed the iPad and I would continue our nodding acquaintance. So you can imagine my surprise when the iTunes store had never heard of Decision Points. It was like going to a grocery store and learning they’d never head of milk. But since Booklist really preferred to pay $9.99 for the president’s memoir I found the office Kindle and downloaded the e-book from Amazon.
There were some interesting differences between the two devices. For one, I never really got comfortable holding the iPad. It always seemed emminently droppable. The Kindle, on the other hand, with its fake leather cover, seemed much more like holding an actual book. However, for the re-creation of the reading experience, the iPad has the Kindle beat by a mile. Pages turn, ribbon bookmarks appear, and both typeface and photos are crisp. The Kindle was just page after page of print; to turn you had to press a button that I suspect would eventually give you a syndrome called “Kindle finger.” Morever, the formatting was such that often a photo appeared on one page and its caption followed on the next. So as long as you can hold on to the iPad it makes for a better replication of the book reading experience. Key word there being replication, people.