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Nothing brings together the timeless pleasure of reading with the lustre of shiny new gadgetry quite like an eBook. Here’s a visual guide to this relatively modern phenomenon, which has actually been around a lot longer than you’d think.

How have eReaders changed? Who first came up with the idea? How does eInk work? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

working at computer monitor


  1. Wow, now we realise why you skipped pie, and mash.well done son. Love you both so,da, Meggy. Xxx

  2. You missed out the iRex Iliad – lovely machine, large format, not quite as big as the big Kindle, which I also now have. Nice controls, slightly strange software, cost a bomb (about 450 GBP in 2007 IIRC). Dutch origins, I think, but marketed by a UK company.

    I put all my tech manuals on it, as I was commuting by air to my various contracts at the time.

  3. Ebooks are definitely not cheaper than real printed books thanks to the government sticking VAT on them whereas physical books are VAT exempt.

    There is also no second hand market for ebooks.

  4. You didn’t mention the downside of ebooks.

    1. They’re often burdened with DRM.
    2. Inconvenient to underline, highlight add notes etc.
    3. Impossible to skip a couple of pages / refer back to earlier text or have two non-adjacent pages open simultaneously.
    4. They are often just a PDF file with a fancy name.

    I could go on…

  5. 1. Buy the right reader.
    2. Buy the right reader.
    3. Buy the right reader.
    4. No they are not.
    You probably could go on because you sound like a paperback troll.
    Say after me in a whiny voice,,,,”waaah, I like the feel of a real book in my hands”

  6. I would have found this really interesting but I gave up reading early on because of the poor visual presentation. Namely pastel print on pastel bacground (look up “visual acuity”), varying fonts, varying type size. Yes it was very pretty and would have been awarded the highest marks in a design competition but not in any way an easy visual read.


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