Sunday, September 21, 2008

First thoughts on the Cybook Gen3 -- Jules

This is mirrored from my own blog -- there's 2000 words of it and I don't know how to do a cut tag in blogger, so you'll find the whole thing on either my WordPress blog or my LiveJournal.

I bought a second-hand Cybook Gen3 ebook reader from my writing partner last month, and I've been using it long enough now to have some initial thoughts about it. This isn't a proper review, as I haven’t been exploring all its features. What I *have* been doing with it is simply reading some of the books she’d loaded on it, mostly on the bus to and from work.

And the obvious question is - do I regret spending one hundred pounds on this thing? After all, I could buy quite a few paperbacks for that money. To which the answer is "no", and for a specific reason I'll get to at the end of this post. And it's not one of the obvious reasons, like saving shelf space or being able to carry a hundred books with me at all times, although I can see the advantages there.

Would I buy one at full market price? (Currently 269 pounds if shipped to the UK.) Probably not, but mostly because the wee beastie is physically fragile, and I fully expect that I'll manage to break it within a year or two given my current usage of it. I can see why other people would pay that for it, and why I might in other circumstances.

( read more about the pros and cons in the full post at my book blog )

And the killer app for me? I can read it on the bus without feeling car-sick.

If I try to read a dead tree book on the bus, I start feeling sick after a few minutes. I can read if I'm careful, but it requires a certain amount of thought and stopping as soon as I feel in the least bit queasy. I took the Cybook with me on the bus the first week I had it, mostly because otherwise I’d have to wait until the following weekend to have time to play with it - and was still reading at journey's end. By the end of the week, it was clear that this was not a one-off. In the month since, I've found that if the bus is *really* bumpy I need to put the Cybook down for a minute or two, but I can usually read it without problems. I don't know why there’s a difference (my guess is that it’s at least partly to do with the Cybook being completely rigid), but since I spend around an hour a day on the bus at the moment, something that lets me read during that hour is *well* worth the hundred pounds I paid for it. While I'm doing that commute, you will have to prise my Cybook from my cold dead hands...


Unknown said...

Ouch, bad formatting ahoy...sorry, I couldn't read this. :(

Jules Jones said...

What's the formatting problem? My writing style, or something about the way the post is displaying in your browser? I'm not being snarky -- it shows up fine where I'm sitting, and I can't fix it if I don't know what the problem is.

Fae said...

Sorry, lol, it's all the apostrophe's and some other places, they're coming out as a series of random symbols. There's a trademark symbol, a Euro symbol, an 'a' with a dash-y thing above it...every apostrophe is coming across as this series of symbols and it's impossible to read. :(

It's mostly apostrophe's that are that way, but it's at the ends of some sentences too.

veinglory said...

Perhaps it is a browser thing. It looks pkay to me in IE7. But for blogger it is always good to use plain text just in case.

Jules Jones said...

Any better now?

I normally write in 7-bit ASCII, with no SmartQuotes, for precisely this reason. But WordPress (which is where I composed the text) seems to have helpfully added them. Most people don't get a problem, but it *can* show up as weirdness like this.

And now I need to go and hand edit the other copies. Bah humbug.

Fae said...

It's Chrome. I checked it in Firefox and it looks fine, but it's still showing the odd symbols in Chrome.