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eBook Beach Reading



My lovely wife and I took a much needed few days off and headed to visit family at York Beach, Maine earlier this week. We only had a couple of days to relax and even though we’re both up to our ears in work, we decided not to take any computers along with us. Well, that’s not completely true. I took along the iPad, but I swore I’d do no work, just some play. I also took along the Amazon Kindle as the family ritual at York Beach is to spend the entire day on the beach when possible.

Reams have been written about how the Kindle (and other eInk devices) are better for reading in bright sunlight than the iPad is, and that’s absolutely true. I lugged my Kindle 2 down to the beach and spent a good portion of both days doing some reading. Back at the home place, there’s a great hammock that rests in the shade pretty much all day, and I pulled out the iPad to give that a try using the Kindle App. No problem reading in the shade, but when you’ve got three nephews bouncing around I felt safer using the Kindle than I did the iPad.

That’s a story that proved accurate a few hours after the picture below was snapped. My sister-in-law has an iPhone 3GS and of course she has a few apps on it to entertain her sons. One of those apps is one of the picture morphing genre (take a picture, make someone look different by touching and morphing the picture) and the nephews started fighting over it when the iPhone took a dive for the floor and popped open, rendering it useless. She took a trip to the closest Apple store and got it working for a short time, then it stopped working again. So, as we headed back home, she headed for another trip to the Apple Store. The moral of that story is, well, I bet you can figure it out if you have kids and fragile gadgets.

Anyway, I was more than satisfied with my reading experiences on both devices under different circumstances, and even more satisfied that I didn’t have to put either device on a charger the entire duration of the short trip.

If you’re interested there are more pictures of the trip here.



  1. Xavier Lanier

    08/12/2010 at 8:44 am

    Looks like you had a great time Warner. Nice photo album.
    The only good defense your gadgets have against nephews is getting an OtterBox or other heavy-duty case.

  2. HG

    08/12/2010 at 12:45 pm

    That looks like a relaxing vacation Warner! I also just took my iPad on vacation about 3 weeks ago camping and worked great. Able to do light reading, browse the net, upload pictures of our camping activities daily as we hiked, and of course if something needed done back at the office I could always log back in with iPad and fix it. :) Good to see what others have to say, how they use there iPad’s on the road.

  3. Mike

    08/12/2010 at 4:44 pm

    Glad you had a good time, Warner.
    Nice little write up.
    It does point out the need for some hybrid device to actually make it to market which has a good screen in all conditions.
    Also for the necessary durability (and hopefully cheapness in cost) of a device which has the expected operating environs of something like an e-reader or an ipad.

  4. Jake Mayer

    08/13/2010 at 10:16 am

    Oh I don’t know. Perhaps I am just old fashioned, but as much as I love gadgets I still prefer to turn off the computer at the end of the day and read an actual book. Especially with prices so low at websites like ebay, or with book price finders like (I use their firefox add-on), it is less expensive to just buy the book- and then you really do own it!

  5. TRX

    08/17/2011 at 7:10 am

    Publishers are telling readers that the physical book isn’t worth anything and that the entire value is in the story.Except when a writer’s cut of a book’s cover price is determined. Then the value of the story is minimal.As you said, that’s another matter.While the view that the story is the entire value of a book is flattering to the writer,that’s not the way that readers see it.To readers, e-book cost nothing to produce. Publishers know that isn’t true.Writers know it too. But try to convince the general public of that. As far as readers are concerned,the incremental cost to produce more copies of an e-book is zero.So the readers expect an eBook to be priced less than a physical book. The real costs have nothing to do with it. Design and Graphics

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