I was asked by Cynthia Reeser, a little while ago, if I’d like to contribute to a book she’s writing on how to publish for the Kindle. Of course I said yes, and I wrote a little something about what I thought about eBooks and, mostly, what I thought the publishers and manufacturers need to do to make the whole thing work.

I received the PDF of the whole book last week and decided to read it on my iPhone (getting into the spirit and all that – plus – it’s a 150 page ms and I didn’t want to carry it around with me).

Now, the book aside (which is EXCELLENT and I’m thrilled to be in it) it was a disappointing experience, and one that’s reaffirmed my doubts about the iPad as an electronic reader.

My main problems were:

The screen.

People developed E-ink for a reason. Reading anything of any length on a backlit screen is a chore and it’s painful.

Usability. The iPhone is intuitive and clever. It’s excellent for web browsing and for emailing and whatnot. 

What it isn’t good at (and to be fair, it wasn’t designed as such) is being anything like a notebook. I thank all that’s holy (and you all so know I don’t go in for any of that malarkey) that I was able to find the GoodReader app – because it’s the only one I did find that didn’t take me back to the beginning of the ms every time I came out of it (to email, to use the phone etc).

Two little problems that made a really big difference. And, as I said earlier (and even earlier here) makes me really wonder how useful the iPad will be as something to read books on. If I was going to get one (an eReader) it would HAVE to have E-ink.

That’s it for now. I’ll talk about the book at some point soon.