12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2015 4:37 AM by bobstro

    ebooks aren't weighty enough

    bobstro

      No, this isn't a lonely link to some blogger's screed about the significance of print versus ebooks. It's a usability factor that I never encountered before.

       

      After returning my NGTS, I had $150 of store credit, so purchased a bunch of ebooks without too much scrutiny. I think it was then that I purchased 1Q84 in ebook format. Some time later, I began reading it and, while I enjoyed it, I just didn't seem to be making much headway. With my (Kobo) reader settings showing progress per-chapter, all only had the total book progress as percentage read to go by on the home screen. I began to wonder if I'd get through it. I read it over a couple of months (holiday season), and the indicator seemed to show below 50% forever.

       

      I finally reached the last page yesterday, and when I went to log it as read over on Goodreads, I realized why. The edition I had was a compilation of a trilogy, weighing in at 944 pages combined. Certainly not the breezy new fiction read I was expecting.

       

      I know we've discussed the pros and cons of ebooks versus print, but I'm not sure "weight" has been discussed. If I pick up a print copy of War and Peace, I know what I'm in for. If I download the ebook and just start plugging along, it's hard to have a sense for how much remains, and summaries don't always  indicate pages. Size helps, but may include images.

       

      I'm wondering if there's a UX (User Experience) design consideration here that some innovative ereader company that cares about readers might try, using shadow depth or other indicators to give books different "weight" on the shelf based on length. Right now, every book more-or-less the same on the (e)shelf. Sometimes I'd just like to select a quick read for a flight, and not having to view details on individual titles would be a nice feature.

        • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
          Sandikal

          I have to admit that one of my favorite features of my Kindle Paperwhite is that it tells me how many minutes are left in each chapter and how many hours are left in a book.  No surprises.  Nook books usually indicate how many pages are in them, don't they?  Long books are ideal for e-readers.  They don't hurt your back when you pick them up.

           

          As for 1Q84, I think it was three books in Japan.  The US edition was one long, very long, book.  I listened to the audiobook and it was 46 hours, 50 minutes.  It was good though.

            • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
              bobstro

              My Kobo provides time remaining in chapter and for the book, but not on the bookshelf view. You can find the information, but it's not like glancing at a shelf and seeing how big a book is, or feeling it when you lift it. I'd like something that I can glance at quickly when selecting something to read when I have a few minutes. Nothing fancy, just a usability feature to provide some info.

               

              This isn't a big deal, mind you. It's just something that a paper book provides that its electronic analog doesn't.

            • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
              Froide

              I habitually note the length of books I buy or borrow and remain abreast of my reading progress. But, as shared by various participants in this post, seeing that information digitally is a far cry from hefting a tangible book in one's hand, eyeballing its physical dimensions, and tangibly observing one's progression through it.

               

              That hit me like a ton of bricks a few months ago, when I borrowed two hard copy (not paperback) books from the public library near my office. Sheesh! By every measure those books were huge (height, length, width, weight, page count). They were a real PITA to haul home and to read on the train while commuting. At the same time, I patted myself on the back because I'd made such quick work of the several other books in that series, not realizing how very "weighty" they actually were.

                • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
                  Froide

                  agarcia - I know you're gathering data in order to improve this Jive site. Here's something to fix: the ability to edit one's posts.  I see a typo in my post above but can't edit it. (Boo! Hiss!)

                    • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
                      bobstro

                      Froide, when that happens, scroll up to the 1st post in the thread and click on the title. This opens some other view -- no idea what it's called -- that gives you more options. When you do that, you should be able to select Edit from the Actions menu at the bottom left of your posts.

                       

                      If I view this thread after clicking a message from my Inbox view, the Edit option is not there. If I click the title of the 1st post, I can edit my messages. I just added this line after posting.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
                    wistaggerlee

                    I created a shelf for short stories so I can find quick reads quickly, but I do agree it would be nice to be able to see the size of a book before I open it.

                    • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
                      whiteginger

                      Before buying any ebook, I always scroll down to the details section and look for the number of pages in the book; if  not given, I check out the DTB version for number of pages.  (I hate purchasing a $12.99+ book  that has fewer than 300 pages!)

                       

                      Although I like knowing the number of pages left in a chapter--information available to me when I occasionally purchase a kbook and read it on the Kindle app on my NOOK--I honestly like the NOOK reader experience, knowing what page I'm on and the total number of pages in the book, better.   If I want to know how many pages left in a chapter, I bookmark (or remember) my place and go to the beginning of the next chapter (sometimes by "flipping pages") just as if I were reading a DTB.

                      • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
                        AnitaInTN

                        I just read in the "Nook-verse" and so always had the "page x of y" with y being the total number of pages.  The total number of pages is a rough estimate of the book size, and I like to know when is the "half way point" because, in a well-paced book, that's when it stops going downhill for the protagonist and things start getting better....yes, I prefer happy endings.  (If I want to be depressed, I'll read the news.)

                         

                        It never occurred to me (until some of these threads) that other readers would do something different.  Point for Nook!

                          • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
                            bobstro

                            I've got a choice between seeing progress-in-chapter or progress-in-book while reading, but I personally prefer to know how how many pages are in a chapter to help decide whether to start a new one or get some sleep. Unfortunately, neither alternative tells me a thing when I've viewing the titles on a shelf, so there's no easy way to select a short read with just a glance at the collection.

                              • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
                                Froide

                                I've got a choice between seeing progress-in-chapter or progress-in-book while reading, but I personally prefer to know how how many pages are in a chapter to help decide whether to start a new one or get some sleep

                                Forced to choose between the two, I'd make the same choice. But this inquiring mind wants to know my reading progress both chapter-wise and book-wise.

                                  • Re: ebooks aren't weighty enough
                                    bobstro

                                    Agreed! This isn't exactly a complex feature to add. Good ol' Moon+ has an optional progress bar that shows both. Unfortunately, its renderer isn't the best, and it won't run on any of my eInk gizmos!

                                     

                                    Again, though, I'd ALSO (being greedy) like some sort of at-a-glance indicator on the shelf view when selecting a read.