Changing Times for eBooks

When you think of reading eBooks, which retailers do you think of? For me it comes down to three or four retailers. Amazon. Apple. Google. Barnes and Noble. I know there’s Kobo too, but they don’t have any kind of traction here in the US.  Barnes and Noble’s Nook is a nice experience. I’ve played on several devices before. But let’s face it, the entire future of the Nook is a giant question mark. Then comes Apple, which may or may not have colluded with major publishers to increase eBook prices. That leaves us with Google and Amazon.

I have an Android device and I’ve never once read a book on it. But I imagine Play Books is right up there with Apple and Amazon as far as its user experience. And now they’re trying to make it even better. Google and Amazon have both recently changed the fonts of their eBooks. Both were changed after extensive research into a variety of factors that affected one’s ability to read on their devices. I sometimes download books on to my Kindle, but I haven’t actually read on it in quite some time.

I applaud both companies for trying to make it easier to read on their devices, but I have to be completely honest here. I have one of the very first Kindle models, which leads me to believe that it would already be a bit more difficult to read on my device than on some of the newer models like the Paperwhite or the Voyage. And I’ve never had any issue with the font. It isn’t too small to start. It isn’t difficult to read. And I’ve read so much about the big gaps and spaces between words and letters in books because there hasn’t been any hyphenation before the new font, but I’ve never come across anything that looked out of order or weird. So props to both companies for improving the user experiences of their eBook readers, but I can’t say I’ve ever felt a new font was necessary.

The name of Amazon’s new font is Bookerly. The name of Google’s new font is Literata.

What about you? Have you ever been reading on your Kindle or Android device and just wanted a better, more aesthetic font for your reading?

20 thoughts on “Changing Times for eBooks

  1. I do have a Kindle, but rarely use it. I’m not too particular about the fonts. If it’s close to Times New Roman or something similar, it’s fine with me. I do take umbrage with font sizes, however. There usually isn’t enough of a variety of font size. And I hate flipping pages constantly, so I usually prefer smaller font size, but it usually isn’t small enough when I adjust it.


  2. I never was irritated or it never crossed my mind that font was an issue on my Kindle or my phone (Google Play Books). I do like to play around with font though, but it’s not an issue. But if they decide to come out with a new font, so be it.


  3. I have a Kindle and it’s an early model. I have read quite a bit on it, and I seem to get less eyestrain than I do from conventional books. I have never thought font to be an issue, and I am 60 years old, so my eyes aren’t what they used to be.


  4. Personally, I dislike reading on a Kindle or even on the iPad’s Kindle reader. It’s not something I would choose to do. Just now I’m using it because I can download some pragmatic material I need for my business cheaply or for free. But absolutely it’s not something I’d do for pleasure. As a former print editor who spent some years working with nationally award-winning designers, I have a hard time finding any Kindle format anything other than ugly and ungainly. Practical, yeah. Fun or pleasant, nope.


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