I recently downloaded The God Species by Mark Lynas onto my e-reader and started reading it last night. I now wish I’d bought a hard copy – it’s a non-fiction book and I think e-readers are great for novels, but not good if you want to be able to browse, go back and forth, look up references etc. The God Species is one of those. The book has a brilliant review in today’s Guardian, by Peter Forbes. Reading this review and the reference to the Planetary Boundaries Group, which in fact inspired the writing of the book, I realise that I want to be able to read a chapter and the following and then return to an earlier chapter read, or dip into one of the following. The problem with e-readers is that it is not so easy to do this, unless you keep absolute track of which page you were on and which page you read something or other. You just cannot do it. I need the markers, the folded corners, the underlining…. Heresy to some, I know, but that is what I do with non-fiction books.
So, that now defines the limits of e-readers I think. I have a few more books on the reader and I now wish I had not bothered to buy them as e-Pub but rather had ordered the hard copy. Lesson learned. I wonder if you have had the same experience?