Thursday, July 12, 2007

Adobe Offers New E-Book Reader



As Roy Tennant, over at Library Journal.com, points out this morning, Adobe has its new e-book reader, Adobe Digital Editions 1.0, up and running along with some free books to get you started.



Download and install the reader and you may be pleasantly surprised. Or, better yet, simply browse the sample library and download a book that looks good. If you don't already have the reader, it will download and install then and there. One of the interface behaviors that I found impressive with an OPS-encoded book is that when you scroll it always jumps a complete page. That is, no matter how you resize the window, even when in the middle of reading a book, when you click on the scroll button it does it a page at a time based on exactly how the window is currently sized. Therefore, there are no "hard" pages, but only "soft" ones, and once you get used to this behavior you never worry about scrolling past where you wanted to be.
The software looks good and I particularly like the "complete page" feature that Tennant mentioned. Not being able to scroll down in complete pages was always my biggest complaint about the Adobe Reader software that we all use to read PDF files.

If you decide to test drive the new software, you have a nice selection of e-books to choose from (follow some of the links from the main page because they will lead you to even more choices). Although I don't really expect that e-books will ever replace "real" books, this is definitely another step in the right direction for those of us who find ourselves on occasion wanting, or needing, to read an electronic version of a book. Check it out.

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