Portrait of an E-Reader as an Early Adopter

I am truly the perfect candidate for using one of these pocket electronic libraries. I commute an hour and a half to work each day so I lug a lot of reading materialnot to mention my laptopback and forth 3 hours every day. My pack probably weighs close to 30lbs, and my chiropractic bill is astronomical. I love to read! My tastes are varied and could even be considered eclectic. I go through cycles. I will read business books, math books, poetry, fiction, science, science fiction, cookbooks, computer books, gardening books, spiritual stuff, philosophical stuff, political books, and even New Age books!

I read books like Fast Food Nation, Botany of Desire, Pattern Language, How Buildings Learn, The Ingenuity Gap, Envisioning Information , The Sparrow, The Road, and I am a follower of Earthseed. One of my guilty pleasures is my lust for any complete-idiots-confused-persons-dummies guide to Statistics! So how do I fulfill my reading desires with one of these devices? Never mind that I am also busily reading all the new/used/old stuff you can’t get easily with an electronic reader.

For instance, is one of the highest selling fiction books, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, available on the Sony reader, or the iLiad? O.K. so the answer to that is yes, but what about, hmmmDivisadero by Ondaatje? There is almost something available on the Random house site, but it doesn’t look like it is quite there yet. Now mind you that could change rapidly and that seems to be happening as far as electronic content is concerned.

Certainly part of the problem with the iLiad part of the no content equation has to do with the overall problem of the confusing and abundant array of formats that seem to be out there. When you find an ebook it is in PDF, Mobipocket, Sony ereader, or Microsoft reader format. You never seem to see the “iLiad format” explicitly mentioned anywhere, (although a colleague did just mention to me that mobipocket is now available for the iLiad). So perhaps it is a problem of marketing or a problem of ignorance or a problem of proprietary software that people think there is no content for the iLiad. This dear reader is where the beauty of standards enter the scene, but that too is another story.