There’s nothing like a brand new book – embossed cover, fresh ink and crisp new paper. Not to mention the story inside. I’m an old school lover of print. So I never thought I’d be telling you that I actually like reading crime novels on the iPad.
I don’t like the fact that a 32GB iPad 2 costs around £500, while a new paperback only costs about £8. Straight away you might be thinking, ‘He should have bought a Kindle’. We have those too here at CFL HQ and we’ll be writing more about e-readers soon enough. But we don’t want to get into comparing them with the iPad now. Apple’s tablet does so many things e-readers can’t manage, such as watching Wallander on TVCatchup, and I really want to focus on the reading experience.
There were other things about the iPad I thought would irritate me, besides the price. The brightness is one, and the shininess of the glistening touch screen is another. I thought my eyes would tire and that on top of working at a computer screen all day, I’d go nuts reading on an iPad. With Kindle – not such a problem as the screen has a matte finish and isn’t backlit.
Actually, you can adjust the brightness of the screen whether you’re using the iBooks or the Amazon Kindle app. You can also change the size of the text and have the print appear on a pure white screen, or a sepia one that is more soothing on the eyes. In iBooks, you can even select a font – Baskerville, Times and Palatino are all there. Remember that Georgia was designed for screen, and that’s a good choice for devices like this.
One tip is that if you find the lettering too small, don’t hit the magnifying glass icon. While in some software this means Zoom, in other applications it means Find. That caught me out the first time – some detective me, huh?
I’ve read crime books on the iPad in both iBooks and Kindle formats. Aesthetically, I prefer iBooks. Although the two are very similar, iBooks can and sometimes do include illustrations, and the screen and page turning feel is a little nicer. Both can be rotated to a landscape aspect for a double-page spread format if that’s what you like.
However, I will probably be reading more Kindle books on my iPad, despite the nicer look and feel of iBooks. There seem to be more crime books on Kindle than in iBooks, but the main ones are all there in the iBook shop (which is linked in with iTunes and the App Store). The main reason is price. Books on Kindle are generally cheaper than iBooks. There are nine books in our recommended list that are digitally available (Black Dahlia isn’t). Buying them on Kindle saves me £15.45 at the time of writing. Seeing as I’ve crippled my cash flow having bought an iPad, I will need to save money!
You can buy an iPad from your local Apple Store, the Apple site, or from other electronics retailers. Amazon sells them too.