Better than the printed page: Reading on an iPad

“Apple’s Web site makes the iPad sound like a gift of God for graphics, but the company hardly mentions the iPad’s main purpose for some of us: reading books,” Charles Maurer writes for TidBITS. “Nor I have ever heard of anyone who switched on a new iPad, saw the screen, and exclaimed: ‘What a pleasant way to read! Surely I ought to empty my bookcases and put all of my books onto this.'”

“I suspect the marketing moguls at Apple do not care much about reading books, because if they did, they could set it up to induce that reaction,” Maurer writes. “Indeed, after fiddling with the settings and buying some cheap apps, my wife Daphne and I both find ourselves preferring the iPad to paper.”

Maurer writes, “Not only do we buy ebooks by choice, we have even found ourselves buying ebooks to replace hardcovers on our shelves, because reading on the iPad is quicker and easier.”

Tons more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s a lot in the full article which makes us want to set our Kindle Paperwhites aside to the give our iPads another chance for reading!


  1. My iPad mini replaced my Kindle once my kindle books were available via the Kindle app.

    Music and Reading material on one compact device especially when traveling.

    1. I will forever miss the texture and smell of a bound book, but it’s just not practical. I agree t hat having a library of books on a device is the real breakthrough.

      It’s also patently unfair to charge for an ebook when one has the hardcover already. Yes, I’m aware t hat fair and business don’t mix. I’m on fair’s side…

      1. Album, single, 8-track, cassette, CD, remastered versions, greatest hit compilations, MP3, AAC 128/256, lossless digital formats, etc.

        Neither life, nor business, is fair.

          1. Why not go back even further? Before the vinyl album were piano rolls, wax cylinders, and music boxes. Before that you had to buy sheet music and hire a band! Oh the horror of living in the digital age!

            Today we take for granted the price of music has plummeted due to the sheer volume and easy availability!

            To be fair, music companies improved the quality and quantity of recorded music as technology permitted. In every era there were artists and labels that offered impressive value, remastering and adding free bonus tracks to every new format. If you didn’t want the better format, nobody forced you to buy it.

            Unless you only pay attention to Apple, you should know other companies keep improving whereas Apple is busy trying to lock people into a subscription service. It all depends what is important to you. The SACD offers unparalleled quality. Multichannel blu-rays offer amazing new soundscapes never possible in your home before. Used CD shops offer dirt cheap uncompressed music archives of complete albums and symphonies, which Apple has abandoned, but which at one time offered long duration audio story lines and scenes that no 3 minute rap or pop single will ever accomplish.

            On the other hand you can aid Apple and in killing music by renting compressed pop singles that don’t pay a living wage to the artist. You can buy plastic Beats speakers that project a brand image but objectively aren’t accurate or a good value. Everything is about the subscription now, audiophiles are advised to go elsewhere if quality is important to you.

            Jobs believed if something was of value, people would want to collect it. Apple even developed ALAC, a lossless codec that saves CD quality stereo using about 30% less disc space. Well Apple abandoned all that. This is the Cook Apple now.

            1. Audio compression is almost everywhere now.

              Popular music embraced audio compression sixty or more years ago because it allowed record producers to cut records which sounded louder, but these days I’m dismayed to notice audible compression on some of my classical music CDs while many rock and pop CDs have recordings so densely compressed that when you look at the data stream from the CD, it scarcely deviates by more than a few dBs from 0dBFS.

            2. Things can be obsoleted naturally or abruptly and artificially…

              Anyway, that’s not my point. I think you agree that I said eBooks are just more practical. I said that. By owning the hardcopy, you already own an instance of the content.

              Repurchasing the content, IMO is wrong. Perhaps, maybe, for a very nominal fee. In the case of eBooks, its the cost of the electrons.

        1. A sheet of parchment, my art history prof. said, cost as much as the total worth of a small Middle Ages Down; Now a book can be free, having zero monetary value.

    1. IPad’s not allowed in laboratory (chem, bio, medical) so it hasn’t worked for me in med school. No way to keep clean in a BSL 3+ environment. Lots of limitations in the real world.

      1. Accidentally hit one star instead of reply button;(. I’m taking about while you are sipping coffee while reading articles..or during class..especially if prof provides lectures in digital form before class.

  2. I often read newspaper sites on my iPad and while the iPad does a great job of displaying text to read, the people who create newspaper web sites tend to put so many annoying links on the page that I inadvertently get taken to pages or adverts which I never wanted to visit. It’s especially annoying when using a cellular connection in places where the signal is poor, because these unwanted diversions waste a lot of time and it takes a while to get back to where I was. There are some sites which I’ve stopped reading on my iPad because of these issues.

    Apple itself isn’t entirely free of blame on this matter because when using the News app, I sometimes find myself accidentally clicking on things like the ‘dislike’ icon.

    1. Anything I find online I want to read, I download to the Pocket app. Great as I can then read when I want to, even off-line and even on another device through iCloud sync – and with no annoying adverts

  3. Articles and many websites are basically unreadable due to ads on iPhone and iPad. I seldom use my iPad, its a bit easier due to larger screen.

    If its an important document or web site, I print it.

      1. I don’t disagree with what you say, but the work that I do is not practical on iOS due to the complexity of the software, touch interface will never be an option, as an example. For my work I have a MacBook and a 27 inch iMac.

        I mostly use just my iPhone for mobile casual reading and e-mail checking, iPad only gets used maybe once a month. Adblock would be good for them.

    1. I read my local paper everyday as a PDF. No pop up ads or links. I love being able to zoom in on articles to enlarge the text or view photographs full screen. I can easily clip items about furniture or home designs and send them to my wife. It’s great reading the comics for the same reason. Expoing each comic full screen gives me a better appreciation for the drawing. I read with PDF Expert and use the annotation tool to do the crossword puzzle.

  4. Even the latest greatest devices don’t protect you from the onslaught of ads and popups, subscription prompts, etc. making the content virtually unreadable. And I fear it’s only going to get worse.

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