It isn’t the first time I have tried to read an ebook, but it is the first time I have read one all the way through. My previous attempt was as an undergraduate at Loughborough University (approx. 2002), and despite the nifty little ebook reader, the book was not particularly to my liking. In comparison Shaw’s ‘An Unsocial Socialist’ fits nicely with my general approach to society at large, and my opinions of Tories in particular (i.e., selfish, idiots, or both); it had me hooked to the end. Whilst I have yet to see an ebook reader that hopes to challenge more than the fringes of the codex market, the prevalence of freely available pdf books (e.g., 20 Free eBooks about Social Marketing) is beginning to persuade me that there is a place for these devices. Whilst I have found myself coveting the reasonably priced Sony Reader (tempting me every time I walk into my local Waterstones), I don’t particular want to carry around an additional electronic device. I therefore decided to try reading a book on my N95 using Mobi Reader.
The advantage of reading a book on a mobile phone is that most people carry their mobile with them always. The disadvantage is, in the same way as a dedicated ebook reader, you are more concerned about damaging or losing the device. One of my favourite times to read is walking down the street, however I found myself acutely aware of the fact that my phone was much more likely to be the target of an opportunistic thief than a 10p novel from a charity shop. Nonetheless, despite fears for my phone, I found the N95/Mobi Reader combo to provide a useful reading device, and if those who create the free pdf versions would also make a free Mobi Reader version of their books I would never look at a Sony Reader again.
Nb. If you do want to create your own ebook for the Mobi Reader then All About Symbian had a useful post the other week.
Update: Using the Mobipocket Reader desktop version makes converting PDFs to the mobile reader AMAZINGLY easy. I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this for years.