Sunday, April 11, 2010

Aldiko: the first e-book reader app to win me over

I’m imagining a reluctant reader, tackling his school summer reading list. At a page break, he hits the menu button and clicks on “Show Progress.” He’s only 6.88% percent through the novel and at this juncture only 7.69% of the way through this chapter. He might groan painfully at this point, but I sit back in wonder at tools unimaginable in a traditional book. I didn’t think I would be intrigued by an e-book reader app on a smart phone, but Aldiko on the Android Operating System (OS) is very well done.

With options to alter font and font size, brightness, as well as a ‘day/night’ setting, which switches the black print on a white background to white print on a black background for better night-time reading, I easily could tap my finger on the screen to turn the page. I could bookmark my stopping point, as well as any pages along the way that I wanted to return to later. If I wanted to search the entire book for a word or phrase, Aldiko could tell me every page, highlighting the specific sentence, where that wording occurred.

Okay, yes, we all know technology is wonderful. It’s revolutionizing the world and making publishing houses rethink their business models. It’s changing the way we read, write, and process the world around us. But I’m old fashioned. I love writing with ink, not just on keyboards. I love curling up with a paperback novel, as if snuggling comfortably with a lover. All of that said, free downloads of literary classics, of books from Smashwords, of books commonly found on high school reading lists, and of public domain titles hooked me. I’m in a place where I would still rather buy a hard-back then purchase an e-book for a Kindle, Sony Reader, or any other similar device, but it’s funny how free can win me over.

Aldiko also plays to the bibliophiles of us with their wood-paneled background, with leather and clothbound tomes on the shelves. How old-fashioned, we might say. How stylish and smart.

I’m still not breaking down to say e-books are completely winning me over – I’m not convinced they ever will – however, Aldiko does a great job and has gained me as a user.

What's your reaction to the e-book revolution?

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