Towards an Ideal Ebook Reader

I was chatting with Marius Masalar about Blot and how it rules, so I figured maybe I can do a reblog/comment thing with his most recent blog post: The Perfect Kindle.

They wrote:

I was imagining what my ideal Kindle would be like—something that brings together all the most important features from existing models, competitors, and my imagination.

Masalar then writes a great list, and ends with:

I’m curious: what does your wishlist look like when it comes to eReaders? What’s missing that you’d like to see?

So, here I am.

I don’t own a Kindle. They’re cool, but I’ve always edged towards Kobos. I don’t know. They just feel right for me. I prefer their typography. The few times I’ve experienced a Kindle in-hand has left me cold. But they’re absolutely the winner in this category and I’m happy to see that people love them.

Last fall, I began using a Kobo Libra H2O, a 7″, asymmetrical design with buttons. It’s awesome and does almost everything I want in a reader. I can sideload books simply by plugging it into my computer and dropping files. I can borrow books from the library both on the device and on my phone, and they sync great. And I can save articles from the web to Pocket, and have them appear as plain text for reading on the Kobo.

  • Let me decide that both buttons mean next page.” Sometimes I’m holding it at an angle where it’s easier to hit one or the other button, but I always want the same action. If I want to go back, I’ll swipe.
  • Better notes options. This is an area where Kindle just smokes Kobo. In 2009, I was able to highlight a passage on a Sony Reader and have that passage save to Evernote. Make it that easy.
  • Newsletters subscriptions. Isn’t an e-reader the absolute best place for something like a Newsletter? I’d absolutely subscribe to more newsletters if they just went to a dedicated place on the Kobo. Recall: The best way to read a newsletter is on a Kobo
    • I suppose they could add, say, an email client. It is running android after all. But that opens up a whole thing.
  • That web browser that’s been in beta features” for ten years is never coming out of beta, is it? It doesn’t even do the obvious thing, which is set the next” button as page down”.
  • Put buttons on every model. ebook readers without a dedicated button for next page” have always been a mistake.

I’m sure I’ll think of more.

May 5, 2021