moonI’m not surprised to see the Books in Browsers conference go on pause.

For me, most browser-based books are letdowns compared to e-books as read with the better apps, such as Moon+ Reader Pro (screenshot).

Moon and the like let you tweak the typography precisely and do other customization.

I truly, truly hate the ergonomic disasters that books in browsers can be at their worst. Somehow you can’t get the type size right. Or maybe the content just disappears and you can’t do anything since you exercise so little control.

No, I’m won’t necessarily be as hard on b-in-b in the future. The tech is bound to improve. And as a standards booster, I Get It. I also appreciate the interactivity and interlinking possibilities we enjoy when we blur the lines between e-books and the Web. In fact, let’s face it. Wikipedia is a book in a browser.

What’s more, I can see b-in-b for readers who are not as picky as I am.

In the end this really is a “depends” matter, dependent on both the reader and the book. It isn’t as if I’m avoiding b-in-bs entirely. If nothing else, consider what Amazon has done with its cloud-based reading app.

But for reading books straight on through, I myself generally prefer a robust, full-strength app, with amenities such as my beloved all-text bolding.

Ironically the b-in-b conference may have lost steam because it was too much about browsers and not enough about books. Just shows the priorities of the organizers. A somewhat more bookcentric conference would have fared better. Noting personal here. I admire the brilliant and respected organizers of the conference. They simply lost track of the needs of typical readers of books.

Your own thoughts?

Note: Click on the image for a better view of Moon+ Reader Pro.


  1. I really liked the free Ibis Reader (EOL’d when O’Reilly acquired Threepress) because readers could read a standard, unencumbered ePub 2.x eBook with any modern web browser or any platform, mobile or otherwise. This is important in education because it significantly reduces the equity of access problem posed by the prerequisite purchase of additional software and/or hardware in order to engage learning content. I suppose that this is why Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are all web-based.
    With Ibis Reader gone, I have shifted my hope to the Radium.js framework which supports the emerging ePub 3.x format. Progress in that area hasn’t been as rapid as I had hoped and this development isn’t encouraging. Still, hope springs eternal.

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