After my recent iPad purchase, I've found myself trying to optimize every experience on the tablet. Partly, I'm learning an entirely new computing device that, relative to my laptop, has both less and more functionality. Many of my personal subprocesses I got through the goodwill of my Twitter community, which suggested a ton of apps that I should try out.
So far, I find myself loving the experience of reading, particularly with Instapaper. And I'm starting to think -- based on two exceptionally long articles I've written since getting the iPad -- that this longform reading experience is subtly reshaping what I'm writing.
I really like reading books on the iPad, too, but I've been haunted with anxiety over which platform I should use: the native iBooks, Google Books, or Amazon's Kindle app. My natural biases fall towards Google Books -- though I hate the web presentation -- and Kindle because I've used them both extensively on my iPhone and like that they easily cross devices.
But something about iBooks is appealing, perhaps the consonance with other Apple-designed products. In any case, no methodology for selecting a books platform immediately presented itself to me. So I asked my Twitter followers how they decided where to buy a book for reading on the iPad. They answered clearly and definitively... in several different and sometimes conflicting ways. Below is my attempt at a distillation of the (very informed) crowd's wisdom, or you can read the raw answer feed on Storify (or at the bottom of the post).
Kindle is the best, least-risky way of purchasing and reading books on the iPad. Tom Standage explains, "you can read [books] on almost any platform (iPad, iPhone, Kindle, PC)." Sydney Stegall also pointed to "the power of highlights and notes accessible online," which come with the Kindle. The Kindle platform also got points for the size of its selection and the ability to lend your books to others.