iBooks suffers from Jailhouse Blues
I think the iBooks app is pleasant to use, except it's support of graphic novels (truly terrible; some are unreadable - I use comiXology instead). However, I must remind everyone that iBooks is a very limited DRM sandbox.
I personally hate DRM for books. I cannot think of anything dumber than restricting someone from reading the book they bought on whatever device they wish to use. The whole point of digital books is anything, anytime and anywhere. However, I understand the anxieties of publishers regarding piracy. I don't know the answer to this thorny question but I do know that any attempt to restrict convenience is punished by users.
That said, I think that Amazon's solution - for the moment - is a more 'open' one in the sense that it is less device-dependent than Apple's iBook solution. It just so happens that Apple's devices are the most pleasant and amazing to use... but this might change (remember Apple in the '90s? What happens if Steve Jobs retires?)... you never know.
I find that the Amazon website is a nice way to deploy my books to multiple devices. I can see all the books that I have purchased and then select to send them to my iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, or Desktop. This leverages my library to whichever device I am in front of at that moment in time - and enhances my ability to read it. Management of my library is 'in the cloud'. This is pretty slick.
Amazon isn't really in the hardware business. The Kindle sucks compared to the iPad - but they blazed a trail, forced publishers to start making digital versions of their publications and actually gave publishers a compelling reason to switch to digital by actually monetizing it. For this, I thing we owe them some credit. Furthermore, they have purchased the guys who make Stanza in order to ensure that the Kindle software is as widely compatible for as many devices as possible.
By contrast, the Apple environment is a much more 'closed' system. But closed can be good and in Apple's case it makes a lot of sense. But when it comes to books, I beg to differ. I think we're better off buying books from a service like Amazon that has less long-term interest in the hardware business and every incentive to make the book available to you on any device, anywhere, anytime....
Of course, if Apple puts your library in the Cloud and allows you to read your books on any device you want, then they will render this a moot point. I'd like to see that happen.
However - If you really don't want DRM, then buy the book, split it, and scan it. That's what I do at the moment. I have over 130+ books scanned so far. I prefer Adobe Acrobat 9.0's Clearscan technology, because the books look great on the iPad and the file sizes are very low.
See you guys on the Road...