eBook Options, Options Everywhere

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Welcome to another State of the eBook! This will be a short post this week, as it seems there will be some sort of exciting announcement this Tuesday.

Dan had an interesting comment when we were all discussing the rumored B&N reader; he said he couldn’t wait to buy one and return to his Fictionwise library. It got me thinking: as things stand now we have the Kindle store, the Sony eBook store, the Fictionwise/eReader/Barnes and Noble store, Google Books, and a number of free eBook sites. Each of them has their own device(s) that lock you into that format and platform, making it more of a commitment to choose to move to a new device.

And portability/inter-compatibility issues are only one issue. Even though the international Kindle has been released, all the books in the USA Kindle store are not available overseas. And some books are showing up in the Kindle USA store that are only available overseas. International copyrights are different in each country, creating further barriers to eBook adoption.

So obviously not only is the marketplace highly fractured, but the consumer base is as well! Everyone has their favorite store, reader, etc. So here are my questions for our readers: we can’t embed the poll, but please head over HERE, and take it! It will really help get a handle on what eBook news to cover and how to provide you with the best possible news and information!

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About the Author

Zek has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to their first PDA (a Palm M100). They quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. They love writing about ebooks because they combine their two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?

3 Comments on "eBook Options, Options Everywhere"

  1. I dunno – I know people seem to love the Kindle and other dedicated ebook devices, but I can’t see paying hundreds more for something my WM device or iPhone can do for free. Not to mention that the backlight of either is the whole reason I switched to ebooks in the first place – it eliminated the whole “that light is shining in my eyes” discussion at bedtime…LOL.

  2. JDTagish: And you have to recharge the WM device or iPhone after a few hours because of the power usage of said screen… or the fact that the text is small enough that it can cause some eyestrain. There’s a reason those dedicated eBook devices exist, after all.

    Plus, given the iPhone’s already rather short battery life, if one has to choose between reading a book for a few hours or… y’know, being able to take a call…. 😉 Everything’s got their place, and the odd part here is how the Kindle and other eBook readers are mostly making inroads with the older folks. I suspect this has to do with the way eInk works, and the general concept of e-Paper; that whole backlight (and small screen) are two reasons why these people, whose eyes are no longer the sharpest, are going for these devices. Having used one of these at a store, and then going back to an iPod Touch for reading… there’s quite a bit of a difference in terms of the experience. The bigger screen, without the even shorter battery life of most Tablet PCs, makes quite a big difference.

  3. @Haesslich – You make a point, and I agree the devices available have their place I suppose. But, as a person with diminished eyesight, I can say from personal experience that the backlight is what allows me to read ebooks. I can adjust the font size on my iPhone or WM device to be large enough to be comfortable for even me to read, but without that backlight, there is not enough contrast for me to see, which is something that the current line of e-reading devices lack.

    Sure, I have to charge but since I have a charger everywhere I sit (desk, work and nightstand) I’m rarely at “risk” of not being able to take a call because I was reading.

    I’m not bashing the Kindle or any other e-reader, it’s just that I personally can’t see spending hundreds more on a separate device to do something that I can already do with the devices I already own. That doesn’t address the idea that an e-reader device might appeal to someone who doesn’t use a smart phone, or who isn’t too concerned with DRM, or doesn’t already own hundreds of ebooks and doesn’t want to worry about compatible formats if you change device formats.

    Personally, I hope the devices take off. If they do, more of the books I like will be available and ebooks will be more common, which can only be a good thing. But, I can’t see trying to hold my TabletPC in my hand in bed to read, but that’s just me.

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