Ebooks

E-Books and Non-E Books Across the Pond

UPDATE see below: The contest is over and we have a winner...librarian Lauren Gilbert of Hungtington NY has garnered the laurels as the author of "tree book"...congratulations Lauren and to all the entrants.
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Amazon may launch the Kindle in the UK this year, Waterstone's has had success with the Sony Reader and Borders is about to launch a new device, but author Nick Hornby is not feeling the fever pitch over e-books.

In an interview with The Bookseller High Fidelity author Hornby has expressed skepticism as to whether the e-book reader will become as ubiquitous as the Apple iPod. He said: "People don't read enough. Their consumption is summer holidays and they like to take a couple of paperbacks away with them. That's a three-for-two offer. They read maybe seven or eight per year. You don't need one of those machines to do that."

Hornby suggested that no one had any great affection for CDs, whereas people are still attached to books as a form. He said: "It's hard to beat the convenience and price of a paperback book.
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6 Lessons One Campus Learned About E-Textbooks

An interesting story in the Chronicle of Higher Education about one college campus' experience with e-textbooks and the response from students and faculty.

Story can be found here .

The E-Book Challenge: Amazon Versus Google

On Morning Edition on NPR:

The book industry as we know it is changing, and publishers are hoping that Google, the latest contender eyeing the electronic book market, has the clout to give the Amazon Kindle a run for its money.

Though the Kindle makes it incredibly easy for consumers to buy a book in seconds — anywhere, anytime — from Amazon's online store, Michael Powell of Powell's Books in Portland, Ore., says the device leaves traditional booksellers "totally out in the cold."

"We can sit and press our nose against the window, but we cannot play a role in that," says Powell.

Powell notes that bookstore owners are not Luddites; his store has a sophisticated Web site, and he wants to be able to take advantage of new technology as it becomes available. If he's not able to do so with the Kindle, he hopes that Google might just give bookstores what they need.

Full story here.

Gizmodo's Kindle DX Review

Kindle DX is the true heir to the Kindle throne, but whether Amazon's ebook kingdom is growing or shrinking depends on the next wave of books—textbooks. In the meantime, bigger screen, cool new tricks...
In Summary:
Best ebook reader to date
Native PDF support
Larger screen means (almost) everything is easier to read
E-Ink screen is easy on the eyes and battery efficient, but makes pages slow to "turn" and does not come in color
Textbooks would be ideal, so let's see the deals
$489 price tag is steep
No zooming means some PDFs will be unreadable

Amazon Kindle DX

Steven Levy looks at the Amazon Kindle DX at Wired.com.

Schwarzenegger: Digital textbooks can save money, improve learning

Today, our kids get their information from the Internet, downloaded onto their iPods, and in Twitter feeds to their cell phones. A world of up-to-date information fits easily into their pockets and onto their computer screens. So why are California's public school students still forced to lug around antiquated, heavy, expensive textbooks?

California is home to software giants, bioscience research pioneers and first-class university systems known around the world. But our students still learn from instructional materials in formats made possible by Gutenberg's printing press.

It's nonsensical — and expensive — to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form. Especially now, when our school districts are strapped for cash and our state budget deficit is forcing further cuts to classrooms, we must do everything we can to untie educators' hands and free up dollars so that schools can do more with fewer resources.

Opinion piece continued here.

Other news stories on this topic
Schools may copy Arnold Schwarzenegger and junk their textbooks

California schoolbooks going digital

California schools see distant digital future for textbooks

'Text' Book's

Novel improvements are being made to the cell phone in Japan. A new trend is being set by Japanese women, cell phone written novels. Barry Petersen reports.



UPDATE:
Link to video. Video was embedded at LISNEWS but was autostarting so embed was removed and link provided.

More hard data on the impact of free/pirated downloads on book-sales

Brian F. O'Leary has posted slides updating his quantitative research on the effect of "piracy" and/or free giveaways on book-sales, done independently using data from O'Reilly and Random House (the largest tech publisher and general publisher in the world, respectively). The new slides, from the recent Book Expo America, expand the work with a larger data-set, and confirm the earlier findings that free downloads are broadly correlated with higher overall sales (though correlation is not causality!).

Publishers look to music lessons on digital content

Publishers are learning from music labels' struggle to make online music profitable and combat piracy, but so-called e-books will only add value to the industry and not replace printed books, experts say.

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