Monday Ebooks: Scentsory Edition


(Yes, we know it’s Tuesday. Technical difficulties continue apace.)

Welcome to Monday Ebooks, in which the Editrix indulges her most harmless delight in electronic books.

First we have to provide a really funny link, which we saw on April 1 (when it was a really hilarious in-joke for ebook enthusiasts) but seems to have been updated a bit and is making the rounds of the Internets once again: The Smell of Books. For all the book fetishists lovers who scorn ebooks because “I would miss the smell of books,” well, now you have no excuse! There’s even a particular aroma for Janeites: Scent of Sensibility.

Women will love this specially engineered designer book aroma. The scent of violets, horses, and potpourri. It’s like living in a Jane Austen novel!

So there you go! Thanks to Alert Janeites Ann and Cub Reporter Heather L. for the link. (Also we think a couple of our Tweeps sent it to us but can’t remember whom–Laurel Ann, perhaps?)

Things are really picking up on the ebook reader front. Several new ebook readers have recently gone on sale or been announced, including the Kindle 2, a sleeker version of Amazon’s reading device, and the Kindle DX, with a 9.7″ screen, meant for reading PDFs and newspaper and magazine content, which many have complained are more difficult to read or present properly on the devices with 6″ screens. Other devices have been announced which will have even smaller 5″ screens, such as Astak’s Pocket Pro (which we are planning to order when it becomes available) and the BEBook Mini, which is basically the same device but with different firmware. The companies are hoping to put these devices for sale at about the $200 mark. That will be the lowest price point yet for a device with an eInk screen.

Another device that looks interesting is the Cool-er ebook reader, which comes in a variety of colors and sells for $249. They are currently accepting pre-orders which should ship soon. This looks like a later generation of the same OEM device as our own Cybook Gen3. Some criticism of the product so far is a lack of clarity on exactly which ebook formats are supported, especially DRM formats; unfortunately at the moment, at least one of the popular DRM formats are necessary for all readers if one wishes to purchase the latest and most popular books. At this point, only small publishers are producing ebooks without DRM. We can only hope this attitude will change, as it has for music.