Monday Ebooks: Glowlights and Lawsuits Edition

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Welcome to Monday Ebooks, in which the Editrix takes a most harmless delight.

First, the good news–a new gadget! Which, for us, is always fun.

Barnes & Noble has announced a new version of its NOOK Simple Touch ereading device, with availability in early May. The device is by all accounts slightly lighter–.5 ounces/15 grams–and some reports say the touch technology has undergone some slight improvements; but the big difference is the inclusion of an integrated reading light that illuminates the eInk screen. It is not backlit, like the NOOK Color and Tablet; it is simply an integrated reading light that illuminates the screen from around the side. It was designed for reading in bed, while your partner sleeps, undisturbed by the glow from your gadget. Continue reading

Midweek Ebooks: Touch Edition

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Welcome to Midweek (usually Monday) Ebooks, in which the Editrix indulges her most harmless delight in electronic books and gadgets with which to read them.

It’s been an exciting few weeks in ebook land! Prices of devices are dropping and new ebook readers are coming out from the top players. First Amazon announced a new model of the Kindle–the same (really nice) device as the current Kindle, with only a wifi radio, but bargain-priced at $114. The caveat: one must accept ads and special offers shown as screensavers while the device is in “sleep” mode.

Observers of the ebook industry have long predicted the rise of ad-supported ebooks–perhaps even free ebooks supported by ads, an idea that has been received with mostly suspicion and disgust by actual readers. However, it can be argued that Amazon’s approach at least isn’t very intrusive–the ads/special offers only appear while the reader is in sleep mode, not while one is actually reading; and some of the special offers are actually desirable coupons, the same sort of thing one might receive from Groupon (here’s a list of some of the more attractive offers). Continue reading