e-readers

David Gelles

Amazon has just updated the Kindle, giving the world’s most popular e-reader a much-needed facelift just in time for the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.

The new device is sleeker, stronger and faster than the previous Kindle. Its body is 21 per cent smaller and 15 per cent lighter at 8.7 ounces. It has double the battery life at one month, plus double the storage capacity — enough for 3,500 books.

At $139 for a wifi only version and $189 for 3G, the new Kindle puts e-readers firmly within reach of mainstream consumers. For those looking for a cheap way in to digital reading, the Kindle is a compelling package. Read more >>

David Gelles

Enjoying a book is a two part process.

The first involves the book as a physical object – a rectangular brick of paper with, one hopes, a nicely designed jacket. The colourful cover art catches the eye. The intriguing title captures the imagination. The size gives an approximation of its length, and the time it will take to read it.

The second involves the actual reading. Eyes fix on the text and methodically moving down the page, left to right, one line at a time. The book itself all but disappears. Attention is not with the physical object of the book, but with the story being told.

For the past two weeks I have forsaken good old-fashioned bound paper books. Instead, I have been reading exclusively on a Kindle 2, the popular e-reader from Amazon. Read more >>

David Gelles

Just as Amazon’s Kindle is going all gangbusters at the start of the holiday season, the launch of perhaps its most-formidable rival is getting off to a rocky start.

The Nook, an e-reader from bookseller giant Barnes & Noble, was hailed as an improvement on the Kindle when it was unveiled in October. It supports the open Epub file format, and has a colour, touch-screen navigation interface in addition to an E-Ink screen.

But Barnes & Noble looks to have been blindsided by high demand for the Nook. A week before Thanksgiving the company said the Nook would be sold-out through the holidays.

Now comes news that while shipments will begin today, as scheduled, the Nook will not be available in Barnes & Noble stores until December 7Read more >>

Tim Bradshaw

As this week’s revelation of Rupert Murdoch’s plot with Microsoft to remove his newspapers’ content from Google’s index arguably show, publishers are getting increasingly desperate in their attempts to make money from the web. As the digital chief of one large ad agency group told me this week: “There is no evidence from the last 10 years that ad-supported [online news] does work.”

No wonder, then, that many newspaper and magazine people go dewy-eyed at the mention of e-readers, which offer a clean sheet of (electronic) paper after the digital disasters of the past. Read more >>