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Podcast, RSS and email list updates—plus a collection of Joanna Cabot’s provocative essays on e-reading
June 14, 2015 | 7:13 pm

chriscatphoneChris Meadows has already broken word of the forthcoming TeleRead podcast. Pass on your ideas within the comments area for his post. How important is it to you that we do listener call-ins? We may start out without call-ins to keep down the complexities.  Any thoughts on show topics? As for a title, I’m personally thinking of “Ebook Talk, with Chris and Juli”---in homage to Car Talk. Love it? Hate it? Ebook Talk is just a working title. I can see the show as a mix of news, views and practical Car Talk-style tips, with Chris and...

Review: Age of the Infovore, by Tyler Cowen
July 20, 2012 | 9:02 am

41b69W cAeL BO2 204 203 200 PIsitb sticker arrow click TopRight 35 76 AA278 PIkin4 BottomRight 64 22 AA300 SH20 OU01 I just finished reading a fascinating book called Age of the Infovore by Tyler Cowen. It's somewhat misleadingly subtitled 'succeeding in the information economy' and has a picture of a USB cable on the front; this led me to believe it was about how to use the internet and modern technology for their nobler purposes rather than just for watching videos of cats on YouTube. Only one chapter was directly was about this, and that chapter was the strongest takeaway from the book.Cowen writes primarily about the way autistic people order their brains, their worlds and their activities. He views...

How reader technology has made me a smarter reader and learner
July 4, 2012 | 11:33 pm

Photo I read a few articles recently on how ebooks affect learning. On the con side, these articles pointed out that textbooks are often less available in ebook (true), that the e-versions which do exist are clunky and limited (true) and that for some types of learning, people really do absorb information better off paper than off screens (debatable). I had one bad experience myself with a formal e-textbook required for an official course, and I agree with some of the points these commentators made. But on the pro side, reader technology has made my non-formal, personal reading smarter, easier and...

Kobo Vox review
June 21, 2012 | 8:24 am

PhotoThere is a new ereader in the house: my Kobo Vox! There has been much to love about my move in with my guy some months ago, but the one thing I haven't loved is the hit to my reading routine. The bedroom, my favourite place to read, only has one power outlet, and it's on his side of the bed. So I struggled with reading on my backlit iGizmos (one too large and one too small for easy bedtime comfort) and then tried to revive my better-sized Kindle with one of those booklight attachments, but I just couldn't get...

From the trenches: are publishers’ library policies affecting book choices?
April 4, 2012 | 9:25 am

Images First, one publisher set a cap on how many times their ebooks could be loaned out. Then another one pulled their stuff from library purchase altogether. So, what has that meant for the average library patron? What are the library buyers getting in lieu of books which once might be available to them but now are not? I have access to three public library systems right now and consider myself a regular user, so I have been keeping track of some trends over the last few weeks. And what have I found? 1) I am seeing much more series stuff than...

Is Amazon evil, or are they just really good at business?
February 15, 2012 | 12:19 pm

Images Nico Vreeland's earlier post, which Teleread reprinted earlier, was one of many articles I have lately seen which explore the issue of the publishers versus Amazon. Is Amazon evil? Are their business practices 'predatory' and should publishers be trying to disable them? More and more, I am thinking the answer to these questions is no. Amazon is not evil. They have just figured out what the customers want better than anybody else has so far, and they are giving it to them. Vreeland points out, correctly, that customers don't buy 'Random House books' or 'Penguin Books.' They buy Stephen King...

A tribute to indie author L.C. Evans
January 24, 2012 | 4:01 pm

Cropped headerforlinda2 To celebrate and honor our friend, indie author, L.C. Evans, and her contribution to the Indie eBook revolution, we’re giving away a whole bunch of free books. Linda lost her fight with cancer earlier this month. We lost a friend and a compatriot. We’d like you to buy her books, read her books, and make her words live. In Linda’s own words, from her indieview a year ago… “ I want my books to appeal to everyone, though I understand that men in general aren’t fond of reading chick lit or romantic comedy.” If chick lit or romantic comedy is not your thing, authors who have been...

Make your own ebook: some unconventional book replacement ideas for your tablet
January 18, 2012 | 8:47 am

Photo 1 When people think about ebooks, they think about mostly text-based reading of straight, narrative work. But here are some off-the-beaten-track book replacements you can make yourself that save time and money and provide an enhanced experience. 1) Art books. Delphi Classics, a favourite vendor of mine who sells DRM-free bundles of 'complete works' by authors in the public domain, has an inspired new series focused on masters of art. The first book, at a budget-friendly $2.50, features the complete works of Leonardo Da Vinci, with bonus biographical content and other goodies. The iPad is a perfect medium for this type of...

Quality is the new gatekeeper: how ebooks have changed my reading
November 30, 2011 | 1:00 am

Images I was thinking today about how ebooks have changed my reading habits in the last few years. I had flirted with them as early as 2005, when I experimented with Project Gutenberg freebies on a Palm Pilot while living in smalltown New Zealand. There was only one local bookstore, and its selection was lacking. At the time, Project Gutenberg was a revelation. In the years since, I have gone through 5 main readers and nearly as many preferred bookstores, and spent over $500 a year on books and content. So, how has my reading changed? There are some special points I'll...

Close, but not yet perfect: my review of the Kindle 4
November 14, 2011 | 9:02 am

Index I have been a Kindle user for its last three incarnations: I bought a K2 to replace my Sony reader because I wanted to use the text to speech feature and I wanted support for multilingual dictionaries, then when my visiting aunt expressed interest, I sold it to her bought the K3. I was happy with it, and when the K4 came out, I was only mildly tempted---until this same dear aunt visited again and told the sordid tale of a husband who stole the K3 out from under her, registered it to his own account and left her reader-less...

Kindle thieving, and other adventures in converting family to the joys of ereading
November 3, 2011 | 8:51 am

Images So, until this weekend, my tally of relatives converted over to e-reading was as follows: Dad, gifted a Kobo and happily downloading his obscure boyhood favourites off Manybooks.net; Mom with a Kobo still registered to my account, and to which I do all the book loading; Stepmom, also with a gifted Kobo, happily downloading public library books; and an aunt who had bought my old Kindle off of me when I upgraded during one of her visits. So far, so good, right?Well, it turns out that last one hasn't quite gone as planned. The aunt was in town for a...

Pricing pitfalls 101: this customer is so confused!
September 12, 2011 | 9:31 am

ImagesI'm sure you've read the same headlines I have: ebooks are cannibalizing print sales! They are driving people to pirate their media instead of purchase it! They are threatening local bookstores and small presses as Amazon/Apple/Google set out to rule us all! Or...are they? Might there be a simpler explanation for what's going on in the book marketplace today? Might it simply be that publisher indecision---on now to market, how to price and so on---is translating into customer indecision? Might a less confused customer be a better one?Consider the following case study. I...

A world of e-choice: blessing or curse for the aspiring author?
June 27, 2011 | 8:59 am

Download I did an e-purge this weekend, deleting some 50-odd titles from my bloated Kindle, and what I have learned from the experience is this: on the blessing side, the e-universe makes getting your book into a reader's hand easier than ever. But the downside? The reader knows that there's always something else around the corner. If you don't win them over, and fast, they'll bail on you and your book forever, and in less time than you might think.When I started this little spring cleaning, I had 800 books to choose from, right on my Kindle, before I even went...

My morning in Librarian Hell
June 21, 2011 | 8:39 am

Hell2 When David Rothman started Teleread, he had a dream of establishing a national digital library. Today, I wished that dream was a reality---I spent most of my morning in Librarian Hell, as part of the annual school clean-up now that classes are done for the year!Here was the problem: children had brought back library books they had signed out during the year, and teachers had also brought back all the books they had been hoarding in their classrooms. But since classes are done, we did not have any parent volunteers around on whom we could pawn off the shelving! We...

Review: Kobo Touch – a solid entry-level reader
June 12, 2011 | 4:03 pm

Download In my initial review of the very first Kobo, I concluded that it was a very nice little entry-level reader that, while it fell perhaps a little short for power users, was a great ebook experience for the newbie. Well, we're now two versions later---has Kobo learned their lessons and made enough changes to win over the power user? Yes, and no. The Kobo Touch is a slick little device, and a much improved experience for the average reader. It's slick and adorable. But for the power user, it continues to fall just a little short of must-buy status.SETTING UP...

Eminent Domain and Copyright?
June 9, 2011 | 9:48 am

Download There was a recent discussion at Mobile Read on the concept of 'eminent domain' as it may or may not apply to copyright. Eminent domain is a legal loophole whereby the government can appropriate something that belongs to you if their having it is somehow part of the greater good. For example, there was a recent case in my area where a subway station had to be upgraded with a wheelchair-accessible exit. There was only one area where the exit could safely be built, and unfortunately three homes were in the way. The government was allowed to appropriate these houses...

Ereader options for kids: a missed opportunity
June 8, 2011 | 9:58 am

Download I've fielded some questions lately on the options people have for an ebook reader intended for children. Now that they have come down in price so much, many people seem to be contemplating rounding out the family library with an ebook reader or two for the kids. But nobody has made this easy for them! Why do none of the major ebook vendors have special kid accounts? I think they would be so useful because parents want their kids reading, and they want their kids reading independently, but they also want to control (to an extent) what they read and...

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