electronic books

I am a big fan of electronic books for social reading material (rather than for text/reference books). There are a number of reasons for this but the main are:

  • easier to read in poor light in hotle rooms
  • lower cost than dead-tree originals
  • easy to have many books with you (I read many different types of books and like to select on the basis of the mood I am in)
  • easy to remember where you are in a book (when switching between reading lots of different books this is very handy)

There are of course disadvantges, but for me there is really only one:

  • battery life – real books do not need charging.

My primary source of electronic books has for a long time been ereader.com – I chose these from the many providers partly because of the book choice and partly because I found their software easier to use than any other. I read the books on a pocket PC that has a very good screeen and keep the books ona memoery card.

One of the alternative suppliers I looked at was fictionwise.com and they have now purchased ereader.com (now called ereader) and promised to build on what ereader has achieved including updating the software and spreading it to more platforms.

One of the concerns about such a move is of course whether past purchases will be protected – in particular, whether or not the DRM will be changed. Having surfed around a little, I came to this little bit of news:

Hi,

I’m Steve Pendergrast, one of the founders of Fictionwise.

Just to set the record straight, we are absolutely not going to shut down the ereader format or the ereader web site.

The eReader format and ereader.com web site are both extremely important to our strategy going forward. We love the easy, flexible DRM method, and we won’t change it or make it incompatible with past purchases.

Fictionwise has a long history of going out of our way to protect our customer’s investment in their purchases. By owning the eReader format, nobody can ever take that format away from us. Every other DRM format we support is owned by a competitor of ours who could pull it away from us at any time. When you think about it that way, I think you see how important the eReader format is to Fictionwise after this acquisition, and how it would be inconceivable for us to throw that away.

What we do plan is to port the eReader software to a much wider range of devices, giving everyone who has ever bought an eReader ebook, or who will buy one in the future, as many choices as possible on how they read their books.

Hope this puts your more at ease!

-Steve P.

This was taken from the jkontherun website.

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