E-books News

More details on txtr's $13 Beagle e-reader

A couple of weeks ago txtr unveiled their Beagle e-reader - a 5" E Ink device that is powered from two AAA batteries and connects to their Android e-reader software via Bluetooth. txtr said they want to partner with network operators to subsidize the device and their planned price is €9.90 (about $13). Their PR wasn't very clear, and now we have some more info from txtr's Chief Commercial Officer, Thomas Leliveld.

txtr Beagle photo

So first of all, it turns out that the txtr eBook platform uses PDF and ePub formats on the smartphone itself, which renders the pages into bitmaps and sends these to the beagle (via Bluetooth). This means that the beagle is really a very "dumb" terminal for the software. According to txtr this makes a lot of sense - everybody has a smartphone already which is great as an eBook platform. Making the e-reader itself simple allows them to reduce the price and complexity. The beagle can store several books (it's not as if you need to be connected to the phone while reading).

E Ink to donate e-readers and e-books to kids in Africa with your help

E Ink launched a new Facebook campaign to help kids in Africa. If you share the video they posted (showing a Kindle vs an iPad in sunlight), they will donate $1 to Worldreader (up to $10,000 though). Here's the video itself:

Swedish and German book shops deploy Cybook Odyssey e-readers

Bookeen announced that Adlibris, the leading Swedish Internet bookstore and Thalia, Germany's largest bookstore chain (with 300 book stores in Germany, Switzerland and Austria) will both launch its Cybook Odyssey e-readers in their book stores. This follows other partnerships in Europe with Virgain Megastore, Cultura, Decitre in France and La Feltrinelli in Italy.

Bookeen Odyssey photo

The Odyssey is a 6" touch E Ink Pearl e-reader with a fast processor (a 800Mhz TI Cortex A8) and Bookeen's own HSIS technology (high-speed system that supports full-motion video and scrollable browsing). It also has Wi-Fi support.

People use e-readers to hide what they are reading...

Here's an interesting advantage of using a digital e-reader: you can read books you are are ashamed of... In a recent UK study it was found that 58% of e-reader owners use the e-reader to hide what they're reading. About one third of the users read erotic novels on their e-reader. People are also reading children titles (such as Harry Potter) - and the e-reader helps them do that in secret...

Kindle on a book photo

Kobo announces very good holiday sales

Kobo says that it had very good holiday sales. In fact the Kobo user base nearly doubled in the last 6 weeks, with "hundreds of thousands of activations" occurred every day from Christmas to the new year. Kobo is offering both an e-reader and a tablet, but they wouldn't say how many sales they got for each.

Kobo eReader Touch Edition photo

E-book gifting also increased - 200% from last year. The most popular ebooks gifted during the holidays were Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and The Song of Ice and Fire (four-book bundle) by George R. R. Martin.

Amazon's Kindle Format 8 will be based on HTML 5 for picture books, comics and graphic novels

Amazon announced that their upcoming Kindle Format 8 (KF8) e-book file format will include HTML 5 support, which will enable publishers to produce picture books, comics and graphic novels easily. The KF8 will not, however, support audio and video tags. The KF8 will only be supported on the Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire photo

Reports: Amazon to launch a digital book subscription service

There are reports that Amazon is set to release a new subscription service for digital books. The idea is similar to Netflix - you will gain access to a large library of books for an annual fee (the number of books you can access in a month will be limited).

Kindle on a book photo

via Engadget

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