According the AP, Big Time publisher Harper Collins announced this week that they are making single chapter previews available for download and viewing on an Apple Iphone. The hope is that they will pay for the full versions and read full books on their fancy portable device. They are currently offering titles by Ray Bradbury, Faye Kellerman, Michael Korda, and other big names most people will recognize.
I understand what HP is doing----trying to capitalize on the Iphone hype and bring some attention to their titles. And I also understand what Apple is trying to do: expand their tools to yet another form of media. But the Iphone, as cool as it is, has a pretty small screen. I can’t see reading a full book on it. Email, quick news stories, maybe even comic books--sure. But not a full book. And despite all the media attention I don’t know a single person with an Iphone.
In contrast, we get lots of questions about the (somewhat) new
Sony Reader at work. Probably 2-3 a week, with people asking if we’ve heard about it, if the library ebooks will be supported on the Sony Reader (they won’t---at least not yet). A lot of people are curious about it, and it’s easy to see why. It’s about the same size as a paperback book so it’s an easy transition for reading. Our version of Ebooks is a simple HTML fileI even saw a demo of it at the ALA conference a couple of months back and it’s pretty slick. Lots of memory and real easy to use, especially when you’re just dealing with text. I’m still kind of a Luddite when it comes to books, but I can see making the transition to ebooks for some things if they are quick reads. We’ll see, though.