My wife returned from Israel with a cool gift for me. At first I thought it was a VHS tape …
I have a number of loose-leaf legal textbooks which I don’t need anymore and I would like to sell them as quickly as possible. None of these volumes are up to date and while I have a couple piles of updates, they may not be complete and certainly are not the most recent ones either. Basically, you can have the lot for R250 and you need to come collect them from my office by the end of this week (that is, by 16:00 on Friday, 13 April 2012).
If we don’t sell this stuff by then, we’re either donating it to a library that doesn’t have enough paper or it all goes into a recycling bin.
Contact me if you are interested. First come, first served and thanked.
I noticed this odd book section placement at Exclusive Books in Rosebank The Zone. Is this a trend?
When you start to download a protected Adobe PDF or ePUB a small file with the extension .acsm is first downloaded. This is used by Adobe Digital Editions to send the activation ID to the delivery server which will use that ID to generate an encrypted PDF or ePUB eBook, which is then downloaded to your PC.
I located the PDF version of the book that Digital Editions downloaded but it would only open with Digital Editions on my MacBook. I transferred the book to my Kindle and I was told the book has embedded features my Kindle doesn’t support. So much for that idea.
It is handy to have the ebook on my MacBook but that is really not where I want to read ebooks. I want to read it on my Kindle. kalahari.net also sells books in epub format which is also the preferred book format for Apple’s iBookStore (not available in SA so you need to have an US iTunes Store account) and probably also for Google’s anticipated ebook store when that launches sometime this year. Amazon doesn’t support epub yet and this also presents a challenge. We are starting to see the effects of a fragmented ebook format system where not all ereaders can support the main ebook formats. That may suit the providers and publishers but it doesn’t suit users at all. Ideally my ereader of choice should support the books I want to read, DRM’d or not.
I just read a post on Download Squad that points out a $2 discrepancy between Canadian (and presumably US) pricing and international pricing.
Since I’m so anxious to start using it, I decided to get a head start on building up my electronic library. I decided to start with the classics – for example, Moby Dick. Yes, I know it’s available for free online, but this edition is typeset for the Kindle so I figured it must be worth the modest sum Amazon asks for it ($2.95, as you see in the screenshot above).
When I sent the link to my friend, who has an Amazon account with a Canadian billing address, we were amazed to discover that Amazon list the same exact item at $0.95 when she’s looking at it.
This charge is apparently a markup for roaming charges and these charges will apply regardless of whether your Kindle is 3G enabled or not. I suspect it will apply regardless of whether you are even using a Kindle because the pricing appears to be based on billing address than anything else. Not nice Amazon! If you really have to charge extra for international roaming then don’t advertise “free 3G”.
Amazon’s Kindle service is now available on the iOS platform (iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad), PC, Mac, Android devices and, of course, Kindle devices themselves. It seems pretty clear that if the Kindle service is to dominate, it will be because of its cross-platform availability rather than because of Kindle devices themselves. I have already read reports about how nicely the Kindle app works on the iPad and having the app on my Android phone makes Kindle ebooks a pretty attractive option to me. I often wind up reading feeds in bed before passing out (my reading time ranges from about 3 minutes to half an hour … give or take). Having the Kindle app on my phone means I can actually read a couple books when I am out and about.
Google is also rumoured to be about to launch its answer to the Kindle service. That should be pretty interesting because one of the rumours is that the Google ebook service will be largely Web/browser based rather than through an app, per se. If this is the case it will probably be an HTML 5-based Web application which probably won’t be all that different to a conventional app on the device. It will create real competition for Amazon which seems to be rubbing publishers the wrong way lately.
There is quite a lot to say about ebooks and ebook formats alone. Amazon would probably entrench itself if it enabled users to load ebooks using the epub format or even sold its books in that format. It seems to be the format of choice for the Apple iBooks Store and, if the rumours are accurate, the Google Books initiative.
For now, I am really pleased the Kindle for Android app is now available and have a couple books lined up in my wishlist for purchase. Maybe I’ll actually get through these ebooks – I haven’t done so well with their paper-based cousins.
The one topic I can’t resist writing about is the iPad as an eReader. My interest in such a device would be largely as an eReader as well as a general tablet Internet device. eReaders seem to be pretty special beasts. The biggest issue seems to be the screen which needs to be as close to paper while remaining versatile enough to handle a variety of publications. We have all had eReaders in front of us for years now, we call them laptops and desktops, but they haven’t been convenient eReaders for a variety of reasons including size, portability, orientation and, well, the screens themselves. I haven’t done a lot of ebook reading on my MacBook but the little reading I have done isn’t really as comfortable as a paper book.
One of the apps on the iPad is the iBooks application which is only available in the United States. Apple has signed up a couple publishers and the iBooks demo showed me a beautiful user interface, typical of just about anything Apple does. Steve showed us how turning the page is an experience in itself and the swish looking bookshelf. I don’t think I was the only person who cringed a little when I saw the Kindle on that big screen behind Steve right before it transitioned to the gorgeous looking iPad. There was obviously some clever psychology behind that Kindle portrayal and, having spent a good portion of the Stevenote looking at this gorgeous new device, listening to Steve’s superlatives, the Kindle does look a little dated and clunky.
One big factor pretty much takes the iPad out of the equation as an eReader for anyone outside the United States. The iBooks application looks like it will only be available in the USA and, as yet, unspecified countries. If the iBooks’ availability is limited to those countries that support the iTunes Store then those people with illicit US iTunes Store accounts will probably be able to benefit from the application nonetheless. That still leaves those people with the question whether the iPad gives bibliophiles the sort of experience they would have on a Kindle?
Just to add to the debate, also consider Amazon’s Whispernet (free data wherever the Kindle is supported which is almost everywhere there is a GSM connection) and its catalogue (I am sure Apple will also boast a substantial catalogue soon enough).
I have had my eyes on a Kindle DX since they were first announced and I’ve been that much more excited about it since the global wireless version was announced last month. It is pretty big compared to the Kindle 2 (based on size comparisons) but my line of work makes it more useful to me. I really haven’t made my mind up about the iPad and probably won’t till I get to play with one. At the same time I am still pretty keen on the Kindle DX, even with its monochromatic screen and clunky form factor.
If you are going to buy yourself a Kindle, please consider doing so through the banner at the top of this blog. Any purchases will be tied to my Amazon affiliate code and will help support this blog and my own Kindle fund! 😉