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Summary:

I read e-books as much as anyone on the planet. It is not unusual for me to page through three or four of them a week, using an assortment of different gadgets to read them. I use two different reading programs to do this, both Kindle […]

I read e-books as much as anyone on the planet. It is not unusual for me to page through three or four of them a week, using an assortment of different gadgets to read them. I use two different reading programs to do this, both Kindle for iPhone and eReader Pro on different devices. Amazon only provides two vehicles for consuming its Kindle book content, the Kindle and the iPhone. Ereader Pro can be used on Windows, Macs, iPhones and Windows Mobile devices, to name just a few. The inability to read Kindle e-books on multiple non-Kindle platforms is the sole reason I don’t buy more Kindle books. I’m not the only one in this situation, as ink blogger Cheryl Jones points out in an ink post on Late To The Party:

inkblog-9-20-09

I have no doubt that Amazon has sold Kindles and books due to having the iPhone version. Making at least a Windows version that can be run on UMPCs and Tablet PCs makes sense. The goal is to sell e-books, and opening up the target market could be as simple as a new version. I only recently discovered how nice the ThinkPad x200 is for reading e-books with the big 12-inch screen and touch capability for turning pages.

x200 ereader

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  1. I’d like this, too — hopefully one that worked under Wine or something, but any at all would be nice. :)

  2. Andreas Ødegård Monday, September 21, 2009

    At least you can use Kindle. I even got a US itunes account to get the Kindle app for my norwegian iPhone to buy a book (windows 7 secrets by paul thurrot) but it had an “unexpected” error when trying to check out. The kindle itself – fine US only, it has a 3G connection etc- but the iphone app and a must.needed desktop app as you point out should not only be available, it should be available worldwide. Cant be that hard to fix license issues, ereader, mobipocket etc are all worldwide.

  3. This brings back happy memories of using my UMPCs for eReader. :) Although it would be welcomed if Amazon offered a Kindle reader app for PCs, I doubt I would use it much on a nearly four pound tablet PC. At least not on a regular or primary basis. Aside from the great battery life and the integrated 3G, the lightweight and thinness of the Kindle cause me to carry it pretty much everywhere I go. I’d also hate to “use up” my notebook battery to read e-books on the go when there are more power efficient reading devices available. Still… would be nice to see the option for those that want it! Are you listening, Amazon?!? :)

    1. I hear you. I felt the same way and only started using the x200 for reading by accident. I found if I was sitting in the big comfy chair at home using the tablet, I really liked firing up eReader and spending 5-10 minutes in a good book. It was the convenience factor of already having it in my hand, ready to go.

      I then found the 12-inch screen made for a great experience, displaying as much on a page as a hardback book. Choice rules. :)

    2. I know the M200 is a dinosaur in mobile tech terms, but a couple things:

      1. It’s lighter than my 13″ MacBook (but feels bulkier), which actually surprised me when I got it working again.

      2. It’s within my budget to get a Kindle PC app going on the M200, whereas buying a Kindle DX is not. :) And the DX doesn’t have as big a screen as my M200. None of the e-ink devices do.

      P.S. Thanks for the link love. :)

  4. Not only can’t we get Kindle in Europe but eReader is effectively now useless as well. Most books are “geographically restricted” and eReader inflame the situation by not bothering to tell you which you can’t buy until after you have “bought” it.
    For me they’ve gone from being a good company to one of the worst!

    1. I’ve spoken to the folks at Fictionwise (owners of eReader) about this. They hope to fix this but it’s a case of the book publishers insisting on having a separate licensing deal for each book, IN EACH COUNTRY. That means it varies from book to book, country to country. I can’t even imagine having to negotiate dozens of contracts for each and every book carried.

      That’s largely why Amazon stays in the US. The publishers need to wake up and smell the coffee, they can only sell more books.

    2. Andreas Ødegård GregW Monday, September 21, 2009

      This is a pain in the ass indeed. I understand the licensing issues, but as I consumer I don’t give a shit. The internet doesnt have borders, the digital content market needs to understand this ASAP.

  5. The original stupidity is definitely down to the Publishers I agree. But Fictionwise/eReader compound the issue by the way they handle it I think.

    If I were them then I would make it much clearer who could/couldn’t buy which books. I think they could gain friends here by taking up a cause for their Customers. It might even be worth adding a “would have bought” option so they could quantify the sales each Publisher is losing!

  6. actually it is a sad thing – what’s happining with this digitizing stuff of literature.
    a bokk was an open interface – to everyone and everything. that what it was meant to be since written word has been existing.
    and now the f”””k, by format and interface technology some vendors have started to colonialize this part of a formerly common freely culture for their single profit.
    and to say the least: a foolish flook of readers is accepting, supporting and following this unfriendly trend. same as the authors and some eager, stupid librariens do. sad and hard to believe. “brave new world” the man already wrote it down.
    i am used to use only ONE pair of glasses – if needed at all – to read any form of text. not an overprized and proprietarized device for every single one with the need to update and reinvest evry 6 to 12 month again.
    i want to read and not be sticking junkie wise on an commecial digital needle!

  7. I think we would have had more Kindle platforms by now if it hadn’t been for all the iPhone jailbreakers whom pretty much immediately used the provided Kindle app for iphone to start “liberating” titles of their various distribution controls.

    Book publishers are very conservative and free for all’s like that just make them want to stick to the security of dead tree publishing.

  8. @Scotty: Do you have any proof that the supposed Kindle piracy is coming mainly from iPhone jailbreakers? I ask because even though there is no desktop client, you can still download Kindle books to your computer for transfer to a Kindle device via USB, so I’d think that it’d be easier for those trying to hack the DRM to download a file to their computer rather than an iPhone.

  9. My two favorite devices for reading on are my Fujitsu Stylistic ST5010D. Its a bit dated but has an outstanding screen for reading ebooks on and it does not weigh very much even with the extended battery which gives me 6+ hours of time. Buttons on teh edge of the bezel make turning pages very easy too.

    For portability I also like my Q1U-EL. It has a crisp bright screen but of course its a bit smaller than my Stylistic. I’ve also started using the Q1 more as a carputer and less as a reader lately so I spend more time reading on the slate.

    Fianlly my HTC Titan gives me basic reading functions and there is always my ipod touch as well.

    My touch makes a great Bible reader but my wife winces when I use it in church…she thinks everyone thinks I’m getting bored and playing games on it.

    David

  10. I totally Agree. Imagine would a killer application it would be if you could read books on the mythical apple tablet. Wikipedia look up, google look up, it would be amazing. I would also like a basic dictionary for the iphone app. I’ve had many times where i wanted to look up a word, and didn’t want to have to fire up anotheer app.

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