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I’m thinking

Make an ebook reader please!!

We all know that O'Reilly would rather not publish to Kindle, so why doesn't O'Reilly make an ebook reader. A real one, with real features, not the garbage that's on the market right now.

Battery life is important, but a smooth, easy to use interface is more important. Give it a backlight (or even a front-lit display), and a processor powerful enough to handle technical PDFs without all this lengthy page-turn time, and you'd have a real winner. It doesn't have to be color, most of oreilly's books are b/w anyway on the inside.

It just seems that it would be a good idea for a publisher to think about.
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  • Having been reading back and forth between a Kindle and the Kindle iphone app while on vacation in Europe, I'd say that the iPhone makes a perfectly good ebook reader. We don't need ebook reader hardware - I believe that will be a niche product. We need good ebook reader software that isn't just from Amazon and that supports epub and other industry standard formats. We had Stanza, but Amazon bought them, so we're back to one dominant vendor pushing a proprietary ebook format.

    All publishers should be providing ebooks in epub format, readable by any reader, and resold by any retailer.
    • Tim, I don't have an iPhone and I don't want an iPhone (or any cellphone for that matter) to read eBooks. I don't believe in the vision that such multifunction devices seem to offer as platform. It may work for the single-male-geek who wants his "gadget" to contain it all (mp3, phone, camera, wifi-router, eBook reader, entertainment center, gps tracker, etc. etc.) and will put up with the tiny screen. But for a middle-aged guy in a family setting (such as myself) such devices will always be time shared between members of the family - I read during breakfast, then the wife reads after, then the older kid does homework with it, then the younger kid gets a bedtime story, then I read again for studies, etc.. Personally I'd be willing to make the quite significant investment into an open or closed eBook reader and am on the fence to buy one (waiting for some more models to appear). While the Kindle DX is tempting, none of the devices are perfect but I think they are getting pretty darn close, though I don't buy the iPhone-platform as a solution. Just like twitter is not a blog. Thanks, Andreas
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  • The iPhone is a good ereader and I still use Stanza. In fact, it's one of the main reasons I purchase the eBook from O'Reilly along with the paper copy. Occasionally, I just purchase the electronic version.

    I guess I haven't done a significant amount of research on the idea, but Plastic Logic's reader will target the business user, who needs technical documentation on the go, and will read B&N content (and pay for it). The Kindle approaches the market from a different perspective; targeting the user who frequently buys books and doesn’t need the higher-end PDF support (i.e. support for tables, images, ect). While the DX can perform some of this functionality, it’s too slow and lacks any real annotation ability to be a real replacement for a book shelf of technical books.

    Kindle’s latest foray at Princeton tells me that the Kindle is not ready to replace textbooks and technical documentation, but it also suggests that Amazon is willing to dump units (and significant $$$) in an attempt to break in to this market.

    /2 cents
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  • Although Amazon did acquire Lexcycle, so far Stanza (and all of the O'Reilly iPhone Apps built using their technology) are based on the open EPUB standard. You can even extract the EPUB from one of our apps (perhaps to add to your Bookworm library). And speaking of Bookworm, it works great on any mobile device with a Web browser (including the Kindle) and will save your place across devices.

    Buying the (DRM-free) ebooks directly from us is a great way to "future-proof" your library of O'Reilly books, and have the option to read them on whichever device you prefer.
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