Category Archives: E-books

The new Kindle Voyage is a winner

It looks like Amazon still feels there’s life left in the dedicated e-reader market, so much so that people will be willing to plunk down $200 for one. At least they hope. Yes, the newly released Voyage is pricey for a device that only lets you read books in black and white, but I’m sold.

I bought the first version of the Kindle Paperwhite a couple years ago and I wanted so much to like it. The promise of a backlit screen that would make the display more “white” and easier to read in low lighting was a real draw. But I was really disappointed with the unevenness of the light emanating from the bottom of the device.

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The nation’s first bookless public library

It’s been an exciting week at the office…

It’s hard to think of a library and not picture stacks of dusty books. That’s what libraries do, and do quite well. But that image has been slowly changing and took a major leap forward in San Antonio, Texas this week.

Our newest customer at Polaris Library Systems made national headlines as the first all-digital public library in the country! That’s right, no physical books, no newspapers, no piles of old TV Guides, just computers and over 10,000 e-book titles that can be downloaded or checked out on over 600 loanable e-readers. The new $2.9 million Bexar County Digital Library opened its doors to the public for the first time on Friday.

As part of their vision for the library of the future, staff chose software from Polaris that allows patrons to search for electronic materials and manage their accounts. Our online catalog software also integrates with 3M’s e-book service in a way that helps make the process of searching for and checking out electronic books a truly seamless experience.

So, we’re psyched to be part of history and congratulate Bexar County for its bold move!

Find out more about this unique library from NBC Nightly News, and Time magazine.

Paper plates and cheap Kindles

I’m a bit bummed that the tech world is predicting a slow death of the inexpensive e-reader. Barnes & Noble is giving away Nook Simple Touches for free if you buy a higher end Nook HD+, and dedicated e-reader sales are expected to drop in 2013.

Like, seriously? I was hoping that these things would become so ubiquitous we’d start seeing them in the grocery store checkout isles next to the $5 calculators.

Yes the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Galaxy tablets are great tools. My Google Nexus 7 is my primary device at home and whenever I’m away from my desk at work for meetings, etc.

But, there is something to the simplicity of an economy e-book reader when it comes to reading a long form book, when you’re planning on sitting down for an hour or more and getting engrossed in 50 Shades of whatever.

“But I LOVE my iPad!” you say.

Yes, you do. But your iPad is expensive, a bit on the heavy side, you better not drop it because you spent so much on it, is basically unusable in direct sunlight, and has a battery that needs charging more than once a month. And it has all those pesky apps, and games, and email, and IM messages that are all just a swipe away, too convenient to resist. The basic Kindle, thankfully, has none of that fun, and for me, that’s the whole point. You can focus on the task at hand: reading.

I couldn’t imagine taking an $800 iPad to the beach, but if you get some sand or Cheese Doodle residue on a $69 Kindle… oh well. Treat it like any other book or magazine. Throw it on the table, jam it in your backpack, etc. because it’s a tough little bugger. And if it does break or get stolen, you’re out a whole lot less than you would be with a more full-featured tablet.

There’s a reason people bring paper plates to the beach and not their fine china. Save the cheap e-reader!