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Meanland extract – The lowdown on the eReader

Roughly 5 million eReaders were sold around the world in 2009. For the uninitiated, the world of the eReader can be positively perplexing, brimming with assumed knowledge.

The Kindle is possibly the most recognised reader, with the much talked about but as yet unreleased iPad a close second. Then again, a quick Google search reveals there are hundreds of eReaders available: the Onyx Boox 60, the nook, the Pocketbook 302, the Cybook Opus, the Amazon Kindle DX, the Kindle 2, the eSlick Reader, the Cybook Gen 3, the Librie – you get the general idea.

So it seems some elucidation is in order.

What is this eReader I’ve been hearing so much about and will it bring meaning to my life?

I may be stating the obvious, but an eReader is a device designed to read digital books and publications, or digital texts, more commonly referred to as eBooks…

Read the rest of the post over at Meanland.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Jacinda Woodhead is the editor of Overland. Her PhD research examined abortion politics in Australia and nonfiction as political intervention.

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  1. I tried to post this over at Meanland, but the comments board appears to be glitching. I was given a Kindle as a gift a couple of days ago. Most of its design flaws are a result of either (a) Corporate greed, or (b) Poor design.
    The downside: 1) It commits me to always having a Kindle if I want to keep the books that I have bought. When my Kindle dies I’ll have to buy another in order to be able to access my library. In other words the corporation owns my library even though I have paid for it. 2) I can’t share books the way I can share a paperback with someone. 3) The reading interface isn’t perfect by a long shot. When the page ‘turns’ it blacks out for a second and then rearranges itself into the new text. Slightly disorienting. 4) I can put my own PDF files on the Kindle but can’t read them, because the KIndle won’t allow me to resize text as it does with Kindle eBooks. 5) Content is still limited. There are 360,000 books at the Kindle shop but a significant number of them, to judge from my browsings are multiple editions of the same books. What’s left is very hit and miss. You can get porn and holocaust-deniers in droves, but you can’t get Italo Calvino. 6) A book with images may not necassarily display the images. A philosophy text I bought has a few photos in it. Where they should be is the statement: ‘Please refer to the print edition of this book for this image.’
    Positives: 1) I’m going away from home for a week soon and it will be great to able to take a pile of books with me without having the weight and bulk to carry. 2) I can buy most books much, sometimes very much, cheaper than I can get them as hardcopies. 3) the free wireless connection to Amazon means I can browse and shop in the wee hours of the morning should I wish to do so.
    That’s it.

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