Notes: Sony Reader Review; Mystery of a Pittsburgh Bookstore
Don't shut down the printing presses just yet.
Both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal review the Sony Reader today, giving the e-book device fair grades at best. The Journal called the Reader, which is being introduced to the market this month, "a good start--impressive in some ways, but clearly a work in progress," and recommended "all but hardcore e-book fans to wait for an improved version."
The Times similarly thought the Reader will appeal most to "niche groups," that is "gadget freaks, lawyers with massive document stashes, doctors and pilots who check hefty reference texts, high school students with 35-pound backpacks and anyone who likes to read by the pool for 20 weeks at a time."
Problems include no color, no ability to search or highlight texts, some "fairly baffling" controls (the Times), no video, no links, a blink that occurs whenever a page is "turned" and problems reading PDF documents. Among the good points: an easily readable screen, long battery life and a nice overall design.
The Christian Science Monitor offers an update on and the pros and cons of free textbooks, particularly the Freeload Press model, that rely on ads for revenue. At least one student has adjusted by printing out the textbook and throwing out the pages with ads on them.
The Book Barn is being constructed in the Richland Mall in Pittsburgh, Pa., and already stocks "thousands of used and returned volumes," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Unfortunately for the potential customers who've inquired, the store is just a movie set--for the film version of Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.
Rachel J. K. Grace has joined Unbridled Books as Web
marketer and manager. Besides being a blogger (www.fadetheory.com) and
publishing articles and book reviews, she has worked as a publishing
and editing intern at FC2. She will work in Maryland initially and then
from Estonia and is available at 888-READ-UBB (888-732-3822), ext. 111
and via e-mail at email@example.com.
Melani Martinez has joined Unbridled Books as a marketing assistant. Most recently, she was company manager for the National Institute of Flamenco and earlier worked for the Institute as conservatory manager and was a media assistant for Tree New Mexico. She will work from Arizona and is available at 888-READ-UBB (888-732-3822), ext. 113 and via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.