eBook News (from the Times)

Sony has struck a deal to offer Google Books in ePub format.  (Thanks for the article Markus).

I’m thrilled to see that.  First off, the ePub format works great on the Sony 505 (with firmware update if you have an old one); and second that’s a huge number of books.

In fact, one of the books that I contributed 12 photographs to has been scanned by Google, so I could even put that on my reader.  As is I have more than I could read in a lifetime.  (A 5 GB SD card holds one hell of a lot of books).

For the whole review / experience so far, see this Sony 505 post.

You know, the Kindle v. Sony reminds me of the early web ISP business,.   I would see all these people signing up for AOL (the KINDLE) and others just signing up for a run-of-the-mill ISP.  Kindle is trying to be the AOL of eBooks.  What that means exactly – I’m not sure.  Well, maybe I am sure, but hope that you know what I mean.

Anyway – that is great news.

And if you’re wondering why I haven’t posted as many photos as usual – I’ve been reading in my spare time.  I’m sure this phase will pass – but for now – I go with the flo.

P.S. I’ve already downloaded a couple of books.  It’s integrated into the SONY EBOOK CLIENT.

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“A public domain book is one that was either never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. It might be a novel like Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (first published in 1851), an ancient work like Aristotle’s observations on bees, or any one of the millions of scholarly, practical and entertaining works written since the days of clay tablets and papyrus scrolls. These books represent a wealth of knowledge that often is not easily discovered.” Sony Reader Site

Frankly, I am in awe of what Google has been doing with their book project and what is available now to download (ePub format) on the Sony Reader, or any reader that supports ePub.  It’s not so much that the books are “out of copyright” but that they are scanning the originals, found in libraries around the world, often with notes scribbled from a reader, and all the original graphics and fonts.  Yes, there are times when the OCR software slips up, but they are essentially making a digital backup of just about every book no matter how esoteric or unread.

The Google Search mechanism, is still a bit clunky for the average person.  To really find what you are looking for, you need to enter a meta search tag like: inauthor:(followed by author name) etc. and I haven’t found a way yet to really browse the library without knowing already what author I’m looking for.  So I have found biographies of the poets, and works that go back to the 1300’s in their original format.

As I say – amazing.

The Google search is integrated into the SONY software, so essentially you load the SONY library, go to the store, and on the right hand side click on the Google Search.  You can then find your books and download them into your SONY reader with one click.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

One thought on “eBook News (from the Times)”

  1. “As I say – amazing.”

    Not really, Dave. You can read the same public domain books and poems on any iPod, and you can also use the iPod to listen to readings of public domain stories from sites like Librivox.org or theclassictales.com

    Nothing particularly amazing or new … unless, like the old NBC commercials about their summer repeats, “it’s new to you!”

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