Thursday, January 3, 2008

Cybook, America's Most Literate Cities and Reading eBooks on A Cell Phone

Sandy's Chatter About the Cybook

Sandy Schwab sent me her most excellent two part review of the Cybook and has generously allowed me to use part of it on my blog.  Cybook-in-hand

In the first piece  --  Introducing the Cybook she  describes the experience of receiving and opening the package; between her description and the pictures you feel like you are opening the package with her. 

She follows up with The Cybook in Action.  The piece gives you a great feel for the actual experience of using the Cybook.  If you are wondering about buying a Cybook this is RECOMMENDED reading!

After having my Cybook for a while and reading more than twenty books on it, I have gotten used to the inconveniences of the button navigation that she complains about.  And aside from a slight cramp in my right hand and a sore thumb, I have no complaints.

America's Most Literate Cities

Yesterday USA Today released its annual review of America's Most Literate Cities.The top 10 are compiled each year by Central Connecticut State University President Jack Miller. 

Miller ranks the nation's largest cities based on their "support for and commitment to reading".  Here are the top ten for 2007:tower of books

  1. Minneapolis
  2. Seattle     
  3. St. Paul
  4. Denver
  5. Washington, D.C.
  6. St. Louis
  7. San Francisco     
  8. Atlanta
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Boston

His methodology and conclusions are worth reading, so go visit the America's Most Literate Cities site.

eBooks On Your Cell phone

For those who are unconvinced about eBooks -- here is a way to test reading on your phone that won't cdimeost a dime --  BooksInMyPhone.  The site gives away public domain titles.  They can be downloaded directly to your phone or put them on your PC and then transfer them to the phone.  The books have been formatted especially for the small screen.  I was truly impressed.  After all, I paid the phone and the books are free. . . All of you cell phone owners that are wondering about eBooks, I say "try it; you'll like it".

1 comment:

Sandra Schwab said...

Gigi, I see my e-mail arrived a little too late -- sorry about that! But thank you so much for mentioning my review of the Cybook!


These past few days I've done nothing but reading on the Cybook, and there are some additional things I noticed:

1) So far I've never got that sore thumb you and other people have mentioned, but then I don't keep my thumb on the button all the time. Perhaps that's what makes for the difference?

2) Reading in bed with the cover on is somewhat awkward and it's then that I usually get a slight cramp in my hand.

3) The contrast between grayish background and dark-gray text is lovely for broad daylight, but it makes reading in dimmer light (e.g., in the early afternoon) more difficult and I have to switch on the light somewhat earlier than I would need to do if I were reading a normal paperback. Switching to a larger font size helps a little, though.

But all in all, I still love my Cybook to pieces! The ability to buy a book (in English) and start reading two minutes later is sheer luxury for somebody who's used to wait several days for books that have been ordered line (you can order books in English from several German online bookstores, but depending on where you buy your books, you have to wait between 2 days and six weeks for the books to ship and arrive). There are German bookstores which sell English books, but for a decent choice you have to go to bookstores in bigger cities, and even then the amount of books is miniuscle in comparison to a Borders or Barnes & Noble.


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