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Read Where You Want

Last week someone showed me a Christmas present he’d received . . . an iPod Touch. He had downloaded the Kindle Reader to it. Since we have two iPod Touches we’re examining, I hurried back to my office to download both the Kindle Reader and the new Barnes & Noble eReader to both. But there’s more! And you do not need an iPod!

First let’s look at the Barnes & Noble version:

  • B&N’s eReader is available for Windows, Mac, Blackberry, iPhone, or iPod Touch.
  • You’ll have access to plenty of books, but the big difference is annotation. B&N offers to look up a word with Google, Wikipedia, and a built-in dictionary. You may highlight a word and/or add a note.
  • Access your notes quickly from the contents.
  • Dog ear pages! Just touch the upper right corner of a page to turn it down. Access your bookmarks through the contents.
  • Adjust the font, color, line spacing and more to suit your needs or situation, like low light.
  • Connect to the bookstore and download more books with an account. (Even if you’re just downloading free books, you’ll still need to provide a credit card number.)

Kindle Reader:

  • Kindle’s reader is available for iPhone/iPod Touch and Windows. Mac version is coming soon.
  • You’ll have the ability to highlight and add notes.
  • Dog ear pages! Just touch the upper right corner of a page to turn it down. Access your bookmarks through the contents.
  • Adjust the font, color, line spacing and more to suit your needs or situation, like low light.
  • Connect to the bookstore and download more books with an account. (Even if you’re just downloading free books, you’ll still need to provide a credit card number.)

Since competition between Amazon and Barnes & Noble is pretty stiff, their prices on books are similar. If you’re not interested in investing in a new piece of technology, consider one of these options for your phone or computer.

A sampling of free books available at both stores (also on the DHS American Lit reading list):

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)
  • Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Mark Twain)
  • Prince and the Pauper (Mark Twain)
  • The Call of the Wild (Jack London)
  • White Fang (Jack London)
  • Maggie: Girl of the Streets (Stephen Crane)
  • The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane)
  • Washington Square (Henry James)
  • Iola Leroy (Francis Harper)
  • Little Men (Louisa May Alcott)
  • Bastard Out of Carolina (Dorothy Allison)

The other player in the eReader contest right now is Sony. You can check out their downloads for Mac or Windows here.

Audiobooks from Librivox:

  • You might also consider this sort of open source version of recorded books. Volunteers record public domain books and Librivox makes them available through their web site for direct download OR their iPhone app (requires Internet access). Check out their site to download directly or visit the Apps store for the download. *If you use the direct download, you can play those files on anything that plays mp3 or Ogg files!*

We don’t yet know where these devices or this software is going yet at DASD, but we’re working on figuring it out. Here’s a take on ereading from the NCTE.

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