About

On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

Recent Comments

September 2016
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Nook Services Follow Kindle to Browser-Based eReading App

As was bound to happen eventually, Barnes & Noble has joined Amazon in offering a browser-based reading solution for their Nook customers.  Since last August, the Kindle Cloud Reader has been offering the same capabilities to users of the competing platform.  The current promotion set to launch Nook for Web, as the new application has been dubbed, offers users six free best sellers for giving it a try.  Both the promo and the features make this worth taking a look at.

To try it out for yourself, simply head over to the Nook for Web site.  Currently supported browsers include Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.  In the preview, you can choose from any of the six selections available in this promotion.  You get the first portion of the book immediately with no need to establish a Barnes & Noble account.  This allows you to check out the features of the web app and see for yourself if it meets a need.  Should you like what you see, these books are available for download through a link at the end of their sample portion.

In terms of features, Nook for Web is definitely competitive with the Kindle Cloud Reader.  You can choose from eight font sizes, eight font styles, and a set of different page layouts.  The default layout will take into account the width of your browser window and decide whether or not you need two columns for an optimal reading experience.  If you don’t like the choice it makes, you can also choose to go with the publisher’s default layout preference or restrict things to a single page no matter the width of the window.  At this time you can’t force a two column view.

Pull-down menus let you access the table of contents on the fly, as well as use the Nook platform’s social networking features and access information about the title you have open.  The whole package fits well in Barnes & Noble’s established eBook platform and you can see where they have made efforts to keep the experience consistent for existing users.  Obviously any books you already own for your Nook will be available to you as soon as you log in.

In some ways B&N has done a great job of meeting the needs of their community here.  The features are sound and compatibility is extensive.  They have even made Nook for Web work in Internet Explorer, which the Kindle Cloud Reader still does not do.  On the other hand, they are missing compatibility with non-desktop browsers and I think that is going to hurt adoption.

The motivation behind the Kindle Cloud Reader was Amazon’s need to get around Apple’s restrictive terms and conditions for in-app sales.  As such, iPad and iPhone owners were the priority in its development.  Launching without letting those users take part in the new service immediately costs Barnes & Noble the chance to pull in some potential converts from the Kindle Platform.  No matter how many people use Internet Explorer, and that isn’t a small number, the percentage of people who read on their mobile device is far higher.

It doesn’t hurt to take advantage of this promo (available through 7/26) even if you’re otherwise a Kindle customer.  A free book is a free book.  To gain access to the complete text of each title, you will need to create an account.  Other than that, there’s no hoop to jump through.  Having tried both, I definitely prefer the Kindle Cloud Reader.  This is a good first step in what could eventually be a really impressive web app, though.

Kindle Book Recommendations: Classics

One of the biggest advantages of something like a Kindle is supposed to be the amazing savings that one can expect from owning such a device.  Books should be cheaper, according to the vision that many had of what eReading was going to be.  Obviously we have not quite realized that dream, with publishers keeping eBooks at prices similar to hardcover books, but all is not lost!  There are hundreds of authors releasing free or nearly free books every day through the Kindle Direct Publishing system.  So many, in fact, that it is all but impossible to even keep up with a list, let alone read them all. There are plenty of established successes to draw on even now, though, while I try to come up with a decent list of newer authors to pass along to you.  (I would welcome suggestions at m@blogkindle.com)

The often overlooked, or at least undervalued, source of cheap literature is older titles that have fallen out of copyright.  Sometimes they’ve fallen very far out of copyright.  For a while, it was pretty obnoxious to even try looking through these books in the Kindle Store since anybody who felt like going through the effort could post their own copy in hopes of making a few dollars.  In the past several months they have made a major effort to clean things up and remove duplicate copies.  It’s a mixed blessing since some of the approved ones remaining seem to be bad OCR copies rather than something a person has actually looked over, but suddenly it is a lot easier to find interesting things to read.

Now, a lot of people definitely seem to think that the so-called ‘classics’ are by definition dry and hard to get through.  I certainly wouldn’t recommend Bleak House to a Harlequin fan, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of perfectly approachable titles out there to take a look at.  Here’s a few that I hope you’ll find enjoyable.  Not all are free, mainly in cases where free copies were poorly formatted to the point of being hard to read, but all are under $3.

She by H. Rider Haggard

You’ve got an ancient family mystery dating back thousands of years, a secret society hidden in the heart of the unknown, supernatural powers, and near immortality.  This would be an amazing movie, if only the reaction to certain scenes involving the treatment of death wouldn’t be so extreme.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Everybody knows the broad outlines of the story, from movies if nothing else, but you miss a lot without reading the book.  Some of the most hilariously flawed ‘heroes’ that you are ever likely to read about.  You may be surprised by how off base your expectations are, if you’ve never read it before

Sherlock Holmes Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle

Another selection that a surprising number of people have never given a chance to.  This particular collection contains all four of the novels and 46 short stories, which I believe make up the whole out-of-copyright collection.  It’s been said that what fascinates people about Holmes is not the process he uses, but how much fun it is to watch him do it.  Give it a try for yourself.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

This book is a great suspense/mystery book with just a little bit of the fantastic thrown in.  It is really a fun time overall and has quite possibly the best villain ever(who was, coincidentally, modeled physically on the author himself according to many accounts!)  This one would be worth it for that character alone.