Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Uh-oh, the world just got a little bigger

Like most people, I have been thinking of the e-reader world as a tripartite structure consisting of little other than Nooks, Kindles, and iPads.  Well, the editors over at the Tech Talk column at The Contemplation have completely exploded that notion with their review of more than a dozen e-readers (including one biggie that has slipped under my radar, the Sony E-Reader).

The really neat thing about this review is revealed in its title:  "eReaders for Patrons of Public Libraries."  Yes!  Just the thing I'm interested in.  Thanks to that, and to the fact that the review was published in June 2010, two of the devices I have been talking about are notably absent.  That's right, no iPad and no Kindle.

I was just taken aback by the number of e-readers out there that I had never heard of.  Aluratek, Astak, Bookeen. . . . And many of them sound quite good.  In fact, there seems to be very little that separates the Kindle from these other readers except for the supply of titles.  Kindle, of course, has Amazon behind it, which means a lot more titles.  But, as this review points out, it doesn't mean library titles. 

With all of these exciting new (to me) brands, which reader did the editor's tap as their pick for best e-reader for library patrons?  The Nook.  This comes down to supply of titles, I believe.  While the review is about library access, most of the other e-readers do not have an alternate supply of titles, while the Nook has more than a million titles available through B&N.  I guess you can't take the business out of business even when talking libraries.

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