Reader web app – offline subscription book service

Rather than rushing to support everything in an on-device application, Reader does it online, AND offline. You can use the service by pointing your device to: Developer dBelement are sure you will like it and so offer two free books. There is also an online book manager to help you juggle your books, but to get your chubs on it, you will need to subscribe.

Cory Doctorow made an apt observation in one of his latest blog entries at BoingBoing – Amazon’s digital books are not purchases, they are licenses. Readers do not ‘own’ the material as they a paper book – Amazon have the system checked and balanced to give users a taste, but not real ownership. If that is the way digital reading is going, readers not only have to be informed about licensing issues, but need to be aware of alternatives. Stanza, eReader and Kindle along with a multitude of other readers support importing books in one form or another.

Licensing a book (to use Doctorow’s phrase) isn’t as useful as buying a hardcopy, but the market is just developing. Readers need to stand up for their rights especially as they are manifested in money versus service and anti-consumer contracts.

For all the lo-down on Reader, visit dBelement’s Reader page.

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