BOOKS IN THE AIR

We just read about an author who sells 200 books a day through the Amazon Kindle digital book store and only 100 a month at the Apple iBook store.  That’s because the Kindle software has a wider reach. It lets you read digital books on just about any computer or smart-phone; you don’t have to own a Kindle. The software is free.

Another freebie, called Copia, is about to enter the scene. It will add a social networking dimension to the e-reading experience. The point of combining reading on an e-book with social networking is that it makes it easy to start book discussions, share passages, make notes and see the comments of others. You can see what your friends on Facebook are reading without asking them first. You can see what others using the app are reading and what passages they’ve circled.

Copia will have a full-color e-reader this Fall for $99. Other models will use the black and white display that’s easy on the eyes and in bright light. All the models will combine social networking with reading. The software itself will still be free from theCopia.com.

Like the Kindle’s software, the Copia software can display books on your computer or iPad. This feature will soon be extended to other devices, like those using the Android operating system. As with other Readers, there’s access to a free library, in this case Adobe’s Digital Editions, which we used recently to download “Huckleberry Finn.” This should be a boon for teachers and book clubs. If you can’t wait for the software, try GoodReads.com, which operates in a similar way. If you’re already using GoodReads, you’ll be able to import everything into the Copia app as well.

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