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December 11, 2008

My Perfect eBook Reader, A Nintendo DS

I have read ebooks on my little Nokia 6230i, it was okay, but it was not the greatest experience. The Kindle just looked stupid and I can't afford an iPhone. What does that leave? A Nintendo DS!

Nintendo, the Japanese video games company that brought us Donkey Kong and Mario the Plumber, is to announce a deal with the publisher HarperCollins today to make literary classics available to read on its DS portable games consoles. 

The 100 Classic Book Collection ranges from Shakespeare and Dickens to Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. It will cost about £20 and will be available initially only in Britain. Readers will turn the pages by brushing a finger across the screen. If the collection is a success, Nintendo may expand the range of books available.

The perfect combination, books and Mario Kart. The down side however is that presumably all the classic books are old and freely available anyway. How about providing them on a memory card to slide into the upcoming DSi? That would be cool.

I wonder if any other publishing groups are going to join in the experiment?


I bought the missus a Sony ebook reader for Christmas and I have to say... it's very very nice indeed.

Not sure how I'd get on with a small screen reader like that. I'd sooner not bother, I don't think. It's a bit like the gadget I saw in some eco-shop in Sidmouth last week... made by Trevor Bayliss, it is a wind-up MP3 player. It has a little one inch wide screen and can show pictures and is an ebook reader. Now... who on earth thought that would be a good idea? One inch?! Madness.

Books by John Scalzi, Clive James, Peter F. Hamilton, China Mieville and Neal Asher can now be purchased for the iPhone, as Pan Macmillan partnered with the e-reader company, Lexcycle--becoming one of the largest publishers to step into this new digital realm.

The first round of titles are available on the iPhone and iPod Touch using Lexcycle's Stanza application, and the companies expect to add more titles over the next year. In addition, the partnership will allow Stanza readers to sample bestsellers in special excerpts.

Sara Lloyd, Digital Director of Pan Macmillan, said her company had studied the market carefully before the partnership. From the press release: "Since the iPhone launched its App Store we have been watching developments closely to see which reading apps became most popular. Lexcycle's Stanza emerged very quickly as a clear leader in its category and so we immediately made contact to ask about developing a strategic partnership to bring our ebooks to readers through this new channel," she explained.