There’s been a lot of rumors lately about Apple creating a new killer device for the ebook to rival the Kindle, and I think if they do (and it has full color screen and an extended battery life) then I think the E-Ink days are numbered. The evolution of the ebook will explode into a full blown cultural revolution.
I’ve played around with several ebook readers over the last few years (remember the rocket reader), but in the last few weeks I’ve taken even more notice. What got me most excited though was not the Kindle or even the new Sony reader, but rather the free Stanza iphone app. I loaded on my iTouch over two months ago. I love this little free reader (which btw way was acquired by Amazon and just a few weeks ago) that provides easy access to both free domain ebooks and popular pay-option titles, but what has been missing for me in any current portable device option out there is the ability to connect with the thoughts of others who are reading the same book.
BookGlutton.com is a website that does exactly that by allowing you to both interact with the book annotations of others and also engage in online chat. I played around with the site today and I have to say that I’m really impressed. Although it took me a bit to figure out how to read the annotations and comments, I really like the ability to see what other people bring to the text. I think once the Kindle or Sony (or rumored iBook) incorporates this type of functionality into their ereader app, then the competition will be over, period. The future of reading will have been born.
Here’s some more screenshots and images related to this post:
PS: Don't forget to read Clive Thompson's piece, The Future of Reading (lots to think about here as to the impact on libraries)