Tag Archives: reading

Ebooks and ereaders have found their audience in France

2017-12-06

Large English-language markets, such as the US and the UK are leading the transition to ebooks, but large European countries, like France, Germany, Italy and Spain are beginning to turn to digital reading as well. A survey conducted in France indicates that ebooks are already well established (21% of French have read an abook), especially, among avid readers who like to use ereader devices.

Amazon Kindle ereader on laptop keyboard
Global internet giants who are marketing ebooks, like Amazon and Google have taken a strong position in the French market. These companies and for instance, Kobo provide ereading devices and reading applications for all popular computing platforms. According to the survey, book lovers in France tend to buy ebooks both from the reading application of their choice and directly from a major bookstore.

Here are highlights from the 2017 ebook survey results in France:

– 21% of the French population aged 15 and over have already read a digital book.
– Vast majority use dedicated ereader devices for reading ebooks (82%). Tablet is used for reading by 18%, smartphone by 10%, PC by 7% and a tablet/laptop hybrid by 6%. If we combine tablet and hybrid device numbers, tablet is used by 24%.
– Ebooks haven’t much changed reading habits or spending in books: 64% buy as much as before, 16% purchase more, 20% buy less.
– 73% have downloaded free ebooks.
– Three channels dominate the distribution of ebooks: the bookstore connected to the reading application (29% of ebook readers buy from the app default store), large global bookstores (27%) and French bookstores (24%).
– 63% of readers like to pay for an ebook when they need it. Only 7% is interested in paying for a subscription, and 20% in loaning digital books.
– The most read ebook genres: novels 61%, essays 28%, guides 23%, technical 21%, science 21%.
– Many people who read ebooks are avid readers: 21% of them read also more than 20 printed books per year.

The survey was conducted in France by OpinionWay in February 2017. First, 2006 people (aged 15 and over) were interviewed via telephone, and after that, 506 ebook users responded to an online survey.

Via Actualitte.

The survey results document in French below:

Barometre Usage Livre Numerique 2017 SNE SOFIA SGDL by ActuaLitté on Scribd

Jeff Bezos’ reading list: the books that Amazon employees are expected to read

2017-07-28

Recently, the big news was that Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon online store, had become the richest person in the world. The ranking, however, can quickly change because it largely depends on the stock prices of companies the richest people own, which is why Bill Gates or Warren Buffet can take the number one position any day.

Amazon started its business as an online bookstore. Even now, when the company enters a new market, it often starts business in the country with books.
jeff bezos reading list; 3 book covers
Books, reading, and learning mean a lot to Jeff Bezos who established Amazon 22 year ago. He has led the company from the beginning, and has always been regarded as a visionary. He took over the Washington Post newspaper that was on the brink a year ago. He is investing his personal money in the Washington Post, not Amazon’s corporate assets.

Amazon has invested in the creation of the ebook market probably more than any enterprise. The Kindle ereader, and the worldwide marketplace for ebooks on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and on other country-specific markets have the biggest market share of ebooks. The company is also running many other book-related business programs, such translating titles, print-on-demand, and even its own publishing imprint.

Jeff Bezos is known as an authoritarian leader. He has established rules, processes and methods that are strictly followed. Jeff’s Reading List is a list of 12 books Bezos expects Amazon employees to read. Many are related to business, but there are other themes as well.

Author Brad Stone who wrote the Bezos biography The Everything Store lists those 12 books. The author says the books have shaped Bezos’ leadership style and way of thinking. Here is the Jeff’s Reading List.

– The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: a fictional story about the First World War.
– Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins: advice from business management guru.
– Creation: Life and How to Make It by Steve Grand: building intelligent technology systems.
– Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t by Jim Collins: the author of the book has consulted Amazon as well.
– The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen: how new technologies disrupt existing businesses.
– Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton: Walmart founder’s biography.
– Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James Womack and Daniel Jones: lean thinking method.
– Memos from the Chairman by Alan Greenberg: a collection of memos from the Bear Stearns Chairman to the employees. (Bezos worked for an investment bank before starting Amazon.)
– The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.: small groups of engineers can be more effective than large groups.
– The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvements by Eliyahu Goldratt: lessons for manufacturing.
– Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know by Mark Jeffery: how to measure everything – has become a must at Amazon.
– The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb: the power of events with massive consequences.

Via CNBC.

53 nonfiction books about reading, bookstores, libraries, and about other books

2017-07-20

For some readers, books are objects that they care for more than any other products they have used or purchased. Other readers love to collect books and show them on bookshelves at their homes. Then, there are readers who happen to be writers as well, and tend to read in a different way than ordinary book readers.

If you are one of those book lovers who appreciate the published word so much that you are willing to read a book about books, here are some recommendations for you. Bookriot has put together a list of 53 nonfiction books about reading, libraries, bookshops, collecting, and about other books. These books are not about writing, although some of them have been written by famous authors.
Finland's National Library in Helsinki
Here are 53 nonficiton books on books according to Bookriot.

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life by Andy Miller
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett
My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop by Ronald Rice
The Pleasure of Reading: 43 Writers on the Discovery of Reading and the Books that Inspired Them by Antonia Fraser
The Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man’s Struggle with the Monthly Tide of the Books He’s Bought and the Books He’s Been Meaning to Read by Nick Hornby
Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books by Nick Hornby
The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe by Ann Morgan
Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall
At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries by Estelle Ellis
Bibliotopia: Or, Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-All of Literary Facts & Curiosities by Steven Gilbar
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
The Book by Julius Friedman
Book Crush: For Kids and Teens – Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Interest by Nancy Pearl
Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason by Nancy Pearl
The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You’ll Never Read by Stuart Kelly
Where I’m Reading From: The Changing World of Books by Tim Parks
The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski
Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry
The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell
Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books by Michael Dirda
Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller’s Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes
A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel
The House of Twenty Thousand Books by Sasha Abramsky
How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home by Susan Hill
Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maureen Corrigan
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David L. Ulin
My Ideal Bookshelf by Thessaly La Force
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You by Ella Berthoud
A Passion for Books: A Book Lover’s Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books by Harold Rabinowitz
Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet
Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places by Rebecca Rego Barry
Read This! Handpicked Favorites from America’s Indie Bookstores by Hans Weyandt
A Reader on Reading by Alberto Manguel
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
Ruined by Reading: A Life in Books by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins
So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee

If you want to read an ebook that is a collection of stories published in other books, download Traveling in Scandinavia for free.

Bookriot collected a list of 47 fiction books about books as well. You may view those recommendations here.

Hands-on video: comparison of an ereader and a tablet as ebook reading devices

2017-06-18

Recently, we studied the Kindle ereader and the Fire tablet in order to discover their differences as ebook reading devices. We concluded that – in addition to the price – the biggest differences were display, multipurpose vs single-purpose product and battery life.
kobo aura one ereader
The Ebook Reader blog recorded a video that lets you view a comparison of the Kobo Aura One ereader and the Kindle Fire HD 8 tablet. Both products have about 8 inch screen: the Aura One has 7.8 inches and the Fire tablet 8 inches. The dimensions of the screens are different, so it looks like they are not the same size, but they are very close.

In any case, the video shows one more key difference between ereaders and tablets: weight. Tablets are heavier than ereaders. It may not matter to you, because it depends on how you usually hold your reading device. If you are holding the reading device so that your arm tires, then the weight can be a factor for you.

View the video by The Ebook Reader below:

Why tablets are heavier than ereaders although they have roughly the same screen size? There are more parts inside the tablet than inside an ereader. The processor is usually more efficient on a tablet, it has more memory, perhaps larger speakers, and above all, a bigger battery. Batteries are surprisingly heavy, and the color screen of a tablet is power-hungry, whereas an ereader’s E ink screen is very power-efficient.

The current price gap is wide between the products seen on the video: the Kobo Aura One is $229 and the Fire HD 8 tablet $79.

Now, we have five factors that influence the decision which one is the right product to choose: display, multipurpose/single-purpose, battery life, weight and price. Everyone has his or her own priorities that specify which factors rise on top, and it makes the decision easier.
Amazon FIre HD 8 tablet, 2017 model

Fun and rewarding World Book Day 2017 experiences around the globe

2017-04-20

World Book Day 2017 is celebrated on Sunday 23rd April in thousands of locations across the globe. Also known as the World Book and Copyright Day, the purpose is the share the joy of reading (and why not writing, too) with other people. The story goes that the date was picked because in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died on that day.

Unesco has a web page where you can register your own book or copyright -related event. There is also a map where you can view events taking place on the World Book Day. One place with a large number of events is Conakry, Guinea because it has been designated the World Book Capital 2017 by Unesco.

The best way to find even small events is to browse the event calendar of your home town. The usual suspects are libraries and bookstores.

H-P VIrkki interveiew at the Ebook fair in Helsinki, FInland
One of the most memorable World Book Day events for us took place in Finland a couple of years ago. Possibly the world’s first Ebook Fair was organized and streamed live via the Internet to book lovers who could watch interviews of authors at their homes and in offices. One of the interviewed authors was H-P Virkki who talked about his book Stunts, Scenes and Safety – Introduction to Movie Stunts.

Here are a few moments from past World Book Day events.

Go to DOnostia/San Sebastian

World Book Day in San Sebastian, Spain. Photo by Go to Donostia/San Sebastian.

North Ireland. Photo by Northern Ireland Executive.

A map of most popular books by country was created by backforward24:
Literature world map by backforward24

Literature map of Europe (backforward24 at imgur):
Europe literature map backforward24

Sweden’s book city: Gothenburg

2016-12-19

Stockholm is the capital and the most populous city of Sweden, but Gothenburg on the country’s West Coast features the largest annual book show of Scandinavia. Maybe it is simply because Denmark, Germany and Norway are not far away from Gothenburg, or maybe the city has traditions in book business.
bookcrossing, slottsskogen, gothenburg, sweden, europeIn the large park of Slottsskogen near the city center you can find books on trees. It was a rainy day when the photo was taken, so someone must have saved the books from getting wet. The message on the plastic box encourages you to change your book to a new one.
bricks-and-mortar, book shop in Gothenburg
bookstore in gothenburg, sweden
Akademibokhandeln bookstore in gothenburg, sweden west coastBookstores in the city center.

book show, gothenburg, sweden.The annual Book Fair in September in Gothenburg attracts visitors and exhibitors primarily from Scandinavia, Baltic countries and Germany.

If you are planning to travel to Sweden or Gothenburg, it is worth knowing that the West Coast region next to Gothenburg is the second most popular vacation destination for Swedes. This travel guidebook covers the essential places, sights and activities in the city and the region.

Ebook news digest: best reading apps, tips from The Atlantic, unique travel photography

2016-06-12

Ebook News Digest June 12th, 2016

Google Word Lens Translator, a Swedish map translated to Spanish
Five e-reader apps for smartphones and tablets: from Wattpad to Scribd (EveningStandard)

– We would like to add FBReader and Kindle to the list of ereading apps as well.

Lemonade and Sketches of Spain: The Week in Pop Culture Writing (The Atlantic)

– Tips for fine nonfiction reads.

Best eReaders 2016: What’s the best eReader? The 8 best e-book readers you can buy in the UK today: Best eReader reviews (TechAdvisor)

– 4 out of 8 are Kindles, but the other 4 ereaders are fine products as well.

The amazing world of Kiwi photojournalist Amos Chapple (Stuff)

– Intriguing travel photography.

Technology – 6 excellent e-book reading apps for your smartphone (Mid-day)

– Try Google Play or Bluefire reading app as well.

Non-fiction ebooks for your smartphone, tablet, ereader or PC: download here.

The best smartphones for reading ebooks

2016-01-01

The original Kindle ereader had a six-inch greyscale display and Sony had really nice compact ereaders with five-inch screens. Today’s smartphones tend to have five-inch and larger screens. Additionally, smartphone displays have at least two times higher pixel density than ereaders. It is not surprising that book industry experts are saying that reading on mobile phones will be one of the strongest trends in the near future.

Which features are the key factors that affect the reading experience on a smartphone? Once you have identified them, you can pick up the perfect smartphone for you.

lg g3 smartphone, kindle ebook reading app

Kindle reading app

David Rothman has identified seven features that define the reading experience on a smartphone.

1. Screen quality. Numbers don’t tell the whole truth, you should always take a look at the display yourself – if possible, both indoors and outdoors.
2. Battery life.
3. Volume button position (often used for turning pages in reading apps).
4. Robustness of the phone.
5. Operating system version. The newer, the better, because all apps won’t run on old operating systems.
6. Storage capacity.
7. The amount of RAM memory.

Tips from our experience are that screen quality really is important. Make sure you are happy with it before buying. No matter how durable the glass on the display is, it breaks if it falls on concrete or bends in a pocket of tight jeans. Protective case may help. A smartphone that comes with a memory card slot solves storage problems. Memory card is a highly recommended feature on a phone.

Usually, factory installed applications on smartphones don’t include reading apps, so you have to install one. Here are a few popular choices:

Kindle Reading App (available for phones, tablets and PCs)
Aldiko
Bluefire (for Android, for Apple)
FBReader
Google Play Books
iBooks (for Apple devices only)
Kobo

samsung s2: fbreader ebook reading app

Fbreader ebook reading app


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Non-fiction book tips for reading and giving as gifts during the year-end holidays

2015-12-10

Goodreads is popular community of book lovers who actively discuss about books. Community members have voted the best books of 2015, just in time for getting tips for what to read and what to give as a gift during the year-end holidays.

Here are ten most popular non-fiction books as voted by the Goodreads community.
book cover aziz ansari, modern romance

1. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg.
2. Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton. Photography.
3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Creativity, inspiration.
4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Society.
5. H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Memoir.
6. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer. Society,
7. Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson. Travel story.
8. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.
9. For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. Religion.
10. Rising Strong by Brené Brown. Personal development.

If you are planning to travel during the holiday season on next year, download one of these travel guidebooks. More smart books to read here.

Chinese Have Quickly Adopted Ebooks on Mobile Devices

2015-05-07

Those were the days when people in China had to go out on the streets to read the news that were posted on walls. Today, more Chinese connect to Internet services than in any other country. Chinese have also widely adopted large screen smartphones. Perhaps one thing leads to another, but in any case, reading ebooks is now more popular than reading paper books in China.

chenzen, china boookstore by robert scoble
A bookstore in Chenzen, China by Robert Scoble on Flickr.

The Chinese government news site reported on a study that was conducted by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication in September 2014. The organization surveyed 35 000 adults across China about their reading habits. The highlights of the survey results are:

– 58.1% of Chinese adults read digital books in 2014, and 58% read print books.
– Ebooks were up 8%, but reading paper books grew only 0.2%.
– 51.8% read on mobile phones, while 49.4% used a computer for reading.
– Only 5.3% used an e-reader, and 9.9% a tablet.
– Reading online took about 55 minutes each day on average, whereas printed books got citizens’ attention for 19 minutes and newspapers for 19 minutes as well.
– 67.6% of Chinese between 18 and 39 years had adopted digital reading habits.

The numbers are impressive for ebooks. China may be the first market where reading ebooks became more popular than reading paper books. Sales of ebooks in China compared with the sales of printed books is another matter. The sales of digital goods, such as music and movies lags behind the sales of respective physical goods, and books are no exception during the next few years.

The Brief History of Reading: from Tablets to Tablets

2015-03-22

A recent innovation, tablets, is a wonderful way to read books. Particularly colorful ebooks, textbooks, and comics that include both fun and useful images, graphs and other images really shine on a modern tablet. Did you know that tablets were the first book format when writing was invented thousands of years ago? A lot has happened between now and then, but here is an infographic that highlights major milestones from the history of reading.

history of reading, from tablet to tablet

Visual.ly originally published the infographic.