New Site Gives Mobile E-Books Away for Nix

Many devoted readers are, for various reasons, holding out against the urge to buy a tablet such as a Kindle or an iPad for e-reading purposes. Many of who don’t own a tablet do own a smartphone, however, and sometimes it’s good to know you’ve got something to read, just in case you miss your train or the dentist is running late. Last week saw the launch of a website devoted to making books available to read just for smartphones. Currently, book-lovers can read around 500 books on the site, all of which are in the public domain. The books are accessible to any phone device with a web browser and can only be read, not downloaded. This is designed to minimise the bandwidth required and distinguishes it from Project Gutenberg’s site for phone devices, which makes books available for download. To make access as quick and bandwidth-friendly as possible, books are separated into small files and the site has no frills - no annotation features, no bookmarks. Our only complaint is that the site struggles to display the proper line breaks of poetry, which is a shame. Theoretically, poetry could well be the literary form with the most to gain from e-publishing.

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