Monday, May 4, 2015

Why Are e-Readers Great for Reading in the Sun?


I am sure everyone has run into the situation where you need to hunt around for a bit of shade and get out of direct sunlight to read on your phone or tablet. LCD screens tend to reflect light like nobodies business because the average screen has multiple layers. Serious readers often turn to their trusty Kindles or Nooks because E Ink enabled displays are easily readable even in direct sunlight because the electronic paper reflect light like ordinary paper.

People tend to think that smartphones, tablets and e-readers are the same thing if you read on the device. This is simply not the case and there is a a fundamental difference between an iPad and a Kindle. The Apple iPad for example,  has  in-plane switching (IPS), light-emitting diode (LED), liquid crystal display (LCD) that produces crisp, clear colors under normal conditions. It's not laminated the same way the iPhone screen is, so it's even slightly more reflective when it catches rays.

E Ink technology relies on reflected, not emitted, light. This ensures text looks natural in any lighting condition. We have conducted many reading tests in direct sunlight with tablets and it is basically unreadable.

How does an e-reader perform in direct sunlight? Today, we have a series of videos that demonstrate how a few six inch and a 9.7 inch e-reader fare when reading outside. As an added bonus we show you exactly why tablets are bad for reading in the sun. We show you the iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 and the iPhone 4 all together.

Why Are e-Readers Great for Reading in the Sun? is a post from: Good e-Reader

New e-Reader with GPS Does Innovative Things


A new e-reader has just hit the market that has built in GPS that will change key locations in an e-book. Basically, this means that the book makes references to the city or place the reader is in as he progresses through the novel.

This new e-reader called The Tripbook features e-paper technology that will give you an experience similar to a Kindle or Kobo. It is a byproduct of the '365 Reasons To Smile' campaign, that Brazilian loyalty program Smiles developed as part of their 20th anniversary. The book was written by Brazil author Marcelo Rubens Paiva and the construction of the interactive digital edition was done by FCB Brazil.

I think removing the notion of a specific "place" from a the body of a piece of literature can completely destroy the context. It's akin to dropping the Pyramids of Giza in Kansas.

If you don’t own a Tripbook or live Brazil and can download the interactive eBook app for both iOS and Android devices.

New e-Reader with GPS Does Innovative Things is a post from: Good e-Reader

TOR Books Now Eligible for an e-Book Upgrade for $2.99


TOR is one of the largest science fiction and fantasy publishers in the world and there is another compelling reason to do business with them. If you have purchased in the past or buy a new print edition you can now get the e-book for $2.99.

Tor Books has just announced that they have forged a new partnership with Vancouver, BC based BitLit, a free app that lets you download digital copies of your paper library. By partnering with BitLit, they have made it possible for you to be able to download an e-book for any Tor/Forge book you own in print!

Peter Hudson the CEO of BITLIT told Good e-Reader exclusivly “I’m incredibly excited to be adding Tor/Forge titles to the BitLit program. I’m a big Sci-fi fantasy fan, so adding Tor made a huge swath of my shelf eligible for digital upgrades. I’m also really excited that we’re able to provide Tor e-books DRM-free.”

In order to redeem your TOR/Forge books you need to download the BITLIT app for iOS or Android.  Take a picture of your bookshelf (a.k.a. a "shelfie"). The app will identify all of your books and tell you which books are eligible to bundle. Take a picture of your name on the copyright page to claim your bundled e-book.

TOR Books Now Eligible for an e-Book Upgrade for $2.99 is a post from: Good e-Reader

2015 Locus Award Finalists


If you are a fan of Science Fiction and looking for a great read, you might be interested in the 2015 Locus Award Finalists. All of these titles sold very well in the e-book format, but also in traditional bookstores.







  • "Tough Times All Over", Joe Abercrombie (Rogues)
  • "The Hand Is Quicker", Elizabeth Bear (The Book of Silverberg)
  • "Memorials", Aliette de Bodard (Asimov's 1/14)
  • "The Jar of Water", Ursula K. Le Guin (Tin House #62)
  • "A Year and a Day in Old Theradane", Scott Lynch (Rogues)





  • Asimov's
  • Clarkesworld
  • F&SF
  • Lightspeed


  • Angry Robot
  • Orbit
  • Small Beer
  • Subterranean
  • Tor


  • John Joseph Adams
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Ann & Jeff VanderMeer


  • Jim Burns
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
  • Charles Vess
  • Michael Whelan



2015 Locus Award Finalists is a post from: Good e-Reader

Devs Working on CM11 ROM (Android 4.4) for Nook Touch

It’s always good to see the Nook Touch still getting some attention from developers, even after four years since its initial release. A couple months ago I posted an article about the Nook Touch running Windows 95 and other emulators, along with the Impossible Game. Now developers are working on getting the Nook Touch (and […]

Kindle Unlimited is the Most Popular e-book Subscription Service


Kindle Unlimited is the latest entrant into Netflix for e-books subscription style of service. In a short period of time Amazon has managed to attain more paid members using its platform than the competition.

The Codex Group has reported in their April 2015 consumer survey, 12.4% of digital book consumers have a Kindle Unlimited subscription.  In comparison, only 1.4% of respondents reported that they had a Scribd membership, and eve fewer were paying for Oyster.

Good e-Reader Research also has Kindle Unlimited as the most dominant player in the field. In a recent study 117 people voted on the subscription site that was most appealing to them. Amazon has 52% of the vote, while Scribd had 28.21%, Oyster 6.84%, Entittle 0.85% and Other 12%.

I think its very telling about our own recent report that so few people actually took part in the poll. Normally we have 600 people or more that participate and its very telling on the health of the overall industry that hardly anyone is captivated by thousands of books available for a low monthly fee.

One of the largest barriers for customers to buy into this subscription style of service is international availability. Kindle Unlimited is only in a handful of countries, such as the US and select markets in Europe. Entittle and Oyster are exclusively targeted customers in the United States. This leaves Scribd as the only other player that actually has a far wider reach.

Kindle Unlimited is the Most Popular e-book Subscription Service is a post from: Good e-Reader

Mother’s Day Deals – Kindle, Kobo and Nook

Amazon has several Kindle devices on sale from now until Mother’s Day, which is May 10th, this coming Sunday. The Kindle Paperwhite is marked down to $99 again, so is the Fire HD 7, the entry-level Kindle is $59, and the Fire HD Kids Edition tablets are $25-$40 off. The sales for Kindle ebook readers […]

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Second Season Green-lit


Fans of Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend, can be happy to know that that the anime adaption of the light novel series has been green lit for a second season. The good news was announced at an event on Sunday that production will begin for the romantic comedy and the official website now confirms the sequel series. Sadly, there are no further details to that have been released such as release date or format of the sequel series, but we will just have to be patient for more news on the popular show!

The original light novels, with illustrations by Kurehito Misaki, revolve around Tomoya Aki, an Otaku who is working part time to earn money to buy anime on Blu-Ray. On his way home from Spring vacation, Tomoya meets a beautiful young girl ad eventually models the heroine of his own game after. A month later, he learns this mysterious girl is actually a classmate of his named Megumi. Having no artistic ability or writing skills, Tomoya asks ace art club member Eiri Spencer Sawamura to provide the art as well as honour student Utaha Kasumigaoka to write the scenario. With they be able to produce a decent game for Comic Market?

The first season began airing in January in Japan on Fuji TV’s Noitamina programming block. Aniplex of America liscenced the series and streamed it on the popular Aniplex Channel, Crunchyroll and Hulu! A PS Vita game based off of the anime shipped last week in Japan!

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Second Season Green-lit is a post from: Good e-Reader

Astro Pi: Mission Update 2


Time for an Astro Pi update! The ‘big idea’ phase of the competition, where students were only required to submit an idea, closed at the beginning of April. The fully anonymised judging process took place over two long days at York’s National STEM Centre on the 17th of April.

Nearly 200 teams from primary schools and code clubs all over the UK submitted ideas for experiments and games to be run on Tim Peake’s Astro Pi on board the International Space Station (ISS) later this year. He will set the winning experiments running, collect the data generated and then download it to Earth where it will be distributed to the winning teams.

Tim Peake has announced the primary school winners in a video message from Star City, where he is currently training. The secondary school competition is still open until the end of June.

Hannah Belshaw from Cumnor House Girl's School in Croydon won top place with her idea to represent data from the Astro Pi in the world of Minecraft. The Cranmere Code Club team from Esher were also winners with their idea to investigate whether the Astro Pi can detect the presence of astronauts on the ISS using the temperature and humidity sensors.

Both schools will now receive a class set of Astro Pi kits which they’ll start coding on. They’ll also use them to get involved in the data logging activities once Tim starts his mission.

Major Tim Peake - photo provided by UK Space Agency under CC BY-ND

Major Tim Peake – photo provided by UK Space Agency under CC BY-ND

Hannah Belshaw's Minecraft idea was the top entry overall in the primary school category. The code will be written by us at Raspberry Pi under her guidance and, in addition to getting it flown and run on the ISS, a British satellite will be realigned to take a picture of her school from space! They can all go outside into the playground and make a huge space invader perhaps?

We all recognised that Hannah's idea is an ingenious way to represent abstract sensor data captured by the Astro Pi in a way that would allow children to gain an intuitive understanding. The terrain in Minecraft will be used to visualise magnetometer and gyroscope measurements downloaded from the ISS and can then be replicated by anyone who owns a Raspberry Pi.

Jonathan Bell, one of our software ninjas, said:

“We anticipate that we will have as much fun programming (and testing) this entry as children will have exploring a game world created from data captured in space.”

Cranmere Code Club's concept of investigating whether or not multiple sensors from the Astro Pi could be used to detect the nearby presence of an astronaut appealed to everyone because it exploits so much of the Astro Pi hardware. Cranmere Code Club will use the visible camera to take a photograph when an increase in temperature and humidity is detected, and will review the images to see if they caught anyone!

Pat Norris from CGI said:

“the Cranmere entry was very clearly and comprehensively presented. It included a statement of the objective of what is effectively a scientific experiment and of the approach proposed to achieve that objective, and complemented this with logic flowcharts and a diagram. Part of the activity takes place on the ISS and part on the ground after the data has been collected, giving the Cranmere Code Club an opportunity to participate directly in the experiment. The judging panel was impressed by the sophistication of the entry, demonstrating an appreciation of the scientific method (hypothesis tested by experiment) and a thorough analysis of the logic involved.”

The standard of entries was so high that we also created a ‘highly commended’ category to reward outstanding effort. These entrants will individually receive an Astro Pi kit too.

Doug Liddle from SSTL said “The standard of entries was tremendously high. Ultimately, the winning teams had to propose ideas that were creative, practical and useful to stand a chance of winning. I hope that most of these talented primary school teams also decide to get involved in the next stage of the competition and give the secondary schools a run for their money.”

In the secondary school age group, the competition is running across three age categories, one for each of Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Competitors have already submitted their ideas for experiments and applications with the best submissions in each age category winning an Astro Pi kit on which to code their idea and the two most promising ideas in each category winning a class set of kits. The teams who have earned a class set of kits are:

Key Stage 3 and equivalent:

Key Stage 4 and equivalent:

Key Stage 5 and equivalent:

Phase two of the Astro Pi competition is all about secondary schools realising their ideas from phase one in code, testing it, refining it and eventually submitting it via the competition website by the 29th of June. Primary schools are not required to do this, but those that want to code will be put into the lowest age category for the secondary school competition.

If you missed phase one, you can still enter! In fact, if you really wanted, you could turn up on the 28th of June with your code ready to go, enter, and submit the code on the same day! (That would be cutting it a bit fine though…)

Go here to enter!

After the end of June the entries will be judged for the last time. The best two from each key stage will then have their code flown on Tim Peake’s Astro Pi when he launches in November. The existing primary school entries will also be judged alongside these to be in with a chance to win the UK Space thematic prizes.

We are also providing support through the Astro Pi forum and you can still apply for a free Astro Pi HAT (on its own) if you didn’t win a kit. Oh oh! Yes… free stuff is up for grabs.

If you want to get one you need to send an email application to…

…describing what you intend to do with the hardware. Hint: those who intend to enter the Astro Pi secondary school competition will be looked upon favourably. You should provide a good description of what your entry will do for Tim Peake on the ISS. This will not entitle you to a board though! There are only a limited number of them so we will be selecting based on what you write in your application. So choose your words carefully.

In the future we hope that the European Space Agency will want to repeat the Astro Pi competition on a larger scale and so, currently, the UK competition is like a pilot. ESA are watching this with interest and they will be looking for the number of entries received and the number of students reached. Please do your bit by getting your school involved.

10 perfect quotes about life from our favorite children’s books

Children's books have a way of shaping who we become, not just as readers, but as people. They are our first introduction to literature, often times on the laps of our parents, and they teach us valuable lessons that never truly leave us. It's no wonder that many of the most inspiring quotes you'll find come from these classic titles. Below you'll find ten of Team OverDrive's favorite children’s book quotes and what they’ve taught us.



It's important to remember that we are not alone in this big world. If you're willing to look you can always find a kindred spirit.



Anytime you need to escape from the stress and troubles of your life you need only open a book. The stories and worlds you can experience by reading are endless.



No matter how much you think you know about someone you can still be surprised by what they have inside them. Sometimes you might think you fully understand a person and then they can change your mind with a single word.



Libraries are not just places for silent reading (although they're great for that as well). They are buildings of self discovery, adventure, learning and excitement!



It may seem silly but it's ok to believe in fairy tales; that there is magic in this world that can shape what we don't understand. Oh, and that big things can come in small packages! Right, Tink?



It can be frustrating growing up with parents who feel like they're smothering us. Cherish those moments because when you're all grown up and are having a rough day you'll sometimes wish you could crawl into your parents arms and know they're there to protect you. Oh, and If you can't get a hug from mom, maybe have something sweet…like some honey!



Knowledge is power! There's nothing stopping you from learning and being successful. Sometimes, in order to get where you want to go, all you have to do is pick up the right book!



Saying goodbye can be soul crushingly difficult but it's also a part of life. When you give your whole heart to something and it returns the favor it can seem impossible to survive when that relationship endss but it will get better. We also learned that the best friends in the world might just come with four legs and floppy ears.



Selfless acts can be difficult but necessary even if they aren't appreciated in the moment. When you truly love someone you'll find you're capable of sacrificing everything to help them succeed.



It's important to believe in others even when those around you might not. The simple action of believing in something can be enough to make it real… even if that thing happens to be a unicorn.


What are some of your favorite children's book quotes?


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist at OverDrive. He believes that a love of literature can be taught and thanks his mom for teaching it to him.


Rakuten has Completed the Acquisition of Overdrive


Rakuten has been trying to dominate the e-book landscape in North America for a number of years. The Japanese eCommerce giant purchased Kobo in 2011 and are the proud new owners of Overdrive.

Rakuten announced they intended to purchase Overdrive last month and the acquisition has finally been completed. The deal is worth $410 million dollars in cash and OverDrive CEO and founder Steve Potash will continue to direct the company. One has to wonder if his days are numbered.

Currently, OverDrive works with more 5,000 publishers and more than 30,000 libraries around the world. They are considered the largest company of its kind that sells digital content to libraries, such as audiobooks, e-books, magazines, newspapers and streaming video.

Rakuten has Completed the Acquisition of Overdrive is a post from: Good e-Reader