Cloud eBook Reading

[Here’s my response to my 12/29/10 OverDrive post]

We’ve all heard of cloud computing (googledocs), cloud social networking (facebook), and here comes the next big thing: cloud eBook reading. That’s where your eBook is held in the cloud and you can bookmark your place and come back to it no matter which handheld or computer you’re using.

The big advantage is that you don’t have to download an app or a piece of software or have a dedicated e-reading device.

Joseph Pearson of Inventive Lab wrote, “The one single platform we expect future e-reading devices to have in common is the web browser. If you want to give your readership the freedom to own (forever) the books they buy from you, the web is where it will happen.”

Here are some cloud eBook readers that may be worthy of your time, Dear Reader.

  • Ibis Reader Lets you download all off your books. Lots of free public access titles ibisavailable on the site or get them from somewhere else and put them on Ibis Reader. Reads DRM-free books in the ePub format. A clean interface that’s easy to use and my personal favorite.
  • Google Books You can use just about any device you own to read any book, googleanywhere.  Download for free multitudes of books in the public domain or buy copyrighted books through vendors set up with Google.  Read online or download to your device and read offline. There’s just so much here.
  • Booki.sh works on Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, the Kindle3, the latest Blackberry phones, and any other device with a modern web booki.shbrowser. There’s nothing to install. Readers can go from following a link on a webpage to buying a book to reading it in seconds. On most devices, you can read books whether you’re online or offline.

All run on html5, which some are calling the future of the internet. In 5 years maybe 3,  let’s talk about whether that held true. This next generation html is showing up in newer websites and services. New features include media playback and interactivity and, most importantly for ebook reading, the ability to store offline data. I see html5 as an alternative to flash. Read more about html5 in this article by Terrence O’Brien, “What Is HTML5, and Why Should You Care?

Here are some places to find free ebooks: http://www.teleread.com/free-ebooks/

And of course, the cloud’s silver lining is Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library, where you can find premium eBook titles through OverDrive. Not yet aboard the cloud, using the Adobe Digital Editions platform, they have great eBooks that I would otherwise have to pay for myself. Maybe one day OverDrive will jump on the cloud but not yet it seems.

Published by

Colleen Eggett

Colleen Eggett is the Library Resources Program Manager for the Utah State Library in Salt Lake City UT.