Publishers target iPhone, Nintendo DS for ebooks

Karen Templer continues what she calls her ‘near-constant ravings’ about iPhone reading apps with the news that Random House is now offering free books to iPhone readers through the Stanza download channel. But the iPhone isn’t the only more-useful-than-you-might-think device in town. Earlier today the BubbleCow twittered about HarperCollins offering books on the Nintendo DS. The collection on offer comes in the form of 100 classic titles and all the usual suspects are here, including Treasure Island, which was the first book I read on my iPod Touch. I enjoyed it immensely.

I must say it seems a bit strange seeing the Nintendo branding alongside these titles, but a pattern is emerging. It seems to have dawned on the publishers that people are walking around with large numbers of devices with screens on which reading is more than just acceptable. As I’ve said before, this isn’t the end of the book; it may be a tough time for the Kindle and co. though. As a recession emerges from the void like a Klingon ship uncloaking it will be difficult to sell new devices dedicated to reading, but the iPhone, DS, and a raft of other smart phones are already in our pockets. Still to come are new releases, but it can only be a matter of time. My plea as usual is to bundle access to the ebook with the dead tree version. Please.

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