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Old 10-22-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
eRichard
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Hello. I had this idea. Maybe there is something like this out there already, I don't know.
I have a Kindle and it's great. Downloading books is easy with a wifi connection and all that is just fine.
Is there a market for an eReader that does not require a wifi connection? Just a simple digital reader without a touch screen...just a button or two to turn a page or go back to beginning, or book mark..plus an on/off button. It could be powered by a few watch batteries. It would have a slot for a memory card..maybe a USB to allow for different kinds of memory cards. But these memory cards would have just ONE book on it. You buy the memory card for the price of a book, insert and read. You buy a reader for $20, maybe it will come with a book or two to get you started, then you buy the memory cards that can't be erased, nor could any more info be added to the card.
What I am describing used to be called "a paperback book" , sure, but there might be a market for this. Schools, of course. But perhaps those people who just don't like computers and monthly fees for wifi.
The memory card will look like a small book. It has the title of the book and the author's name, and maybe a tiny picture. This would be great for travelling. Imagine using a spanish/english dictionary, or a travel guide book.
Could a reader be made for cheap that would be satisfying for reading? Would it be bright enough? Would the battery die too quickly? Maybe there could be a tiny solar panel, much like some older calculators that keep the power up.

What are your thoughts? Drawbacks? Distribution? What would be needed to upload books to the memory cards?

good idea, or bad?

Thanks for your time. This is really a nice forum and information site. Well done!
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
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What, you mean go to a shop and buy a book? Nope, lost enough sd cards already, thank you. Now the solar panel, that IS a good idea!
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:30 PM   #3
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In some respects (no wi-fi, uses USB or SD cards, user replaceable batteries) it sounds like my JetBook Lite. (I love it. Most people didn't.)

One book per card is probably unrealistic. A typical ebook uses less than one megabyte of memory. Many use a lot less. No one manufactures cards that small anymore, as far as I know. I have several hundred ebooks on my 2GB card, and still have room for more.

As far as the card being uneraseable, I don't see the point, especially if you have a USB port -- which only makes sense (to me) for adding content.

Last edited by cromag; 10-22-2013 at 04:32 PM. Reason: EDIT: More info on JBL.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #4
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I wouldn't find it appealing to store my books on individual cards. They would certianly be lost. You could have a reader without WiFi, but I don't think it would really save any money. There might be a few people who were so uncomfortable with computers that they couldn't figure out how to use a computer well enough to manage an e-reader, but I think they would have at least as much trouble managing a stack of cards. Recently, I saw a kiosk for buying books, sort of like Redbox. You plugged in your device via USB, paid for the book, and the book was copied onto your device.

You don't need to have your own WiFi access to download books, you can copy them via USB or you could use a free WiFi hotspot like at a library or a coffee shop.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #5
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I don't care about WiFi, and like the solar panel idea a lot, but ugh, I would not want to deal with a pocket full of mini cards each with a single book on them. I have an e-reader so that I can have an entire library in a single package, and I don't want to undermine that. It's why I have no interest in a kindle, the ~1.5GB of storage isn't enough for me.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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A solar panel would be nice, but it would have to be bigger than that on a calculator. A calculator requires very little power. The solar panel for an e-reader might be about the size of the e-reader itself. It would add a lot of extra cost, and would be better as an add-on, like on a case.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:27 PM   #7
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... Also, when I'm not reading, my ereader isn't in the sun. I do have a couple of solar rechargers for Ni-MH batteries, but I put them in a sunny spot when I want to use them. It does take a long time to get a reasonable charge -- especially with a low sun in winter.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:39 PM   #8
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thanks for all replies. I know no one here would be interested in this idea. We're all computer people who can handle all the steps it takes to get an ebook. But, believe it or not, I work with quite a few people who still read books. With actual paper pages. These are the people it would be marketed toward.
The solar panel thing wouldn't need sunlight...the kind that calculators used to run on used indoor lighting as well as..the sun.
I can picture a nice, tidy leather bound booklet with slots for memory cards. this would be your library of personal books. Take your cheap reader on vacation. No power cord, no wifi. No downloading. We give schools ipads and laptops that cost hundreds of dollars each, but a cheap eReader and a book of memory cards would be cheaper and easier to distribute. maybe this idea is just too far a step backwards.
The point would be to NOT have to deal with having to sign on and use a credit card to buy everything on line. Those that still shop at book stores, would have a reader and a choice to buy a hardback, paperback or memoryback for their ereader.
thanks again everyone.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:30 PM   #9
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I know no one here would be interested in this idea. We're all computer people who can handle all the steps it takes to get an ebook. But, believe it or not, I work with quite a few people who still read books.
Let's pretend that these people would accept ebooks. In that case, it would be far easier for them to go to a bookstore or library with their ereader. An employee could then complete the transaction, loading the ebook onto the ereader in the process. Maybe they'll use a special ereader with very simple software, maybe they won't.

But that's pretending a lot. Chances are that these people aren't into ebooks because they don't see a compelling need for ebooks. Heck, I don't see a compelling need for ebooks now that I've settled down. The only reason why I started using them was because I was teaching in remote parts of Canada.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:48 PM   #10
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Made me think of this:

http://ca.txtr.com/beagle/


Uses AA batteries and uses a smartphone app to send books through bluetooth. Way overpriced though.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:05 AM   #11
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I don't see why there would be any need to get rid of all the memory or the wifi? Those are not really a large component of the ereader's cost. Regardless of whether we are or are not interested in it, currently it is not realistic to have an ereader for $20, because IIRC, the screen itself is around $30. The processor and the other electronic parts also cost a fair amount.

I also don't think the power demands of an ereader are low enough to be handled with solar or watch batteries, even without wifi. Regular AAA batteries might work. The problem is that it would possible end up to be more expensive to run a bookstore that was cards with books on them than an ebookstore. (inventory, manufacturing, legal stuff, distribution, etc) That cost would also have to be factored in also.

You also don't need a credit card to get ebooks: you can buy cards, and there is a lot of free wifi out there. However, I don't think ebooks will really work out for people who don't like computers so much they're unwilling to learn how to buy them.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:22 AM   #12
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You also don't need a credit card to get ebooks: you can buy cards, and there is a lot of free wifi out there. However, I don't think ebooks will really work out for people who don't like computers so much they're unwilling to learn how to buy them.
Actually, my mother and my aunt both have Kindles, but neither one of them have or use computers at all. Their Kindles are tied to my account, and they load books via the 3g connection on their Kindles. I could see this working very well for people who want an e-reader, but don't want to fuss with a computer at all.

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Old 10-23-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
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Yeah, but that requires that someone was willing to use a computer (I'm assuming you buy the books for them?). It's not a problem if you have someone else willing to do it for you, whether it's a friend/relative or some kind of service.

I had forgotten about the 3G on the Kindle. Seems that would solve the issue for people without home internet connections.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:20 PM   #14
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No, I don't see it.
We have spent a generation getting AWAY from having to go out and buy and store individual pieces of media of all kinds, there is no reason to go back to it.
The small target market you describe, as mentioned above, most likely does not exist, as they already have and are happy with paper books. If the market exists at all it would be far to small to get any economy of scale for either the reader or more importantly the content.

There are children's toys that use custom one-book-per-cartridge media. They are expensive and nothing to write home about.

An integrated book store over free wireless, like a 3G Kindle, is the easiest solution for the people you describe who want ebooks...as Amazon and B&N have already proven over the last few years.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:19 PM   #15
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Yeah, but that requires that someone was willing to use a computer (I'm assuming you buy the books for them?). It's not a problem if you have someone else willing to do it for you, whether it's a friend/relative or some kind of service.

I had forgotten about the 3G on the Kindle. Seems that would solve the issue for people without home internet connections.
My mother and my aunt buy books themselves through the Kindle--they do use me to add the gift cards to the account, but that's it. If they could go somewhere and buy "books" for their Kindles in a physical store, they would like that even better.

Shari
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