Yeah, I picture the "free" ebook reader as actually a subsidized purchase -- "Buy this ebook reader for XX ($25-50) and get the equivalent amount of store credit towards purchases."
The simplified ereader fjtorres is speaking about is very much what I had in mind ... gotta wonder if maybe this would be a way for a different ebook vendor to get a leg up on Amazon, especially knowing that it could run Mobi, HTML, and plain text (or maybe RTF/Doc) easily...this might be a device Smashwords, Weightless, Baen, Robot Trading or some other smaller, non-DRM vendor could get behind.
The idea is to get ebook readers into as many hands as possible and to appeal to people who like to read but may not be particularly avid readers -- who might read 2-8 books a year or who, for whatever reason, have not taken the plunge.
I still read on my PC and have not bought a portable reader because honestly, $75+ for a device that is fragile and prone to being easily broken, as well as finicky and prone to breakdowns, is just not a worthwhile cost to me even though I am an avid reader who has thousands of physical books. I can see the benefits of an ereader, but the idea of spending that much money for something that I am basically expected to replace every 2-3 years seems silly.
However, I do have a 3" screen MP4 player and use Calibre to convert some ebooks to plain txt...and it's not that bad an experience. Not great, but certainly good enough. I can add bookmarks wherever I stop, the smallest text setting gets a decent amount of text on the screen and scrolls a whole page with each click...it's not too bad. I miss italics, though, since they are so often used to indicate emphasis and that subtlety often gets lost in plain text.
Last edited by BillSmithBooks; 05-04-2013 at 12:08 PM.