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Old 07-01-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
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Crell began at the beginning.
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Really open eBook reader?

Hi folks.

My mother recently indicated that she's considering being in the market for an ebook reader. However she is, bless her soul, firmly insistent on open format, DRM-free, and the ability to "really own" a book she's downloaded. She doesn't even want the potential for a Kindle-1984-type remote-wipe or an inability to move a book to another device later. (Yes, my mother has grown up to be a Free Software evangelist. I'm so proud of her. *sniff*)

Of course, she doesn't know the ebook market all that well, and frankly neither do I. She's considering the B&N Nook, but from what little I know it has the same lock-in problems as the Kindle.

So my question is, I suppose, two-fold:

1) Are there any ebook stores or services available for any device that don't treat customers are criminals waiting to happen, and use a DRM-free format without revocation ability? Are they bound to a given device, or are there any that work on an arbitrary Android device? A good ebook reader app (for a phone) or use of the open ePub format (for which I understand there are several readers available) is a plus here.

2) Given the above restrictions and format limitations, what's a good reader to consider? Android-based phones are on the table (but not iPhone; wrong carrier and same issues as Kindle) if they would work. Have people had good success with the larger form factor phones (3.7" screens and up) as ebook readers? I don't think her purse wouldhandle an iPad-sized device comfortably, but at the same time a 2.5" cell phone as an ebook reader is a non-starter as well. Any good/bad experiences here, or at least things to look for?

Help a freedom-loving lady out! :-)
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