On a dark rainy late afternoon I made the foray to Third Place Books on 65th. Notably, the internet café Vios was jammed with folks wearing headphones and staring at laptops. At the book buyback counter a young woman was hoisting her preowned books onto the counter. And I found myself lulled into the world of print and TPB’s lovely handwritten notes on the shelves.
I finally asked the clerk at the register where the digital offerings were found. She pointed me to a small display off to the side of the register. I saw that there were samples of digital readers set up. I have to say they are not in a prominent position within the store.
I asked about name on the readers – Kobo. The woman explained that the independent bookstores use the readers/app for their titles. “The original version was released in May 2010 (July in the US) and was marketed as a minimalist alternative to the more expensive e-book readers available at the time” says the wikipedia entry about the readers. My mind flashed to my long abandoned first gen Nook (a gift). These looked very similar.
Later I researched the e-ink reader reviews and found one that summarized:
If you want a straightforward, simple experience and you have no interest in getting books from anywhere other than Amazon, the Kindle is a great device. If you want something that is a little more than an e-reader, and offers you flexibility over what you keep on your device, the Kobo Aura HD is by far the best in class.
I asked the same woman about Print on Demand. She said I would have to go the Lake Forest Park store. “Ask for Vladimir,” she said. Not wanting to head north, some quick research online revealed that Vladimir is most likely to be Vladimir Verano, who according to this article “holds the title of Lead Publisher of Third Place Press, the bookstore’s new publishing label.” I got a quick idea of the cost from thie article: $50 for setup and then 6 cents per page. I’m definitely a ways away from e-book publishing, and I think that with a multimedia blog format, express publishing might not be my area, but it’s good know that this option exists.