More on eBooks: Peanut Press

I get the impression that eBooks are one of the more popular
applications on the Pocket PC. Of course, reading from a small screen may
never be as friendly as the printed page, but it's so incredibly
convenient to have a small library with you for all those times when
you're stuck waiting or are commuting. Right now I'm using these bits of
time to read the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

Thousands of eBooks are freely available for downloading. Check out our
Best Sites page for links. However, more
and more people are becoming interested in contemporary eBooks. Right now
perhaps the main source of these is Peanut
Press
.

Unlike the freebies, which use Microsoft Reader, Peanut Press has its
own reader that works with a variety of PDAs, including the Pocket PC.
This reader is free, and books that are formatted for it won't work with
Microsoft Reader.

Peanut Press says that it is the first electronic book publisher to
offer contemporary fiction and nonfiction books and magazines. You can buy
current editions of books from major publishers such as St. Martin's and
Simon and Schuster.

These books don't come cheap. For example, Into Thin Air, by
John Krakauer, costs $10.39 to download. And judging by the discussion on
the Pocket PC newsgroup, people are eager to pay the price to get quality
contemporary books. When I visited the Peanut Press site, an Oprah Book
Club Selection was being featured in the fiction category: House of
Sand and Fog
by Andre Dubus for $17.45.

If you'd like to try out Peanut Press but don't want to spend a chunk
of money to do so, they offer a Free Books section.

Peanut Press has a clear jump on the biggies, Amazon
and Barnes
& Noble
, for the simple reason that the latter two use a type of
encryption not yet compatible with Microsoft Reader on the Pocket PC. Not
a few people have purchased books, only to find that they couldn't read
them on their Pocket PC.

That is expected to change very soon, when Microsoft releases a version
of the Reader compatible with DRM 5 encryption. At that point, your
choices will explode. And I'll be here to let you know.

Peanut Press offers books in a range of categories, including
action/adventure, biography/memoir, business & technology, classics,
entertainment, espionage & thrillers, family & parenting, fantasy,
history, humor, investing, sports, and more.

As the eBook industry continues to develop, we'll keep you posted. Look
for a review in the near future of TomeRaider, which is yet another reader
that works on a variety of platforms and gives you access to all the books
that have been created for Palm.

If you're interested in science fiction and fantasy, check out Baen.Com.
Their offerings include a free library that you can read online or
download.

If you have updates regarding the eBook industry, let me know at jim_karpen [at] pocketpcmag [dot] com.

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