By Tom Collins
I just bought my first e-book specifically designed to be read in an e-book reader. Why? Because I didn't have to buy a stand-alone gizmo to read it! (I've bought other e-books and, for reasons that will be obvious momentarily, I like the O'Reilly model of selling a bundle of e-book formats that doesn't chain me to one gizmo or format.)
Yvonne was sitting in bed last night reading Trust Agents (food for another post) and tossed me a small flyer that Barnes & Noble sent along with the book, with the headline: "Free Barnes & Noble eReader." Having seen the price advertised for B&N's new "nook" entry in the gizmo wars, I was surprised and read on.
A few minutes later, I had downloaded the free PC version (you can get one for Mac, iPhone, or Blackberry, too). It came with several free "classic" books, but what strikes me as the "killer app" part of this app is the ability to use it on a full-featured, full powered, web-connected device: my laptop, in this case. Here's why.