Tuesday, 8 September 2009

1000+ New Zealand classics released as ePub eBooks

Many of the texts in the NZETC Collection are now freely available as downloadable eBooks. To download the eBook version of a text look for the "ePub" logo in the right-hand sidebar.

These eBooks, made available using the major emerging ePub standard, represent many of the texts already accessable for online browsing on the NZETC website, and are suited to viewing on modern eBook devices such as the iPhone, Sony Reader, and IRex ILiad.

Major titles include:

* The Life of Captain James Cook, by J. C. Beaglehole
* The Garden Party and Other Stories, by Katherine Mansfield
* Coal Flat, by Bill Pearson
* The Godwits Fly, by Robin Hyde
* We Will Not Cease, by Archibald Baxter
* Infantry Brigadier, by Howard Karl Kippenberger
* Tutira, by William Guthrie Smith
* My Life, by Jean Batten

The ePub standard is an open standard supported by many major publishers and hardware vendors, with many of the major online bookstores making titles available for purchase in this format. Waterstones bookstore, one of the largest chains in the United Kingdon, offer more than 12,000 titles exclusively in the ePub format, while Sony has stated it's intention to sell only books in the ePub format by the end of this year. Moves such as this are seen as countering the early advantage gained by Amazon in the market for modern eBook readers with its Kindle, which relies on a proprietary non-ePub format.

The convenience of modern eBook readers means that users are able to carry large numbers of eBooks with them on pocket-sized devices, often supporting features which make the reading of electronic books more pleasurable than in the past. These features include long battery life (7,000+ page-turns), non-reflective screen for easy reading under all lighting, and wireless access for downloading eBooks.

Although New Zealand does not yet share the same choice of eBook device hardware as available overseas, devices sold locally such as the iPhone and iPod Touch make the reading of electronic books a simple and portable experience.

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