Wednesday, October 31, 2012

e-books and the Middle East

There are various e-books readers.  I like the Sony reader although you can't download it on Iphone or android (but can be read on Experia tablets) and Kindle (especially that the latter can be downloaded on any phone or tablets).  For Arabic, the e-books are just lousy.  There is one reader called Noon and it is a piece of garbage.  You buy books and they don't open and the reader itself on any system crashes per minute.   But to my delight this week, I have downloaded the Nook (the Barnes and Nobles reader).  What is great about it is that: 1) it has the largest collection of free books.  For example, some of the most scholarly books of late 19th century and early 20th century are available for free.  They must be free because they are not in demand although they are my favorite.  You will find the classic travel books on the Middle East in French, German, and English and for free (even rare ones like Volney).  They also seem to have an arrangement with the University of Toronto library which has made a whole collection (in multiple languages) digitally available.  The major philosophical works are often available for free presumably because the public is busy spending tons of money on the latest books by Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter.