Effective today, in partnership with Yahoo, Starbucks is starting a new in-store wi-fi network called the Starbucks Digital Network that will offer a mix of free and paid content, including e-books, the AP (via NPR) reported.
The network offers some books through the Bookish Reading Club, which is a partnership with publishers, including HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin and Simon & Schuster. Others will be added, Starbucks said.
According to TechFlash, "People can read the books--sometimes the entire text, sometimes an excerpt--in their browser via an HTML5 reader while on the network. One of the first offerings is a preview of Anita Shreve's upcoming novel, Rescue. People who want to buy the titles will be directed to Apple's iBooks store."
Another book feature on the network is New Word City, which, Starbucks said, offers short e-books on business management, leadership and travel. The material includes excerpts and full books, including original travel guides. The network features an exclusive excerpt from Seth Godin's new book, Graceful.
Besides publishers, partners for the network include iTunes, the New York Times, Patch, USA Today and Zagat. The network will also offer news, music and movies.
Some of the material is exclusive and can be accessed only in Starbucks stores, which is intended to draw customers to the retailer for more than coffee. Much of the material is "in smaller bits" that can be read or viewed in five to 20 minutes. Burke Culligan, v-p of product management at Yahoo, commented: "Users across the Internet are moving more into this 'snackable behavior' to begin with."
The network will be the first thing that shows up when customers connect to Starbucks' Internet. The company began offering free wi-fi in July.
For the first time, Barnes & Noble is offering a free two-month membership to first-time members in its membership program, which is 10 years old. The program costs $25 a year.
Membership benefits include discounts on books in-store, including 40% on hardcover bestsellers, 20% on adult hardcover and 10% on many non-book items including cafe offerings, as well as free express shipping in 1-3 business days on B&N.com.
Is a new version of B&N's Nook e-reader coming? CNET
noted that the original version of the device was launched October 20,
2009, and speculated about a media invitation to an event next Tuesday,
October 26, in New York: "We presume--but can't confirm--that this is
for the launch of a next-generation Nook e-reader.... Will it be more in
the same vein or will the company bring out something more cutting
edge, maybe even a color e-reader?"
Book trailer of the day: The Boombox Project: The Machines, the Music, and the Urban Underground by Lyle Owerko, foreword by Spike Lee (Abrams Image).
The Huffington Post
featured "Chicago's Best Used Book Stores" and observed: "Sometimes
strolling into a used bookstore can be a bit overwhelming. With books
piled from floor to ceiling, it can take awhile to find the perfect
pick--but that is part of the adventure."
"To get started just add books!" Boing Boing showcased the Little Librarian
playset, "the first personal library kit made just for kids.... Kids
can practice the important skills of organizing, sharing, borrowing, and
returning. Book pockets, check out cards, library cards, and bookmarks
are just like the ones from the real library. Little Librarians will
issue overdue notices and awards. Favorite books can be stored in the
reading journal and shared with friends."
"Look. There are only two truly great science fiction movies," wrote Damien Walter in the Guardian. "The first is Stanley Kubrick's 2001, written in collaboration with Arthur C. Clarke. The second is Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott and adapted from Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. You may disagree with this statement. You would be wrong. Let's move on."
Hungry? The New Yorker's Book Bench
blog served up a tempting menu of literary sandwiches, including the
"Lady Cheddarley's Lover: a controversial abundance of melted cheddar
and several unprintable ingredients" and the "Animal Farm: supposed to
include a variety of meats in equal parts; in practice, though, mostly