Category Archives: Books and Reading

The ebook Reader: what’s new?

You’re going on a two-week holiday near the lake. You’re flying to Watertown for a three day business trip. You’re going to the park with the kids for the entire afternoon and are loaded down with their stuff. You’ll go out of your mind if you don’t have books, but you don’t have the room or they’re too heavy to carry.

No need to fret. All you have to do is buy ebooks and download them in you handy-dandy ebook reader. An ebook reader, as a rule, can contain hundreds of books, and they weigh only a fraction of a paperback.

Nowadays you can read ebooks on a variety of multi-purpose devices like the iPhone, the Mobile Pocket PC, Treo, or Smartphone. The sharpness of the image compensates adequately for the size of the screen. (BTW, all of Zumaya Publications books can be read on these devices).

There are also dedicated readers, such as the Sony Reader or the Kindle (http://www.ebookweek.com/ebook_gallery.html#8). Most of these readers use electronic ink, or e-ink, which basically uses very small charged particles sandwiched between two films. A current passing through changes them from white, black or grey, providing an image as sharp as high-end printed paper. Once charged, they don’t require power until you “turn the page,” so battery life is extended considerably. These readers are relatively expensive at the outset, but if you’re an avid reader, you’ll eventually save since eBooks are a lot cheaper than print books-and they take considerably less space on your shelf!

As I mentioned above, the two best known readers are the Sony Reader and the Kindle. The latter was lauded by Oprah, which resulted in a phenomenal amount of sales: the original Kindle sold well over a million units (it was sold out in the first week). They are now selling an estimated 48,000 units a month. Between 2006 and 2008, Sony reported it sold over 300,000 readers.

Clearly, eBook readers are no passing fad. While they’re not for everyone or every wallet, they serve a useful function for those who lack space, who travel, who read everywhere. And while eBooks may never replace print, they’re definitely here to stay.

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Serialized books at Zumaya Publications: R. J. Leahy’s Tigra

Sign in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Zumaya Publications for a serial presentation of R.J. Leahy’s bestselling, award-nominated SF novel TIGRA. This is the first in a regular schedule of serializations of both their best-selling backlist books and some of their planned new releases for this year.

Zumaya selected TIGRA as their first offering because the sequel, THE OBSIDIAN SEED, is scheduled for releaseJanuary 2009.

In the desert wastes of Ararat, Jeena Garza stumbles on the greatest secret in the universe. Marooned after escaping a hellish prison, Jeena–soldier, pilot, genetic experiment–wants only to rest and to heal, to forget and be forgotten.

But on Ararat she will be forced to fight yet again. To save a lost and dying race, she will set into motion events destined to change the galaxy forever.

Join Zumaya in the farthest reaches of space, where mankind confronts for the first time the realization we are not alone.

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Currently Reading…

Divisadero

by Michael Oondatje

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1 edition (April 17 2007)
ISBN-10: 0771068727
ISBN-13: 978-0771068720

This book is not for the faint of hearts, nor for those who like a straightforward story that has a clear beginning and ending. Divisadero, which is the street on which one of the characters lives, although we never see her there, also means “divider” and is one of the most apt titles I’ve encountered. It deals with divided lives, divided psyches, divided cultures. In its structure, the book is also divided into two apparently unrelated parts. One story is suspended while another begins, in appearance unrelated except for the sense of loss and the yearning for love and family.

What is most engaging about Oondatje’s novel is the sheer beauty of his words, more poetry than prose in their lyrical quality. The reader is transported into this half world where words take main stage to the story itself. Every word, expression, phrase is multi layered and rich and worth savouring.

The story, however, can be confusing and puzzling because of its lack of structure. As one section of the book ends, the story is left in mid-air and while the other starts, one hopes there will be some kind of tie-in, some kind of resolution to these people’s problems. But there isn’t, just as in life there often is not. People remain strangers, ostracized or in self-exile. In the end, Michael Oondatje offers two slices of life that makes the reader an observer rather than a participant. But while we sit there and watch, we are surrounded by the beauty of his words.

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‘Tis the season…

A word from my publisher:

TIS THE SEASON! And with books being one of the greatest gift ideas anywhere, anytime, there’s plenty of reason to be jolly.

Books, compared to other forms of entertainment, are relatively inexpensive. They last a long time, and you can enjoy them more than once. You can trade them for other books, or share them with friends. Most important, they take you to places you might never have been before, where you’ll meet fascinating people and enjoy fabulous adventures on this world and others far more economically than a Prius.

We’re delighted you’ve stopped by Novel Ideas from Zumaya. We’re celebrating, despite the state of the economy, and you’re invited to join us. For the next three weeks, beginning Friday, November 21, our best-selling books will be on sale for 30% off, and shipping is absolutely free in the US. Want to ship overseas? Drop us a line at our customer service address and we’ll see what we can arrange.

Don’t see anything appealing? Stop back next week and see what new titles are listed.

We Zumayans believe we have some of the finest reading material available anywhere. We hope you’ll agree–and come back again if you don’t see anything that appeals this visit.

My own Synergy is up there for now so go right now and buy it for someone you love, or for yourself. And if you don’t fancy an SF Thriller there are plenty of good books to be had at 30% off.

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When you can’t afford paper books…

…but you have to own them, ebooks has always been the solution for me. Libraries are great, and so are used bookstores, but sometimes I want brand-new. Thing is, I can’t afford them. Well, I can afford a few, but for the same amount of money I can buy several ebooks instead of one hardcover.

Fictionwise has a cute marketing gimmick right now, using last week’s market crash:

eBook Bailout Plan Saves the World??

Last week the stock markets had tanked 20% and the world was spiraling down into certain depression. Not content to leave the fate of the planet in the politician’s hands, last Thursday Fictionwise launched our eBook Bailout Plan: 50% Micropay Rebates on every single title in our store when paying by credit or PayPal. And guess what? On Monday the Dow Jones Average spiked 936 points, the largest gain in history, and world markets responded in kind!

Coincidence? That is for history to judge. To be on the safe side, we have extended our eBook Bailout Plan only through Thursday, October 16, or until we give away $700 billion in rebates, whichever comes first. So don’t wait! We’ve done our part: come load up your shopping cart and buy today!

So if you’ve never tried reading an ebook, now’s the time to try one. You don’t have to read an ebook on your computer, you know. You can read them on your Blackberry, your Palm Pilot/Phone, your iPhone, and any semi-dedicated reader that uses a wonderful new technology, eink.

And while you’re curious and decide to try it, I’ll be crass and recommend one of my books. You can find them all at Fictionwise.com and eReader.com.

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