I was over at Teleread this morning skimming the various stories for some relevant news when I cam across an article on Readings books. For those of you who don't know Readings is perhaps Australia's largest independent book store -though they are geographically limited to the state of Victoria.
Readings is apparently beta testing a cloud computing model of eBook/digital format provision developed by a company called Book.sh.
So what? You ask.
The idea behind this technology is that when you purchase an eBook through this technology, you don't actually get to download the file, you get access to it. It's out in the computing cloud, safe unless the earth is hit with a huge EM pulse presumably.
On the one hand it sounds great. It's an always available book that you can access from a number of locations and devices, no worrying about backups of your files.
Being an Australian company you'd think that Readings might have thought of this(maybe they have) but outside of certain areas in major cities wireless internet connection is patchy, even in the city there are black spots. Move out to regional and rural areas and it's worse; for example my wireless internet connection only works in very specific places in the house(and I am lucky, my ISP is flabbergasted that I actually get reception).
So if myself and others in my predicament want to read via this system we have to ensure that we are able to be connected to the internet(I assume it would cache some of the file), and are limited to reading in those areas that we can get a signal. To me it sounds daft especially considering the state of internet infrastructure in Australia and the problem associated with wireless reception.
Booki.sh launches Australian ebook store where you can’t download your purchases | TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics