The New York Times recently profiled the Readius, a foldable reader that uses e-ink and wireless communication so you can read books, magazines, and emails on a 5″ diagonal screen, from a device about the size of a cell phone when folded.

It begins its life in Europe, and is scheduled to appear in the US in early 2009.

This is apparently just the beginning of a flurry of devices with flexible screens, wireless integration, and even richer displays.

Let the games begin!

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


6 Thoughts on "The Foldable E-Book"

Most of the manufactures I have spoken with point toward the tablet or small foot-print notebooks as the birth. With a few years of production under their belt the “hinge” or twist screen has taken on new directions.

They were hesitant in the beginning to create something so product centric. Especially when the US market had such a tough time adjusting to E-book format and digital downloads.

The additional devices follows the lead cell phones have created – multi-use unit. Having a larger screen on a small device was the first feedback issue they targeted.

I do not understand the appeal of the flexible screen in the context of reading. Maps — maybe. But not as applied to a book.

Flexible screen is a good idea in light of portability… It might make it possible for people to carry larger screen ebook devices with smaller footprint than ever.

I am really looking forward to this. I already have first and second generation Sony ebook readers, and they really do change the way people read. Now if only the publishing interests can decide on some ubiquitous format without ridiculous limitations…

I don’t understand the appeal of the e-book premise at all. I love books – i love the cover art, the feel of the pages – in other words its very nature.

I don’t see people who love books actually getting in to this.

i love books, and i would actually get into this. i had a back spasm a few weeks ago carrying infinite jest in my bag. it would be nice to read huge novels *comfortably* during my commute. also on my reading list: atlas shrugged, dark sun, jonathan strange & mr. norrell. i’d like to have an extensive dictionary, with on-board searchability, should i spontaneously wonder about the history of a word. i love printed books enough to hate how trashed they get knocking around in my bag. if i were a college student, i’d love to have my science textbooks with me all at one time, and highlightable/annotatable. as much as i love printed books, i have to say that i did not have that precise love affair with my college biology text.

i will never willingly give up print entirely. but e-ink readers are getting pretty great. i like that folding readers are being developed — for the same reason that i like books bound in boards. to protect the unit’s tender entrails.

once e-ink readers exist in color, come down in price, and — huge ‘if’ here — *i* get ‘right of first sale’ on the books i purchase and load, i will want one. (but not before.)

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