Shopping for the Holidays?

Book CoverWant to make sure that your friendly neighborhood video game playing young’un reads some classics? Check out ebook classics for the Nintendo DS.

Nintendo has partnered with HarperCollins to create an impressive collection of ebook classics:

[Over] 100 titles – from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Gulliver’s Travels, Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities and Treasure Island – …will be available in a single software package for the Nintendo DS costing around £20.

The device, said Nintendo, can be held horizontally, “just like a book”, with pages turned using a stylus. Additional features include an electronic bookmark, adjustable text sizes, and a “story synopsis mode” which details the story and themes of each title “without giving away any of twists and turns of the plot”.

I can’t imagine reading from a device that small would be attractive or even comfortable, but bundling video games with books seems like a relatively facile add-on that provides yet another form of entertainment in convenient pocket size.

[Thanks to Rebecca for the link.]

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The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1

    It’s not in my opinion. My younger sisters both have a Nintendo DS Light and trying to do the “read aloud/along” on Brain Age just sucks. The screens are too small. There’s not nearly enough space/words on a screen and the edging around the screens that becomes the spines when held like a book are too fat for easy left to right reading.

    The idea would be sound if the device were designed differently imho.

  2. 2
    Asperity says:

    I’d be interested in that if I hadn’t gotten a Sony Reader recently.  I used the Nintendo DS web browser to read pretty regularly for the last two years—it was great for reading fan fiction on the go. The price was right, too—I already had the DS for games, and $30 for the web browser (back when it was newly released) was much less expensive than a new phone or PDA or whatever. There are also some homebrew ways to read ebooks on the DS, but I’ve never gotten around to trying any of that stuff.

  3. 3
    HaloKun says:

    The problem is the books will be in their entirety on that small screen.  Although the text sizes are adjustable I don’t think it will be enough to hold the ADD gamers’ interest.  But, (I know I’m gonna get flack for this) if you condensed the books..  Like those “Toliet Readers” of whatever they’re called, I think you might be able to spark interest in the reader and maybe get them to want to read the whole version.  Then perhaps they would buy the book in paper format.

    I think paper and electronic book formats can co-exist we just have to appreciate each of their limitations and uses.

  4. 4
    Thistle says:

    The screens are no smaller than those on a BlackBerry, Treo, or similar, or for that matter a small portable media player (Cowon D2, iPod Nano). The kicker, for me, is that I’m happy reading electronic texts on my Treo (via Plucker), and have no incentive to switch my reading habits over to my DS Lite.

    I love me some codices, too, but I’ve read novel-length texts (is Anthony Trollope long enough?) on my Treo….

  5. 5
    Sandra Rosa says:

    the NDS really isn’t that bad, it was my first ebook reader, there’s some very good homebrew software proper for reading available for it.
    And with the new model NDSi coming out the screens will be bigger…

  6. 6
    Alley says:

    I use homebrew software on my DS to read books alllll the time (just finished Wuthering Heights, actually).  Once you adjust the font size and type to something comfortable and legible, it’s really not that bad.  I’ve got a ton of books I downloaded from Project Gutenberg on there and just read them in bits and pieces at a time.

  7. 7
    C.M. says:

    Oh, wow! Strange coincidence; I was just staying up too late figuring out how to put my free e-books (thanks SBs) onto my DS because I had no time to read them at home. It took a while, but I converted the pdfs to images using PDFill, then converted those picture folders into Comic Book DS’s format using Comic Book Ds’s Picto DS.

    Whew.

    I just test drived using Comic Book DS, and—while nothing can replace a book—it seemed ok with its zooming capacities, using both DS screens for one page was possible using the top right corner icon on it. I reckon playing around with settings might yield other results.

    If you don’t get the hint from the url links, all of them are free:
    PDFill: http://www.pdfill.com/pdf_tools_free.html
    Comic Book DS: http://cbds.free.fr/Softwares/ComicBookDS/?language=en
    Picto DS: http://cbds.free.fr/Softwares/PictoDS/?language=en

    The only trouble is if you don’t have a micro SD card and the corresponding adapter (I use an M3) already; which means buying those!

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