Digital bookworms who are fans of Google’s eBook service will be pleased to know that the iriver Story HD, the first e-reader to be integrated with Google eBooks, will soon be available.
The device is scheduled to hit both Target’s brick-and-morter stores as well as Target’s Web site on July 17 and will retail for $139.99, Google has anounced. The Story HD will feature a full QWERTY keyboard and a high-resolution E-ink screen, perfect for getting some reading done on the beach this summer while still being able to actually see the screen.
And if you’re looking for something to read, you’ll have full acces to Google’s large library of titles. Google claims hundreds of thousands of titles available for purchase, as well as over 3 million free books. (The free books are largely titles that have fallen into the public domain. A lot of them are actually real classics.) And you don’t have to download them to your computer and then transfer them to your device. The Story HD is equipped with Wi-Fi, so you can read and purchase books anywhere you can get a signal. And if you’re in the U.S., that’s a lot of places, whether officially provided by coffee shops or fast-food restaurants, or just some access point you’re “borrowing.”
I happen to enjoy the feel and convenience of printed books, even though I’m a technophile. But the E-Ink display and integration with Google Books still makes this a nice device. The styling is similar to Amazon’s Kindle, and even matches the device’s price point. Perhaps this shows that imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery. E-reader devices being sold in discount chains like Target show how they’re becoming mainstream devices rather than some a curiosities for early adopters.