Just got an email from the team behindBooki.sh – a new in-browser HTML5 ebook-reading platform.
They’re out of Melbourne – Come on, Aussies! – and they’ve used open-source HTML5 Monocle software to create a nice way to read ebooks in you browser – any browser – and/or on your phone.
Is it a platform or a bookstore, or both? “A little bit of both,” says Joseph Pearson, the software guru behind the project. “Booki.sh is a platform that will power the ebook stores for a number of independent booksellers. Since it doesn’t require a particular device and doesn’t lock users to a particular vendor, it’s a great way for indies to give customers an enjoyable reading experience without adopting the strategy of ebook monoliths like Amazon, Kindle and Kobo.”
I’ve had a quick play with it and I’ve got to say, colour me super-impressed. IT JUST WORKS. FAST.
You’ve seen the swipe page turn experience in the Kindle app (and others) on your PC/iPad/phone? It’s like that. But faster, and there’s no app to download. You can try it out by browsing a few book on their site.
Small Aussie bookstore chain Readings will be trying it out too. “We’re preparing a pilot store with Readings Bookshops and a number of forward-thinking publishers at the moment,” says Pearson.
Nice. Indie publishers are doing it for themselves. There could be a song in that …
But back to Booki.sh. It works just as well on my iPhone 3GS – here’s a pic. In fact, in some ways it’s a better reading experience than the iPhone Kindle app. By all accounts, the Monocle software is very lean, and it shows in the experience. The speed only seems limited by your network. And the Booki.sh folk are even helping with that, with ebook auto-caching working seemlessly to reduce the download, um, load. Pearson says book look even better on the iPhone 4′s Retina display, but I’ll have to take his word for that.
And you know the best part of Booki.sh? It’s browser-based, YOU CAN NOW READ EPUB ON YOUR KINDLE! You remember that your Kindle has a browser, right.
So that breaks down the final wall in the ebook format wars. Kindle now does ePub. (Amazon should have done this on their own terms, but it had to happen. Maybe they wanted others to do the work. In any case, the work is done.)
As far as formatting goes, there are heaps of options, and it also supports the Zhook HTML5 format (hopefully that’ll take off).
Forget about eReading apps, folks. I can’t wait for HTML5 to roll out.