eReading in the UK: big new National Literacy Trust survey

New research from the UK’s National Literacy Trust. They surveyed 34,910 young people aged eight to 16, and found…

* 39% of young people read daily using electronic devices including tablets and eReaders.

* Nearly all young people have access to a computer at home, and 4 out of 10 now own a tablet or a smartphone.

* 3 in 10 young people do not have a desk of their own.

* Screen reading is not always pleasant for long-form reading. Those who read only on-screen are three times less likely to “enjoy reading very much”.


EU court gives “second hand” resale rights for digital downloads

Some important news for ebooks from European Court of Justice

“The ECJ said that software owners exhaust their rights to control the sale of their copyrighted products when they first sell them within the EU, regardless of whether the sale concerns a physical product or one downloaded from the internet.”

This means that…

“Users of digitally downloaded software can sell it on secondhand, providing they deactivate or delete the original copy from their hard drive, the European Court of Justice has ruled.”

Since an ebook is software, these can also presumably be resold. Amazon authors who ticked “use DRM” when you uploaded a Kindle book will probably not have to worry about this, Because “cracking” the book in order to resell it would be illegal. If the book is out in the open, though, it looks like your EU buyers can now legally put it on a memory card and resell it. One time only. This may have implications for the more expensive types of books such as textbooks, perhaps especially in relation to medical and engineering students who sell off their textbooks at the end of the academic year. Users would not have to crack the DRM on these, they would just legally sell the entire device they used to read them, complete with their entire collection of texts.

How to reboot your frozen Kindle 3

Today I had a frozen Kindle, for the first time since it arrived. The device’s charge was half full, but nothing would wake it from sleep mode. One of the screensavers was frozen on the e-ink screen. Anyway, here’s the secret sauce for restarting it:

1. Find a good watch or clock, that has a seconds hand.

2. Take your Kindle to the clock or watch. At the exact point when the seconds hand clicks to “noon” on the dial, press the power switch on the Kindle.

3. Hold the power switch to the right for exactly 15 seconds, then release it at the exact moment that the seconds hand ticks to 15 seconds past the noon position.

4. The Kindle will remain dead for a few seconds more. Then it will come to life and start rebooting.

5. You will see a “progress bar” on the screen, as the device reboots. When this finishes you can then use the Kindle normally. You may want to then apply a firmware upgrade, since the Kindle is presumably rebooting using a stored on-device operating system — one that’s older than the OS currently available from Amazon.