I’m an avid follower of portable eReading developments, with umpteen Google Alerts set up for just about every product and keyword. These days, my incoming email tends to be about 10 percent legitimate stuff, about 40 percent spam (with a curious glut of ads for discount vacations for the French – “We’re from France.”), and 50 percent alerts about eReaders.
Earlier this month I noticed an alert about a Kiev-based device manufacturer called Pocketbook International (http://www.pocketbook-usa.com/) that had just announced five new models of eReading devices at the IFA Exhibition in Berlin (http://www1.messe-berlin.de/vip8_1/website/Internet/Internet/www.ifa-berlin/englisch/index.html). The devices seem to be very open and flexible, with little or nothing proprietary about them.
Pocketbook was founded in 2007 by Igor Popov, its CEO and resident genius. Their devices are selling well in Eastern Europe, and they’re moving into Western Europe, North America, and other regions. The thing that caught my attention in the product announcement was the mention that Pocketbook’s North American base camp is in Overland Park, Kansas, just a few miles from the eastern slope of Monkey Mountain, Missouri, where I live and work.
So, I called the Overland Park office and spoke with Regina Sergiyenko, the regional director. She coordinates all activities in North America. We agreed to meet earlier this week for an audio interview. Here’s a link to our conversation about Pocketbook, eReaders, and libraries (20.6 MB audio file; runtime 22:30).