Tonight I got home from one of the most exciting events I’ve covered in my stint as a book blogger: National Book Store’s Kobo launch.
Yes, that’s right, one of the world’s biggest players in e-reading, Kobo, has teamed up with the brick and mortar National Book Store for a digital reading ecosystem in the Philippines.
Three Kobo devices: the award-winning Kobo Touch, the Kobo Glo, and the Kobo Touch will be exclusively available at selected National Book Store branches, Powerbooks stores, and via nationalbookstore.com starting Sept. 20. Simultaneous with the devices, a Philippine website will also go live on Sept. 20, giving readers access to both local and international titles in Kobo’s eBookStore.
At tonight’s event, the two companies announced their partnership to members of the press.
“Kobo looks for the #1 book seller in every market, and we find a way to partner with that book seller. It really goes three ways: between us [companies], between us and the customers, and maintaining the relationship between the bookstore and its customers across several generations,” states Todd Humphrey, EVP of Business Development, Kobo. “We are committed to delivering a world-class eReading experience to the Filipino market, and look forward to working with National Book Store as we help people read more – any time, any place, and on any device.”
“This partnership with Kobo marks a new era in reading. We are still National Book Store, we are still selling print books in our 150+ stores, we are still printing and publishing our own books, but now we can offer them in a new format, ebooks, ” states Xandra Ramos-Padilla, Purchasing Director of National Book Store. “Kobo’s world class digital experience will certainly provide a new way for Filipino students and book lovers to enjoy books, magazines and newspapers.”
Here’s the lowdown on the Kobo readers that will be available at National Book Store (info from the press kit):
Kobo Touch – P4599. Kobo Touch delivers a superb reading experience, whether you’re reading the latest eBook or your favorite magazine. That’s because Kobo Touch is fully equipped with a no-glare 6″ Pearl E Ink touchscreen for a print-on-paper reading experience. Because E Ink is actually tiny particles of ink that are mixed in with each pixel on the screen, every word appears sharp and crisp just like a paper book.
Kobo Glo – P6599. Kobo Glo’s revolutionary Comfort Light illuminates the screen with a soft, adjustable glow so you can read any eBook any time of day under the perfect light. Whether you’re a bedtime reader tucked in under cozy covers while your partner sleeps, or sneaking a late-night read in your most comfortable chair, Kobo Glo illuminates the story you’re reading, not the room, so you can enjoy an incredible reading experience even in the middle of the night.
Kobo Glo’s revolutionary Comfort Light illuminates the screen with a soft, adjustable glow so you can read any eBook any time of day under the perfect light. Whether you’re a bedtime reader tucked in under cozy covers while your partner sleeps, or sneaking a late-night read in your most comfortable chair, Kobo Glo illuminates the story you’re reading, not the room, so you can enjoy an incredible reading experience even in the middle of the night.
Kobo Arc – P9149. Every time you read, listen, or watch, Kobo Arc learns what you like and delivers more for you to love. Kobo Arc will help find new music, movies, and articles connected to the media you’ve already pinned to your Tapestries. Tapestries (Kobo Arc’s exclusive new interface) eliminates all of that and makes discovering new content and media a breeze. Because Kobo Arc truly gets to know you – the real you and not just your purchase history – Tapestries can recommend new content that you’ll actually find interesting.
The Kobo readers will be available in selected National Book Stores and Powerbooks branches starting Sept. 20. The devices will be showcased at the NBS booth at the Manila International Book Fair this week, and pre-orders for the Sept. 20 release will be accepted, both at the MIBF and at the store branches.
And, because I’ve spent a good couple of hours getting to know her (stuck in traffic getting home), meet Arya:
Let me play with it some more, and I’ll have a review for you guys post-Book Fair.
Meanwhile, stay tuned for my Day 1 updates at the MIBF
tomorrow in a few hours. See you at the Book Fair!