In the never-ending cycle of trying to keep up with all the news about e-readers and e-books, I bring you these tidbits.
1. Amazon is going to start allowing users to lend e-books. There are some rather stringent parameters, to be sure, but still this is a new concept for Amazon. It wasn't that long ago when the company's Jeff Bezos was reportedly talking down B and N's lending capabilities on their Nook. Now, apparently, Amazon feels the need to keep pace. So--starting later this year, Amazon users will be allowed to lend a certain e-book once for a period of 14 days. And while that book is being lent, it cannot be read by its buyer/lender. (Just as a paperback version couldn't be in your hands if you lent it to a friend.) Sharing will work for Kindles as well as users of Kindle apps for the iPhone, iPad, etc.
Not all of Amazon's 720,000 e-books will be lendable. That privilege will be up to publishers or other rights holders to grant.
2. B and N has announced it's launching a digital collection of over 12,000 books under the new name Nook Kids. This will include picture books and novels aimed at children age 8 to 12. In addition, B and N has procured agreements with over 15 children's book publishers to create enhanced digital editions of some titles. How good will picture books look on a black and white screen, you ask? See #3.
3. B and N just unveiled its new Nook Color. The touch screen of this new device is 7 inches--larger than its original Nook. The color LCD does cut battery life to 8 hours, and the device doesn't have 3G. But hey, it's a step. Nook Color goes on sale November 19 for $249.