In previous posts, ebookreader has clued you in with the history of Pocketbook. As a reminder, they are the European company that produces quite good ebook readers, popular in Europe, but not so much in the United States. The e-reader producer doesn’t market its devices nearly enough in North America, and prices the e-readers really high, as opposed to the American companies that create heavy marketing campaigns for their products and don’t have to pay for overseas shipping. We concluded that Pocketbook was on its way out of the North American market, being unable to face the giants Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
The company embarked on a strong and courageous endeavor, designing quite attractive little devices that had high performance and even an ecosystem. Bookland, the Pocketbook eBook Store, was the best friend of Pocketbook e-reader users, providing them with a variety of titles, mostly open source books that could be downloaded for free.
The latest news about Bookland is that it’s suddenly closed, as Pocketbook decided to go another way, close the Bookland doors and start fresh with a new project. Users that had active downloads or purchases will have their orders transferred over to the new store.
It seems that Pocketbook reached the conclusion that Bookland only offered titles that were easily found on the internet, mostly open source books. The new project involves a new eBook store called Obreey, featuring a wider and more comprehensive selection of content, available for all Pocketbook users that own a Wi-Fi device.
The books on Obreey are mostly for sale, and the numbers surpass 50,000 already. When Pocketbook launched the new online store, they even added an extensive comic book and graphic novel collection and the books are now available in many different languages including English, Russian and German. On the other hand, the books don’t belong to known artists, as Pocketbook focuses more on indie authors and open source books, and prices them around $5.99. At one point, users could download open source books for free, but that has changed for now.
Further, the Obreey website is quite difficult to surf through, and users cannot check out new or popular ebooks as they don’t have any description other than their genre. Therefore, users basically have to just give books a shot in the dark, without being able to see comprehensive information or other people’s comments and rating.
In conclusion, we are not sure if Obreey is better than old Bookland, but for the moment, it doesn’t offer much to all you Pocketbook users out there. From a different point of view, it’s understandable that Pocketbook is doing its best to cut costs and survive on this harsh e-reader market that is extremely volatile as it is, what with the rise of the tablet. As many other e-reader companies on the international market, Pocketbook may be forced to let go at some point, but for now, it seems they’re determined to create a more attractive eBook store for their users and offer more appealing content, even though now they have to figure out some details on Obreey’s display and ebook information.