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Borders Selling $119 eReader, up to Nine Other Devices by End of Year



Borders is now taking pre-orders for the $119 “Libre” eBook Reader Pro and talking about its eBook strategy. The book retailer is planning to selling up to 10 devices, including the Libre, at its brick and mortar stores by the end of the year. A special section of each store dubbed “Area-e” will showcase the readers and the Borders eBook store.

The $119 Libre isn’t going to wow geeks with its specs. Instead, Borders is attempting to draw consumers who are unable to plunk down a wad of cash for a pricier device, such as the Kindle, which starts at $259. The Libre comes with a 5″ monochrome reflective LCD display, 256MB of memory and a 24-hour battery. Books must be loaded onto it via the Border’s desktop application.

Borders said it will deploy a “good, better, best” strategy, which means we should see some more impressive devices from the company in coming months. While it’d be great to have more people join the eReader fray, I don’t think a low-end device like the Libre is the best way to kick off its foray into selling eBooks. It may have been ok to launch an eBook store with a low-end device like the Libre a few years ago, but companies like Amazon, Sony and Apple have developed slick devices that can be used to consume eBooks since then. Borders would have been better off releasing the Libre along with its ‘better’ and ‘best’  brethren.

On the other hand, the Libre’s price tag may push enough people to buy the device on impulse for Borders to at least get a foothold in the competitive eReader market.

Borders will begin shipping the Libre eBook Reader Pro on July 2.



  1. Feralboy

    06/01/2010 at 9:29 pm

    Personally I think a $99 eBook is the holy grail…if this drops to that price by xmas, look out!

  2. Tamas

    06/02/2010 at 1:43 am

    I think I disagree. Coming out with a device with a really low price tag will poush consumers to try ebook readers, even if they didn’t consider spending $200-300 before…

    This device seems to be a simple device to read ebooks. Some might need just that…

  3. Sam

    06/02/2010 at 7:23 pm

    Still too expensive I think, for an impulse purchase at a bookstore for someone who knows nothing about ebook readers; and too limited for those who have some knowledge of ebook readers. They ought to try to get the price of a usful entry-level unit down to say $25.

  4. Mike

    06/02/2010 at 8:57 pm

    $100 is a great price point…. for an actual reader utilizing e-ink or similar.

    $100 for a 5″ piece of crap-tasticness with a reflective lcd is a pure rip-off.
    It will just drive people who do not know better from the idea of e-readers altogether.
    I am glad, if borders is planning this, that kindle and such will be out in retail locations too – so people don’t think all e-readers they keep hearing about on the news are like this little horror-show of a device.

  5. A.J.

    06/03/2010 at 12:14 am

    waitaminute… that device is actually the Jetbook eReader, from Ectaco.
    Good choice – the Jetbook was/is probably the best eReader nobody ever heard of.

  6. John Ruschmeyer

    06/03/2010 at 11:18 am

    I have to say that Borders is taking an interesting approach. Instead of trying to create a complete ecosystem like Amazon or BN, it has partnered with Kobo and is selling a range of third-party readers, all of which are ADE-compatible.

    It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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