Open your eyes to Wink

With Wink, the ‘desi' version of the e-reader now easily available, book reading will not be the same again.

E-era is upon us. We talk, sorry, chat, buy things, see photos, share feelings, get cheated, work, read, listen to music, see movies, play games and learn online.

Our online lives are so much longer than our offline experiences, our outdoor lives have shrunk. Now, the trip to the bookstore or the library may also be deleted from our agenda of the day.

Store books

For here comes the e-reader, which has been around in the last decade, but not so accessible to us folks in this part of the globe. The size of a single page, the pages of the novel you want to read will keep appearing on the e-reader and if you are too busy to read, a voice, male or female, will even read it for you, while you finish the chores.The e-reader lets users store many books and read them on its screen. Well, the reading experience is similar to reading from paper, unlike the computer. There is no glare. Depending on storage capacity an e-reader typically stores 1,000 to 10,000 average sized books. Cost? Anywhere between Rs.7,000 and 15,000. And e-books cost 60-70 per cent of a paperback edition for new books and 20 to 30 per cent for old books.You can download them from, yes, e-stores. You will be spoilt for choice, as there are lots and lots of books and all in one store! Now this info is for good humoured e-dummies.

Close on the heels of Amazon's Kindle that warmed the palms of the more e-conscious amongst us comes Wink, closer home. Brought out by EC Media International (pvt) Ltd, (based in Bangalore), it is truly ‘desi' in that with Wink, you can read not only English books, but Indian language ones too, according to Pradeep Palazhi, its Malayali COO, who is a name to reckon with in the software scene inside and outside the country.

Malayalam books

There are 1,000 Malayalam titles available with Wink already, says Palazhi. The other Kerala connection is that it is promoted by Ravi DeeCee, chief executive of the DC Group.

Pi was the first e-reader in India, but it did not quite take off ‘as it is not part of an integrated ecosystem', says Palazhi. Wink was launched three months ago and it is available in Kerala. It's not only books that this e-reader has.Wink gives you a free tablet newspaper called WinkWire. It is the first of its kind in the world, according to its COO. Wink also doubles up as a music player, while you read. You can load your own music, MP3 or WAV formats into the reader. Coming up is an e-music store, www.thewinkstore.com from where you can buy music.

What is the life of an e-reader like?

“I would say a good three to four years. It is always good to upgrade. However, since the storage capabilities are good I don't see any reason to upgrade for at least two years,” remarks Palazhi.

And what does Wink stand for?

“WIN with K-nowledge or W-ithout INK,” Palazhi says. Wink is available in select DC Books stores and in Reliance TimeOut at Oberon mall. If you order online at www.thewinkstore.com it will be shipped to you.

Wink costs under Rs.12,000. Two new models of Wink is being launched in December, Wink XLite and Wink X3G. Xlite is a cheaper version selling at Rs.7,990 with a pre-booking offer of Rs. 6,999, according to Palazhi.

New age

Ogling at colourful children's books, feeling the pages, touching glossies, knowing full well that you may not be able to afford those coffee table books may soon become a thing of the past.

The joy that ‘Black Beauty' and Brer Rabbit brought or the out-of-the-world experience that Goldilocks or King Arthur and Friar Tuck presented on paper may not be there for posterity. However hard you press ‘Ctrl Z', the clock won't turn back. E-everything is here for good.

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