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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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Yes, Harry Potter Is Coming To The Kindle

In recent blogs and reports, a rumor has sprung up that the Harry Potter series being sold through the author’s soon to be opened ‘Pottermore” site will not include direct Kindle compatibility.  As should probably be fairly obvious, this is quite definitely not true.  The popularity of the rumor was such that Amazon even came forward and announced that the popular children’s books will find their way over.

The origin of the whole ruckus seems to have been an article about the Pottermore site teaming up with Google Books.  Probably just a matter of hopeful thinking on Google fans, I would imagine.  The post mentions efforts being made to integrate Pottermore and Google Books, including an agreement wherein Google Checkout is the preferred third party payment platform for the new site.  The phrasing is very positive for Google, which is to be expected on the official Google Books blog.  The only definite claims we have, however, are that there will be sufficient integration to allow buyers to push their new Harry Potter books out into your Google Books “library in the cloud” and that Google Checkout will be available.  No exclusivity is implied, whether it be in terms of eBook platform, payment platform, or anything else.

One of the more interesting spinoffs from that somewhat overblown topic is the idea that the Harry Potter series will in some way be used to force Amazon into adding EPUB compatibility for the Kindle line.  While there has been no official word on this, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there’s not a chance it will happen.  For one, Rowling is maintaining complete control over her products and has not, to the best of my knowledge, ever expressed a strong inclination to advocate for her favorite file format.  Why would she?  Also, it would make little sense to alienate Amazon in any way give that they currently have the largest customer base in the eReading world.  Given that the Kindle can already read DRM-free MobiPocket eBooks, there is no reason that I can think of for the Pottermore site to try to force the EPUB issue.  What business would want to lose money by failing to spend a minute or less converting a file from one format to another?

When October rolls around, I would anticipate that it will be as easy for a Kindle user to get their new Harry Potter stuff as it will be for anybody else, even if Amazon is being fairly quiet about their integration efforts right now.  The new eBooks should be available in every format still used today, and quite possibly some truly obsolete ones.  Since there will be no DRM included in the files, even if your favorite is not represented there are always programs like Calibre.  Let’s face it, though, unless you are still using the Sony BBeB out of personal preference or something, there is little chance of being overlooked.  The Pottermore site will be taking care of the fans.

A Case For Kindle Waterproofing

The demand for a Kindle Case that can stand up to the elements tends to be situational at best.  Sure, you want to be able to pull out that option should you be backpacking with your Kindle or taking it to the beach, but in general it really isn’t worth the extra bulk, weight, or ridiculous appearance that go along with the current waterproof options just to use them on a daily basis. Basically, right now for the sake of comfort we are forced to accept things that offer minimal protection in order to avoid ruining the reading experience.  The preferred option would, of course, be an unintrusive but completely safe case.  Lacking that, as we do at the moment, it can be useful to know where the most effective options are.

As far as casual use, the best compromise I’ve found for when you want something to use all the time that will also save you from spilled drinks and short unexpected rainfall is the M-Edge Leisure Jacket.  It is fairly affordable for a Kindle case at $34.99 but also provides a good amount of protection and doesn’t look ridiculous when you carry it around with you.  It isn’t perfect, by any means.  I would strongly recommend against dropping your Kindle in a bathtub with this one, and the screen protection results in a fair amount of glare.  If moisture is a minor concern, however, it is effective.

A more durable and heavily protected option is the new KlearKase for Kindle 3. Again, it is not going to provide much protection if you decide to store your Kindle in the swimming pool.  It does a lot more than the M-Edge option, though.  Their product video depicts some fairly impressive splash protection in unusual boating conditions, for example.  You also get ready access to all Kindle buttons and functions, unlike any other reliable waterproof case I’ve found so far.  It doesn’t look nice enough that I would want to carry this around constantly, but it’s some of the best functional protection you’re likely to find.  $49.99 is a bit much for a case, but if you need it then it is probably worth the investment.

The budget option, for those who don’t feel that a few hours on the beach is worth a $50 investment, is the TrendyDigital WaterGuard Case.  Think of it like a durable ziplock bag for your Kindle.  Mostly because it is.  While it is quite inexpensive at $15.99 and not particularly attractive, this is possibly the best of the waterproofing options.  I’ve seen them sit submerged without leaking for several minutes at a time.  Admittedly, however, this is the only protection they give you.  Even the worst of the normal case selections you’re likely to see would give you more fall damage insurance.  Still, it’s a great way to keep your Kindle dry.  Plus, and I know this will be the major selling point for most people, it has a strap so that you can hang your eReader from your neck!