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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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February 2012
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Daily Deals: Twilight and Bag It!

TwilightToday is St. Valentine’s Day and Amazon offers to buy book about vampire love-story – Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. The price is very low – just $2.99. Take your chance.

“Softly he brushed my cheek, then held my face between his marble hands. ‘Be very still,’ he whispered, as if I wasn’t already frozen. Slowly, never moving his eyes from mine, he leaned toward me. Then abruptly, but very gently, he rested his cold cheek against the hollow at the base of my throat.”

As Shakespeare knew, love burns high when thwarted by obstacles. In Twilight, an exquisite fantasy by Stephenie Meyer, readers discover a pair of lovers who are supremely star-crossed. Bella adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love. But Edward is having a hard time controlling the blood lust she arouses in him, because–he’s a vampire. At any moment, the intensity of their passion could drive him to kill her, and he agonizes over the danger. But, Bella would rather be dead than part from Edward, so she risks her life to stay near him, and the novel burns with the erotic tension of their dangerous and necessarily chaste relationship.

Meyer has achieved quite a feat by making this scenario completely human and believable. She begins with a familiar YA premise (the new kid in school), and lulls us into thinking this will be just another realistic young adult novel. Bella has come to the small town of Forks on the gloomy Olympic Peninsula to be with her father. At school, she wonders about a group of five remarkably beautiful teens, who sit together in the cafeteria but never eat. As she grows to know, and then love, Edward, she learns their secret. They are all rescued vampires, part of a family headed by saintly Carlisle, who has inspired them to renounce human prey. For Edward’s sake they welcome Bella, but when a roving group of tracker vampires fixates on her, the family is drawn into a desperate pursuit to protect the fragile human in their midst. The precision and delicacy of Meyer’s writing lifts this wonderful novel beyond the limitations of the horror genre to a place among the best of YA fiction. (Ages 12 and up) –Patty Campbell

Bag It!

Bag It! is the exciting grocery-bagging puzzle game that will open your eyes to a whole new world inside your shopping bag. These watermelons, eggs, and baguettes have real personality–it’s like Tetris meets Toy Story. To add to the fun, Spilt, Sunshine, and all their friends are celebrating Valentine’s Day with new holiday-themed visual effects and other Valentine’s Day secrets.

Think You’ve Got It in the Bag?
Bagging groceries should be a piece of cake. Heavy, sturdy items on the bottom, light and fragile items on the top–seems simple, right? Think again! Bag It! features more than 50 unique levels, three game modes (Standard, Rampage, and Puzzle), tantalizing grocery combos, custom-tailored translations in seven languages, and much more.
Don’t Scramble the Eggs

To play, you’ll first choose an aisle from the likes of Fresh Squeeze, Udder Mayhem, Ultimate Bagger, Endless Rampage, and much more. Then start dragging those grocery items into the bag. Be careful–if you throw items in haphazardly, you’ll end up with squished bread, broken chips, and fewer points. Watch for timers that indicate when an item is about to break. Tilt your device left and right to shift things around. As you progress through the levels, you’ll face various challenges, including rotating items to make them fit or sit upright, rearranging poorly bagged items, and more.

Go for Silver and Gold

Try to get all three stars and both medals for each level. See how your packing skills stack up against others and post your scores to OpenFeint leaderboards.

Raves for Bag It!

“It’s rare to find a puzzle game that feels so fresh but also so obvious… an absolute blast.” –Touch Arcade

“Who knew bagging groceries could be so much fun?” –G4 TV

Amazon vs B&N Conflict May Mean More Kindle Exclusives

In what is just the latest point of conflict between Amazon and Barnes & Noble over their relative positions in book sales, B&N has announced that they are unwilling to stock any Amazon published works in their stores.  It is clearly an informed decision that responds to multiple pressures coming from Amazon.com and online retailers in general, but it also raises the question of whether the Brick & Mortar chain can make such a bold move without drawing customer attention to the value of owning a Kindle.

The stated reason behind this decision is that Amazon has been increasingly successful in arranging exclusivity agreements with major publishers and authors that have prevented the competition from being able to provide the best possible service to their Nook customers.  A fair point, and not one that many people would disagree with.  Amazon is definitely fond of throwing their weight around.  At the same time, however, it is a general admission that the Nook is unable to manage to compete on equal terms against the Kindle as things stand right now and possibly not the best way to reassure customers and investors of the long term viability of the product line.

This also relates to the extremely controversial practice of “showrooming” that has made headlines regularly ever since Amazon released their price check app for iOS and Android smartphones.  Since Amazon’s structure allows them to save a great deal of money on things like local stores, they can offer lower prices on a wide variety of things.  This is especially the case with paper books, where it is extremely unusual to fail to catch a deal compared to any local retailer.  A company that relies on their overt physical presence as much as Barnes & Noble does will obviously be negatively affected by such instant access to price comparisons since it deters impulse buying and turns their stores into profitless showcases for another company.  By refusing to carry the physical copies of Amazon’s new publications, they clearly hope to demonstrate to those lured into exclusivity agreements that the Brick & Mortar is still vital to success.

Again, I can’t help but feel that this is a big gamble.  If Amazon were not already well ahead in book sales then this would not be a problem in the first place.  The Kindle has, thanks to their huge investments and the very exclusivity arrangements that B&N is unhappy with, built up the most substantial library and user base in the eReading world.  It will take something drastic to knock them back down to a manageable level, but the idea that Barnes & Noble showrooms can have that kind of influence is questionable.

This feels like something that will end up turning major authors into Kindle exclusives whether they intended to be or not, further devaluing the selection at Barnes & Noble.  While they have also declared that these books would still be available through web services, it will take a lot of customer loyalty for that to be a viable purchasing option compared to Amazon.com.