A few weeks back, Borders opened up pre-ordering for the Kobo e-reader, a simple, $150 tablet that will be attached to its upcoming e-bookstore. We didn’t realize at the time, but the bookseller has no plans of stopping there. In fact, Borders will launch a series of up to 10 e-reading devices across the price spectrum in its retail locations. All the devices will make use of Borders e-bookstore and will be showcased in retail stores in an area called “Area-e.”
Next up on that list is the Libre, an even cheaper e-reading option manufactured by Aluratek. It will retail for $120, feature a 5-inch LCD black-and-white display and double as digital music player. It will also come with 100 preloaded classics. Borders is currently taking orders for the Libre, which will hit the market in July.
Personally, I like what Borders is doing here. When you boil it down, e-readers really just replace paperback books that you could buy for 5 to 10 bucks or borrow for free at your local library. In other words, the cheaper they can make a basic e-reader, the better. That and the fact that these devices are tied to a well-known name in books should make them an intriguing option for consumers, even if they don’t become a rousing success story.