En Route To or From Taiwan? Borrow an e-book at the Airport

From PC World: Taiwan's international airport has opened what it calls the world's first in-transit e-library, offering 400 e-book titles to ease waiting-hall boredom while showcasing the island's high-tech capabilities. More info on the library's offerings at China Post.

The e-library at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport allows passengers to consult the Chinese and English-language books, and around 2,000 books on paper, in a special waiting area in the larger of the airport's two terminals. The terminal commonly handles stopovers between North America and Southeast Asia.

The e-books are stored on around 30 devices, a mix of iPads and e-readers with e-ink screens. The e-books are stored in the ePub and Zinio formats. The airport is loaning out the devices on a first come first served basis. Passengers can't download the books to their own e-reader, limiting the usefulness of the service.

The duty-free shop manages the library, which was proposed by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. The shop worked with Taiwan's government-funded Institute for Information Industry and the project cost more than NT$3 million (US$102,000).

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Borrow an e-book at the Airport

This is definitely a nice innovation and I hope it is being utilized especially since they have the support of the big man.

In my country this would be seen as a waste of space, not only because the reading culture is poor, but also because the people who use the Airport have access to resources from elsewhere. Hopefully with time this attitude of "reading books is useless" will be whipped out so this innovation can spread out to us as well.

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