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Borders opens e-book store

The bookseller is offering about a million and a half titles, which can be read on devices ranging from PCs to iPads to Android phones.


Borders' new e-book store is now open for business.

The bookstore chain officially unveiled its new e-book store on Wednesday, with a million and a half electronic books, both paid and free, in a variety of formats, including ePub, mobile, and PDF.

Customers can read the e-books using free software powered by Kobo and designed for different devices, according to Borders. The lineup includes existing applications for the PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and new apps just launched for Android and BlackBerry phones, all of which are available at Borders' Web site. In addition to reading the books through the apps, users can browse or search for e-books, download specific titles, and access and manage their e-book libraries.

Borders.com has also been selling dedicated e-readers, including the $149 Kobo eReader and the $119 Aluratek Libre eReader, as well as the Sony Touch and Sony Pocket readers.

Offering 100 free titles, the Kobo eReader is available both online and in select Borders stores, while the Libre eReader is available online. Demand for both devices has already exceeded expectations, according to Borders, which is looking for strong sales of e-readers priced under $200 this coming holiday season. The company said it will also be setting up Area-e sections at its retail outlets where customers can check out a variety of e-readers and ask specific questions of the sales staff.

Interested shoppers will need to set up an account at the Borders Web site to download and purchase the new e-books. Those with Borders Rewards memberships can enjoy additional benefits, according to the company, including special gift cards, exclusive offers on popular digital series, and double Borders Bucks incentives on e-readers.

In launching its new bookstore, Borders joins a marketplace already crowded by other booksellers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But the company has high aspirations, aiming for a 17 percent share of the total e-book market in a year.