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Kobo: the new kid on the e-reader block

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Add Kobo to the list of proper nouns (Kindle, Nook, etc.) you need to know in order to understand this brave new world of e-readers. Kobo is not an e-reader, and strictly speaking the business is not a newcomer, but the newly coined four-letter name (an anagram for "book") is one you should learn nonetheless.

Kobo used to be known as Shortcovers (an enterprise spun off from Canadian bookseller Indigo Books & Music Inc.) and is a retailer of e-books that can be read on almost any device: Mac, PC, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Palm Pre, etc. (You will note, however, that Amazon's Kindle e-reader is not on that list.)

What makes Kobo interesting, in part, are its partners: It has teamed up with Borders, REDgroup Retail, and Instant Fame. What that means is that its e-books are available not only in the US (as is the case with Kindle), but also in Canada, the EU, the UK, Australia, and the Asia Pacific region.

Later next year, Borders will be incorporating Kobo into its store.

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