Kobo has teamed up with Southwest Airlines to offer free e-books to travelers who want to read digitally. Simply connect up your e-reader, smartphone or tablet to the entertainment portal via WIFI and you can read as many titles as you want. When you land, and aren’t done reading, there is information available on how to buy a specific title.
Most of the current catalog is available and is heavily curated by Southwest to promote bestselling titles, but the ubiquitous disposable literary trash such as Tom Clancy is also available.
What types of publishers are participating in this Southwest/Kobo partnership? Penguin Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, Kensington, S&S, HarperCollins, Open Road Media, Bauer Communications, and others. Basically if you want to read it, it will be available.
Over the course of the last few years there is a mad rush by airports, media and airline companies to offer e-books as an incentive to fly with them. Earlier in the week BookShout, HarperCollins, and American Express announced a new project to give readers free access to hundreds of e-book titles while passing the time at the airport. Meanwhile last December Jetblue partnered up with HarperCollins to provide an e-book experience, but its not free reading like Kobo.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.