Franklin to drop support for the eBookMan on April 30th

Much to my surprise, Franklin has been quietly supporting its e-rader, the eBookMan, for the past 12 years. It will stop supporting the eBookMan by the end of April.

The eBookMan was first released in 1999, and apparently the same hardware has been sold for the past 12 years. As you can see, it has a vaguely PDA-like design with the text input area below and the display above. As well as being an ereader, also had a number of PDA features like a date book, notepad, music player, calculator, date book, etc.

The reading app was (I believe) Mobipocket, but development stopped after v4.8 was released. That’s okay; it should still be a pretty capable reading app. You can actually still buy apps for the eBookMan, and that will also stop on April 30th.

I had discovered that this ereader was still being sold by Ectaco a couple years ago, but at the time I thought that was old stock or refurbished. Franklin never adequately promoted or supported this eReader, so it is something of a surprise that it’s still being sold as new.

Does anyone still use one of these things?


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Richard Askenase15 April, 2011

    I bought an ebookman about 10 years ago (it is still in my basement). I enjoyed reading on it, but every time the battery ran out and had to be replaced (not re-chargeable), I had to re-load in the softare and books. So, needless to say, after a fairly short while (about 6 months), the “charm”, “fun” wore off. BUT it was my only ebook experience until my Kindle. Too bad it is going, but is WAAAAYY out of date.

  2. Mireya15 April, 2011

    The ebookman was the first ebook reader I ever bought, back in early 2003. I gave it to a friend when I “upgraded” to a Dell Axxim (Pocket PC) as my ebook reading device of choice (I wanted a color screen and more functionality). I still have the Dell Axxim and it works fine. The ebookman was pretty cool at the time. Feels like it was ages ago with so many options for ebook reading that have come out over the past couple of years.

  3. Mike Cane15 April, 2011

    What killed it was DRM! MS Reader was supposed to be on it too. But they could never work out the damn DRM. I would have switched from a Palm for it had they gotten MS Reader on it.

    1. Mike Cane15 April, 2011

      Now you made me recall I was one of the first people to fondle it, at RCS in NYC. I sent out an account via email and Teleread published it. Google comes up dry on that account. I recall that the OS had to be downloaded onto it. Hmmm… I should go see if that email was sent via Yahoo. Might still have a copy. Just checked: No. But I do mention the eBookman DRM debacle.

      And I dug up an old Kirvin column about MS’s horrific DRM:

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