Brainy nonprofit TED is following through on its promise to turn its passion for “ideas worth spreading” into slim volumes that it hopes readers will consider worth downloading—for $2.99 a pop or less, thanks to a new subscription model (three months, six books, $14.99). The technology, entertainment, and design mavens have launched an app that provides easy and instant access to TED Books, short (10,000 to 20,000 words) nonfiction works that are meant to explore one big idea in a way that can be absorbed in a single sitting. “TED Books are to books as TED Talks are to lectures,” according to TED’s Chris Anderson. The free app, designed for both iPhone and iPad, beefs up the images in TED Books while adding features such as video, audio, links to maps, online resources, search, commenting, sharing, and automatically updated editions. With 16 titles published—including Living Architecture by Rachel Armstrong—and an ambitious schedule that promises a new one every two weeks, now is the time for TED to do something about those still-cringeworthy virtual book covers.
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