Stories by David Risher

On Goals and Measuring Success

By’s social goal is pretty simple: we want to put a library’s worth of books into the hands of everyone in the developing world, so all can share in the world’s ideas. To achieve that goal, we’ll need to make it is as easy, inexpensive, and common to get a book anywhere in the developing … Continue Reading →

Some Good News from Ghana


A promising note from Ghana’s Ministry of Education.  This note permits us to expand our trials to more schools, in partnership with the government. Onward we go…. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * … Continue Reading →

What if we did nothing?


With all the news about Apple’s iPad launch (and related reporting about Amazon’s skirmishes with publishers), you might conclude that one way or the other, someday e-readers will be everywhere. There’s no doubt the free market is hard at work putting e-books into people’s consciousness.  Which kind of makes you wonder: what if Worldreader just … Continue Reading →

What do others think?


Here’s a brief excerpt from a video conversation with Lisa Lovatt-Smith, founder of OrphanAid Africa.  Lisa has been operating in Ghana for about eight years, and has taught us an enormous amount about doing work there.  It’s about some of the challenges we’ll certainly face. And: here are two articles from the Ghanian press about … Continue Reading →

Cultural imperialism


Here’s a tough issue people ask us: Is Worldreader accidentally practicing a new form of cultural imperialism? Well. It’s a fair question, and comes up as you watch the video and see Richard talk about downloading The Bible. (Richard isn’t the only one, by the way: in our earlier trial in Barcelona we observed one … Continue Reading →

Video of Ghana Trials


Here are two videos from our first e-reader trial in Ghana. You’ll hear from the students, the sixth-grade teacher Phillip, Earnest the Headmaster, and “tech guy” Richard, plus see the windmill that powers the Internet connection and the solar cell that recharges the Kindles. Enjoy! And thanks, Elizabeth, for the major-league production and editing work!

Six pictures, 50 words


Today we were going to write about our new realization of (and debate over) the importance of text-to-speech for kids whose parents can’t read, but that can wait for another day.  Instead, a few pictures will do the talking. Click on the pictures to read more.

Ghana: Kindle battery life and access to power


On our third day of e-reader classroom trials here in Ayenyah, Ghana, we arrived at school to find that about one-third of the Kindles were down to very little remaining battery life— some had the little exclamation mark next to the battery indicator, while others had the dreaded “Critical Battery” message on the screen. One … Continue Reading →

Report from Ghana


Hello from Ayenyah, Ghana! Today Worldreader took a huge step forward, setting in motion the first true field-test of e-readers in the developing world. It was remarkable in almost too many ways to write, from the 22-hours it took us to get from Barcelona to Accra, Ghana, to the asking permission of the village Chief … Continue Reading →

Today’s Lesson: Do Not Take Pictures of the US Embassy


Coming soon we will post some notes from yesterday’s trials, but meanwhile, here’s just a quick update from Accra, Ghana, where  today we met with the US Embassy’s Information Resource Officer, the delightful Myra Brown.  Myra is an enthusiastic reader and dyed-in-the-wool Kindle-lover; for her, the idea of using it in the developing world is … Continue Reading →