This site is intended to be a conversation about books. This begins and ends with the books themselves — the ideas, the stories, and the written and visual art that keep us so enthralled. Yet I also want to touch on the changing face of our world as readers — from the rapidly-evolving technologies that seem poised to remake publishing to the impacts of literacy and technology on the developing world.

I will oftentimes cover books from WOWIO, because I certainly want to share some of the good stuff that we’re putting out there. But everything here is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. I also write about products and services from Apple and Amazon, and I have small holdings in both companies.

I hope that as this conversation develops, you’ll occasionally be provoked into adding your thoughts. And if a new topic (related or not) comes to mind, please let me know.

Thanks for coming by…

gm initials
Gerry Manacsa
Senior Designer, WOWIO


WOWIO is a company of book lovers, and we’re working to dismantle the barriers that separate people from books. By making ebooks available for free — including copyrighted works from major publishers — we ultimately hope to make sure that every person who wants to read a book will be able to get it (while making sure that those who are creating the content can still make a living!).

These aren’t simple text files. Rather, they’re the real books, as typeset by their publishers but in electronic form (i.e., in pdf format, sans the dead trees).

Writers and publishers get paid, we get to make a living doing something we love, and readers get to read books for free.

About Gerry Manacsa

Gerry is a designer, multimedia artist and technologist living in Houston, Texas.

As an engineer working on the Space Shuttle program in the early 90s, he was a pioneer in using the web as a medium for data dissemination and communication for geographically-dispersed workgroups.

He later broke ground in mixed-media storytelling on the web, foreshadowing the rise of blogs and photoblogs with a personal multimedia journal that ran from 1996 through 2007.

As a lead designer and technologist with an innovative young Internet startup, he helped to define and develop new learning methods that took full advantage of the medium, helping that company become a successful leader in its space.

Today, Gerry has joined another young and innovative startup, WOWIO, where he is helping to remake the world of books.

In his off hours, Gerry is a photographer and explorer, looking forward to traveling the world with his wife, Karina.



  1. loved your site!! its manna for voracious readers like us! thanks!

  2. Hello – Just found your site and enjoyed. I write a site on similar issues at booktwo.org. One request – please can you include the full text of your posts on the RSS? I read so many sites it’s just impossible to keep up without proper RSS.

    Thanks, James.

  3. I’ve been toying with the idea of going full text on the RSS feed for some time. Certainly, I appreciate it when others provide it, so with help from your nudge, I’m now doing the same. Thanks for the feedback, James.

  4. Is there any way to download pdf files that are “digital editions”? I’m using filemarker. I’m not sure how to use pdf reader for this or if it’s possible. Thanks.

  5. Adobe has a program called Digital Editions which can read certain kinds of PDF ebooks that are not readable in the main Adobe reader program (which is aptly called Adobe Reader). As an example, WOWIO ebooks are compatible with both programs, but ebooks from many other sites will only work with Digital Editions. I would suggest trying both programs to see which one works for your files:

    Adobe Reader

    Adobe Digital Editions

    Note that the Digital Editions downloading site doesn’t always seem to be working (it’s not working for me as I look at it on 1-20-08).

  6. Gerry, check out this article in The New York Times:

    Thumbs Race as Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular

    What an amazing combination of technology & writing. Cellphone novels! Imagine typing a short novel on a cellphone keypad. An interesting hybrid of manga & technology.


  7. Thanks, MS. That is indeed a remarkable phenomenon. I can’t quite imagine enjoying either the medium or the kinds of work produced on it, but I suppose I shouldn’t say anything until I’ve tried it!

  8. […] Yes, I’ll welcome thoughts from PDF-lovin’ folks, especially at Adobe and Wowio, where Gerry Manacsa regards PDF as being more designer friendly at this stage in its development than ePub is. To […]

  9. Gerry,

    I have been going in circles on this site looking for a way to send you a private note. I have a question or two about WOWIO.

    Bill Williams

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