What are eBooks?
An eBook reader is a device that allows you to read books stored as electronic files. An e-book reader typically has a low-resolution but anti-glare black-and-white screen, often without a backlight, and is about the size of a paperback page. Compared to computers or smartphones, which often have a backlight, an eBook reader is thin and light and has long battery life. eBook readers can usually read one or more eBook file formats. Some eBook readers can also read documents in other formats, such as the open standard “ePub” format eBooks, text files, PDFs, Word documents, and more, and some also let you take notes or sync them with other devices. eBook readers don’t have that”
- A dedicated eBook reader may be the most convenient way to read eBooks, but it’s not the only option. PC and smartphone software is available free of charge and also allow you to read eBooks in all formats, such as ePub, as well as special formats for Nook and Kindle. This is a good alternative if you don’t read that much, want backlighting and a large screen (on the computer you can read complicated texts that require a lot of scrolling), or try out the eBook concept before committing to one buy device.
- An eBook reader can be a great gift for someone who is both a techie and an avid reader. Since there are many different and specific eBook readers, make sure that the recipient can easily exchange or return the device if it is not suitable for him or her.
- Not all eBook readers can use the same formats. There are also retailer-specific formats, many readers support HTML, TXT, and JPG, but not all support the open standard ePub format. This is an important distinction if you want to borrow eBooks from your library or read copyright-free books from Project Gutenberg’s vast collection, and want a nicer format than just plain text.
- Note that some eBook readers can display PDFs better than others. This is important if you want to use a lot of PDFs.
The most popular specialty eBook readers are Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Amazon Kindle, Sony eReader, etc., each with its own characteristics, style, and capacity. Other readers can be your computer, a smartphone, and the iPad.
Know what you want from an eBook reader.
There are many things to consider when choosing an eBook reader. One important thing to remember is that choosing an eBook reader is like buying any electronic device or buying a car – it all depends on what you want to do with the device. There is no right eBook reader for everyone – the different features allow everyone to find the right eBook reader for their needs. Since traits are so important, here are some things to consider when making your selection:
- Storage space: How many eBooks or other documents can be stored on the eBook reader? Can the storage space be expanded?
- Format Type: Can the eBook reader play different file formats or is it built specifically for one format? Is this ability (or limitation) reflected in the price?
- Connectivity: Does the eBook reader have WiFi and Mobile Internet Adapter? Most newer eBook readers should have both by now.
- Screen quality: Here you have to pay attention to legibility, color, size, and reflections.
- Readability: Can you read everything well? Which eBook Readers Look Most Like Book Pages? Some have more of a book feel than others.
- Color: black and white or color? Both have advantages and disadvantages. Black and white is easy on the eyes when reading text and reading in the sun, while books with pictures and magazines and comics need a color display to look good – they don’t look pretty on a black and white display.
- Size: Compare the eBook reader display to the display of another device, like an iPad and a laptop, to see which you like better and if you can handle having to read on a smaller display.
- Reflections: One of the advantages of black and white e-book readers (which use e-ink technology) is that you can read them in the sun without the glare, glare, and image quality degradation that laptop, color display e-books have -Readers or iPads is the case. If you want to read a lot outdoors, then this is an important aspect.
- Weight and Comfort: Everyone has a different perception of weight, but here are a few things to look out for:
- Does the device feel lighter than a regular paperback? It should.
- Is it easy to carry and hold? You don’t want something clunky, bulky, and difficult to hold. Go to a store and hold the eBook readers in your hand to see how they feel and which ones feel good in your hand.
- You may spend hundreds of hours with your electronic e-book reader, so it’s important that the device is, purely physically, comfortable for you. For example, an e-book reader may have buttons and a display that let you easily turn pages and read, but your eyes hurt after five minutes. The product will then not be suitable for you, because if you want to read with the device for a long time, then you certainly don’t want to get an eye ache or a headache.
- Battery life: What is stated as battery life? You don’t want a device that has to be recharged after an hour in the hammock on the beach. Then you should have taken a paper book with you. Is the battery easy to replace, or do you have to take the eReader to a retailer to do that?
- Easy downloading: Is it easy to download books to the device? Do you need to connect it to a computer or can you do it wirelessly without a computer? This can be important when choosing an eBook reader as a gift for elderly people who are not very computer savvy.
- Copyability: The ability to copy an eBook to another eBook reader is important so that you can transfer purchased books from an old eBook reader to a new one; if that’s not possible, then you may lose your eBooks when the reader dies. Does the eBook reader allow you to share your files with friends or not?
- Other Features: What other features does the eBook reader have? For example, can you take notes with him? How easy is it? Some eBook readers have keyboards that work well. Others, on the other hand, are difficult to use. How easy is it to scroll back and find something? Are there dictionaries and is it possible to upload new ones?
Read product reviews online.
While this is somewhat time-consuming, it is important, especially for expensive products and products that can be quickly replaced with new ones. You want to make sure you’re getting the best product for your price, and you’ll want to know that the device will do anything you want it to do. You get the best overview if you read professional tests and user reviews – then you will receive a balanced rating. Technology product testers are paid to focus on specific characteristics, while user reviews give you a realistic picture of the device in everyday use.Ask other people about their experiences with eBook readers. Friends and family members can give you tips from their experiences before you buy a device. For example, some eBook readers only allow you to read books that you download, while other eBook readers allow Internet access to read blogs or websites. Asking people who already use eBook readers is a quick and good way to get information about the different models. Most people can also warn you about things that they have had to experience negatively themselves.
Be careful with the ability to download free eBooks with your eBook reader.
That sounds very tempting, but if you buy an e-book reader from abroad, double and triple-check whether it is also compatible with the formats at home. The problem can be that you can’t download any books because you live in a different region than where the eBook reader comes from and then suddenly the bargain isn’t anymore, just an annoyance! Find out about the methods you can use to load books onto your eBook reader. Some offer WiFi download capability as well as USB transfers, others only have a USB port. Which method is best for you?
- Check out the different options to get eBooks for your eBook reader. Some eBook readers allow you to read for free at the bookstore that sold you the device, as well as allow you to borrow books. If this interests you, note that the free books are limited to one vendor.
Check out eBooks at your local library. Many libraries now offer eBooks for loan. Talk to the librarian about eBook formats and compatibility issues, especially if you intend to use the library often.
Look at how many books the provider of the eBook reader has.
Some eBook readers have access to more books than others. And ideally, you should buy an eBook reader that gives you access to as many books in your area of interest as possible. However, the offer is constantly changing and expanding and the problem is becoming smaller and smaller. It is important that you check whether you can get the books and texts that interest you with the device that interests you. Check with the retailer if you couldn’t find specific information yourself.
When you’ve finished your research, make a list of the qualities you want and take that list with you to the store. You might have to go to a few stores to see every eBook reader that’s on your list. Take the time to try out and play around with the eBook reader and ask the seller if you have any questions. It’s important to do this manual check as it gives you a chance to hold the device, flip through the pages, see if the screen is easy for you to read, and just get a feel for how the eBook reader feels in your hands.
Try reading at least one chapter of a book to see how it reads to any reader. As you do this, pay attention to legibility, page-turning, search functions, etc.
Don’t make quick decisions.
It’s a good idea to go home after trying it out and ponder your purchasing decision. You’ve researched and tried the devices, now give yourself a few days to decide. Don’t let boredom, stress, or fashion trends sway you – the devices are new and therefore change very quickly. But if you’re going to spend a lot of money on a device, then make sure it’s the right device.
- While some eBook readers can have more features and technology, if you just want a device for reading, then you should consider buying a less expensive, cheaper model to get started. You can always buy a newer or more expensive model later if you enjoy reading eBooks. And note that the prices of eBook readers have fallen dramatically since they were first introduced, so a little patience won’t hurt you.
- Consider buying a used or refurbished eBook reader. Older models often have the same features as subsequent models, but you can buy them much cheaper.
- Pay attention to the offered guarantee. New products bring new problems and it’s good to know that if something doesn’t work, you can easily return it. Also, ask what happens if you lose eBooks due to a technical malfunction.