The benefits of switching to an e-book reader
With all of technology's advances, many people are giving up reading from books in favour of new ways of reading, such as online or on tape. An even newer method you may have just begun to consider is the e-book reader. We help you get a better sense of whether making the switch is right for you.
What are e-book readers?
E-book readers, such as the Kindle e-reader and Kobo eReader, allow you to download and read electronic books from one convenient source. They look like tablet computers but are made specifically for reading. Technically e-books can be read on any electronic device that displays text, but the difference between those devices and e-readers is that the latter use e-paper and e-ink.
What are e-paper and e-ink?
E-paper and e-ink are new forms of technology that mimic the appearance of regular ink on paper. Screens that use this technology are not backlit, so they bear a closer resemblance to the text of a typical book. This also means they don't cause eye strain in the same way television or computer screens do, and they don't reflect sunlight in a painful or hindering way, as can be the case with other screens.
What about batteries?
It's true, one shortcoming of e-book readers compared to regular books is that they require batteries. But fortunately technology has advanced so that many e-book readers can last anywhere from several days to a month without having to be recharged. And recharging is as simple as connecting your e-book reader to your computer for a few hours.
How do you get books?
Many e-book readers have Wi-Fi, so you can download e-books at home or on the go. Millions of e-books are available for you to buy, or if the e-book reader you select is compatible with library lending, you can read e-books free of charge from your local library.
What are the benefits?
The biggest benefit of e-book readers is that they are lightweight and can hold many of your favourite titles at once. So if you're travelling and you lose interest in one book or finish it ahead of schedule, you can switch to a different one with the tap of a finger instead of weighing down your bag with all the books you might want over the course of your trip. Another convenient feature is that you can adjust the size of the text to suit your needs so you never have to squint or hold the book far away from you.
What are the down sides?
Many people like the look and feel of traditional books. They find holding a book and flipping through it to be an enjoyable part of the reading process. An e-book reader may be convenient, but it will never have the weight, feel or smell of a traditional book.
Is making the switch a good idea?
Switching to an e-book reader is a decision only you can make for yourself. But remember that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can enjoy both electronic reading and traditional reading depending on what is most convenient for you at a given time. E-book readers are meant to be a help, not a hindrance, so why not let them work for you?