Amazon Kindle: Are E-Book Readers Better than Books?


Are E-Book Readers Better than Books?
By Tricia Lake

There's been a lot of buzz in recent months about eBook Readers. Both Amazon and Sony have introduced eBook readers onto the market in the last couple of months, and what was once almost a dead topic has become a live one again. But is an eBook reader better than a book? The quick and easy answer is that sometimes it is...and sometimes it isn't, which doesn't help much at all. In this article I'll examine in more detail when an eBook reader is a good thing to have and when it isn't.

The first thing I need to define is what is an eBook reader, because in one form or another they have been around for years, but still haven't really taken off the way that, say, the iPod did for music.

An Reader is an electronic device that takes the place of a physical book. Personal Digital Assistants, or PDAs, have had readers installed on them for years, and some people use them, myself included to read books. There are also some other dedicated readers on the market.

These devices really didn't become popular for a few reasons: the range of books available was limited, especially in new titles is limited; the screen is small and backlit, which can lead to eyestrain. And it doesn't feel like you are reading a book. For some people this is the main downside of the old batch of readers. With the new ones there have been some changes.

Advantages of reading your book on an eBook reader:

There are some distinct advantages to using an eBook reader rather than a traditional book. The first and foremost is for people on the move, whether it is a commute or going on vacation: they are light and easy to carry. They don't crease like a book and you don't have to lug them around.

The latest batch have also done away with the traditional backlit screen and instead have gone for a screen that's paper-like in its appearance, so you feel like you are reading a real book instead of a computer.

Both Sony's and Amazon's version of the reader is the size of a trade paperback, so it mimics the feel of a book more than a PDA did in years past.

With a reader you can also have a large library without it taking up much space at all. If you are cramped for space, or have run out of room on your bookshelves, then an eBook reader could help solve your storage problems.


Simply put, the eBook reader is not a book, with all that implies. They are an electronic device, and if you like the feel of paper in your hand as part of the experience of reading a book, then you will find one of these devices jarring to use.

You can't get out your pen and take notes, if you like to do that. The reader is not a computer, even if it has a lot of the characteristics of a computer, and for that reason it may not fill your needs.

When you are reading a book you don't have to worry about it interfering with the navigation instruments on a plane, so during take-off and landing you can continue to read. On the other hand, with an eBook reader, you have to shut it down the same as you would a cell phone or laptop computer.

Depending on how you read and why you are reading the new generation of eBook readers may be exactly what you need. If you are running out of space in your home, or if you commute and read, then one of these devices may just be very well what you need. On the other hand, they don't replace the feel of a book, even if they mimic it. If you are a traditionalist, you will most probably not like a reader. As in the case with most new technologies, it depends on what you are looking to use it for and why. So if you are considering purchasing one of these, look carefully at the pros and cons before you do, so that you don't make an expensive mistake.

I have recently written a review on Amazon's Kindle eBook reader. If you want to find out more about it then click here for more details.

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