E-Readers, the growing fad to read long-form text


The number of choices in e-readers has never been this large. For all the voracious readers who treat reading as one of their loves, the current time seems to be the best time to buy their best pick. E-book readers are being touted as one of the main ways people would read long-form text in future. But its rightly said, when the options are more, making a choice gets more difficult. Unfortunately, all the E-readers present in the market don’t come in complete packages. Each of them has a few features which you just don’t want to miss; but none has them all together.

With Internet picking up its popularity among people and providing them with almost any information which a person would require, e-books have started to gain a larger acceptance with those who have a penchant to read. Anybody carrying a Wi-Fi enabled laptop can read his favorite books on the go without carrying the load. This growing popularity in fact led to the dawn of E-readers which specifically serve the purpose of reading. The added advantage is the memory which stores the text of multiple books and you don’t have to carry a bundle of books when you travel. With most certainty, you can hope E-Readers to succeed only if the reading experience is much better than the misery of reading from PC monitors.

By basing your selection on various criteria, you could choose your favorite by making a mental checklist:

Your budget: The lesser known readers like Aluratek Libre and Kobo eReader are at the lowest rung of the price ladder carrying a price tag of cost as little as $119 to $129. If you trade up to Barnes & Noble’s Nook, the Wi-Fi only version, you’ll have to shell out about $149. One could consider Amazon Kindle or 3G Nook priced at $189 and $199 if an eReader with 3G wireless is required that lets you download books and magazines anywhere with AT&T cellular coverage. On the higher side, Amazon’s Kindle DX for $379 and Apple iPad that ranges from $499 to $829 rule the market. Apple iPad being more of a netbook and laptop competitor than an eReader competitor comes with a color touchscreen, full motion video and thousands of applications that are not available on cheaper eReaders.

Other E-readers, which one could lay eyes on, are Entourage Edge, Alex eReader and a trio of Sony Reader /models which however are not comparable to Nook, Kindle and iPad.

Size of the screen: The weight and screen size can be an issue since you have to hold the eReader in front of you. The lightest is the Sony Reader Pocket Edition which has a 5-inch screen and weighs just 7.7 ounces. Kindle and Nook have a 6 inch wide screen each and Kindle at 10.2 ounces weighs an ounce lighter than Nook.

For people who like to read bigger books, a larger screen of 9.7 inch is available on iPad and Kindle. But, the major hassle here would be the weight of more than a pound. However, a small screen doesn’t mean a compromise on readability as you’ll always get an option of adjusting the font size of the content with eReaders.

E-ink or LCD display: E-Readers which were invented to serve as a platform for only reading generally come with e-ink screen which gives you black and white pages and even allow you to read in bright sunlight. These however can’t be read in the dark which means they serve you like a book does. An example is Kindle. On the other hand, there are e-Readers with LCD displays which have back lit screens and allow you to read in the dark but not in bright sunlight. These though resented by some due to the eye strain they cause; are loved by many because an LCD display is bright colorful and beautiful. IPad comes with an LCD display. Nook has a small LCD touchscreen which is used for navigation only while the text is read through the e-ink display.

Like the above distinguishing traits, some people might also consider some other facts like wanting an always-on Wi-Fi connectivity or availing their e-books on other devices also. One has to choose on the basis of the feature most important to him. One would want readability in the sun and other might be attracted to the colorful and rich display as opposed to the boring newspaper like display of e-ink screens. The choices will differ as mentalities do but e-readers surely are going to build their market big.

Ritika Kharbanda/ ITVoir Network