In the past, when an avid reader traveled, they’d have some decisions to make regarding what books to bring along with them on the trip. After all, there’s only so much room in the suitcase or the carry-on, right? However, all that has changed due to the influx of e-readers on the market- avid readers can now carry their entire libraries with them.
Still, even with the e-readers available, there are some choices that have to be made. There is an e-reader on the market for everyone. So, the problem now is not selecting the books to bring- it’s making the choice of what e-reader to carry those books on. One advice would be to take our Buying Guide for E-Readers. ,but even when you are in the shop browsing there are some important questions to ask to be able to orient around the portfolio of e-readers.
Of course, we all know that when it comes to technology, choice is good- but it can be quite difficult and even downright confusing trying to work out which e-reader suits your own personal needs. Following are a few tips to help work your way through the maze of e-readers.
What kind of screen do you want?
When choosing an e-reader, you should never get online or pick up a magazine, read a few reviews on various e-readers, and order the one that sounds best. You’re going to be using this e-reader, you need to hold them and look at them. The screen is the most important part of the e-reader because you’re going to be looking it for hours at a time when you’re reading. By holding one and looking at the screen, you can tell which one is most comfortable on your eyes: e-ink, black-and-white, color, and with or without backlighting. Always look at them before you make your choice. Keep in mind that the ones with backlighting will allow you to read in low light, while the ones without backlighting will require light for you to be able to read them, just like a traditional book.
Try it out before you buy it.
As mentioned above, you need to hold the e-reader and look at the screen before choosing one. However, another thing you should consider is the dimensions and specs. You need to know that it will fit in your purse or pocket. You need to make sure the weight is good- you’re going to be holding it for long periods of time, you don’t want to strain your wrists. You also want to be sure that you understand how it works without having to download a long, boring manual to learn about it.
Also, consider what you want- some people prefer small and lightweight while others prefer an e-reader that is larger and has a list of features as long as their arm. Think about what you’re going to be doing- just reading books, reading books/magazines with colorful pictures, or gaming. There are lots of things you should think about when making the decision about which e-reader to choose.
What content will you be reading?
When checking out the specs, you’ll see that some of the e-readers allow you to download from just about anywhere, while some of them are restricted to one retailer, and still others, you have to employ workarounds to access a wider selection.
Many libraries these days offer e-reader access. You can call your local library to find out if they support e-readers and find out how you can sign up. When it comes to these programs, you don’t have to worry about getting back to the library to turn it in- it automatically disappears from your bookshelf when the rental period is up.
Also, a few of the e-readers have an option where you can borrow a textbook instead of having to buy it from the school’s bookstore. When the term is up, the book will simply disappear from your bookshelf.
Consider your connectivity needs.
The e-readers in the beginning required that you connect them to your computer with a USB cable in order to access and download books. However, now most of them have at least a Wi-Fi connection and others even have cellular data- just like your phone. Having other connectivity options allows you to be able to download books even when you’re not near a computer.
Consider the battery life of the device.
Battery life is extremely important. The traditional e-readers tend to have a very long battery life. On the other hand, the ones that have more features tend to have a much lower battery life due to the demand on the battery. A traditional e-reader will most likely be able to go for weeks between charges instead of hours.
Know that you’ll pay more for more features.
You already know that you can use an e-reader to read books, magazines, newspapers, and more. However, many of the e-readers today will allow you to surf the web, check e-mail, sync up with others’ electronic devices, and even watch videos. You should be aware that the more features the e-reader has, the more you’re going to pay for it. Therefore, you must make the decision about how much more you’re willing to pay for all those extras.
If all you want to do is read, then you should probably choose a basic e-reader that allows you to download and read books in simple black and white.
Another thing that drives the price up is the way that it connects to the internet to allow downloading reading material and other things. If you use your e-reader at home or frequent Wi-Fi hot spots, then an e-reader with a Wi-Fi connection is best. However, if you’re on the go and not near Wi-Fi connectivity very often, then you may want to consider one with a cellular plan.