Home Editor's Choice Tips for Buying and Using E-readers

Tips for Buying and Using E-readers

Tips for Buying and Using E-readers

E-readers, also known as e-book readers, continue to gain in popularity as more and more people are buying them. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, 8 percent of American adults now use e-readers, notes the Teleread website.

These practical, technical gadgets allow users to read magazines, books, and other documents from a handheld device. Besides reading materials, e-book readers may include mini-games, such as used with a Gameboy e-reader.

Benefits of E-readers

E-readers offer several advantages.

Cost is a good reason for owning an e-reader, as e-books are cheaper than buying print books.
Size is an major benefit. Rather than dragging heavy books around, an e-reader is compact and can easily slip into a bag, with just one small e-reader able to contain hundreds of books. This can be especially helpful when on a flight with hours of time to read, but limited space for books in carry-on luggage.
E-readers promote better reading habits in both adults and children.

E-reader Screen Differences

The screen is an important consideration in selecting an e-reader because your eyes will spend considerable time staring at it. On models such as Sony’s Readers and Amazon’s Kindle e-readers the e-ink resembles paper so it’s easier on the eyes.

These models are also easier on eyes for extended reading and for reading in direct sunlight. On a downside, there’s no color because the e-ink is monochrome, although it does have shades of gray for giving some depth to images. You’ll also need lighting because there’s no backlighting, notes PCMagazine.com. Both models have a long battery life on e-ink only devices.

The average size of a screen is 6 inches. The Sony Reader Pocket Edition, the most compact model, has a 5-inch screen display, while the Kindle DX offers a large 9.7-inch e-ink screen.

Best E-readers for Assessing Content

The most important factor to consider when buying an e-reader is a reader’s access to reading content, says Wired.com. The greater the number of publishers that do business with an e-reader, the greater the odds they’ll have the book you want. Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader has the most e-books with Sony e-readers trailing slightly behind.

Although you can buy books from online book stores for less popular models, the experience of integrating them isn’t as smooth.

Tips for Reading E-books

With a few adjustments you can get the text that’s best suited for your eyes.

Adjust settings. Experiment with different settings on your e-reader. Your goal should be to get minimum glare from the screen as possible. Adjust brightness and color settings.
Adjust text size. Most e-books are set at medium-sized text, but you can make text as large or as small as needed. Just keep in mind that large text will entail fewer words on a page which means more screen-turning. Also, realize that screen turning isn’t as fast on an e-reader as it is turning a printed page.
Take breaks. It helps to take short breaks as continual staring at a screen can be hard on eyes and especially if you struggle with eye problems.

E-readers are helpful tools, but may not be for everyone. Although e-readers are beneficial to many people, others may do better sticking to print books, such as students who take notes and underline important information in books who won’t have this option using an e-reader. In other words, be sure to weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase, rather than invest in one because they’re hot items.