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Posted on Sep 2016 in You

E-reader 101


“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

~ Charles William Eliot

Since the invention of the printing press in the early 1400s – which finally enabled publishers to make affordable books available to the masses – reading for pleasure has been a cherished pastime enjoyed by millions. We are all familiar with the feel of a book in our hands and the sound of the pages as we turn each one.

But after more than 500 years, there’s a new way to enjoy the written word. E-readers burst onto the scene in the late 1990s, giving bibliophiles a novel way to enjoy books both new and old.

What is an e-reader?

In a nutshell, an e-reader (electronic reader) is a device that allows you to read digital content, including books, newspapers and other documents. They are typically a single-purpose device, which means that their sole purpose is to enable you to read electronic books (e-books) and other digital content. E-readers aren’t the same thing as a tablet, which allows you to browse websites, send emails, play games and link up with friends on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Some e-readers may have extra features like web browsing capabilities, but that extra functionality will jack up the price, so if you simply want a reading device, make sure that’s all you’re paying for.

What are the benefits of an e-reader?

From an ecological standpoint, you don’t have to cut down any trees to read an e-book, but there are lots of other practical advantages that make reading e-books popular:

  • You can purchase and download a book quickly without having to leave the comfort of your home. E-books are delivered to your e-reader almost instantaneously.
  • You don’t need bookshelves! Depending upon the memory in your e-reader, you can store thousands of books on it.
  • If you’re a traveler, you no longer have to stuff your suitcase full of books to read on the road. Just load up the e-reader and go!
  • As long as it’s all charged up, you can read on your e-reader virtually anywhere.
  • If you have vision issues you can simply adjust the font size to make it easier for you to read your favorite books.
  • Some e-books contain additional features, like animations or audio or video content, bringing the books to life in a new and fascinating way.

What should I look for in an e-reader?

There are many popular e-readers out there – you may have heard of Kindle, Kobo, or NOOK which are three of the more well known e-readers – so it’s really a matter of determining how much you want to spend and what features are important to you.

One thing to keep in mind is that cheaper e-readers may display text that looks slightly pixilated, while more expensive versions are crisper and clearer. Storage is also something that varies between models. Storage refers to the gigabyte size, and affects the number of books you’re able to store in the e-reader. For most users, 4GB of internal storage is enough.1

For more information on what to look for in an e-reader, and to see a comparison of the top 8 e-readers of 2016, visit Top 10 Reviews.

While nothing quite compares to the feel of a well-worn paperback in your hands, e-readers are a wonderful option for voracious readers who enjoy having hundreds of books literally at their fingertips. Most libraries carry e-book titles online, and there are many sites like, Amazon and that let you search for and download free e-books.

To learn more about the advantages of e-readers visit Success Consciousness.

Happy reading!




414095F CAN/US (09/16)

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