Electronic Book Readers: An Introduction to What They Are and What They Can Do
Electronic book readers (also known as eReaders or eBook readers) are all over the media lately: you canít get away from the fact that they are some of the hottest new gadgets around. But just what are they and what can they do?
The simplest definition is that electronic book readers provide a method by which you can read traditional books in digital format (also known as eBooks). These are generally handheld, portable devices allowing you to store multiple eBooks in one place.
eBooks themselves are designed to replicate the printed word, whether that be a book or magazine, but are delivered electronically.
Canít I Read eBooks On Other Devices?
Technically, you could class electronic book readers as any gadget that has the ability to read eBooks. This may include PDAs, cell phones and even some MP3 players. However, specifically designed eReaders have the main purpose of displaying eBooks, and as such employ technology to make this as easy and enjoyable as possible for their users.
Sony Digital Reader Touch Edition
What Features Do Most eBook Readers Have in Common?
Digital readers, specifically made for the purpose of reading and storing eBooks, generally have one major point in common: their displays use a technology known as e-ink, a screen that replicates the way light reflects from paper, to make reading the devices far easier on the eye than reading a computer screen would be.
Other features of eBook readers include:
* Wireless access to digital bookstores,
* The capability to store a wide range of eBook formats,
* MP3 player or radio capability,
* Storage for thousands of eBooks on one device,
* Some eReaders include input via stylus,
* Some eBook readers allow users to annotate text digitally.
In general, the main benefits of these devices are that they are extremely portable, they store all of your books in one simple location, they help to save paper and they are fun to use! eBook readers do, however, cost far more than your average paperback - typically a few hundred dollars.
Major eBook Reader Players on the Market
eBook readers are certainly not a new technology, though they are only just beginning to gain mainstream popularity. Readers have been released by the likes of Amazon, Sony, Barnes and Noble and more.
Whether electronic book readers have the ability to overtake standard books in terms of popularity has yet to be seen. However, for now they are one of the hottest gadgets around! And, much in the same way as MP3 players, more and more big names in the world of technology are expected to release their own versions in the near future.