How to Select an eBook Reader

Recently you are hearing a lot about eBook Readers. This covers a considerable bit of information. For starters, we need a definition of an eBook Reader. In simple terms an ebook reader is a device,  computer program or web site that allows you to read books in an electronic format. Having been an on and off  proof reader for Distributed Proofreaders (http://www.pgdp.net/c/),  I became very much aware of the rapidly developing trend towards reading books in an electronic format.

My wife is an avid reader and our house has accumulated hundreds of books. When she travels she takes several books with her to read. With this in mind I set out to find an eBook reader device that would be suitable for her to use.  At this time I am aware of about 4 devices that can be used to read ebooks. These include the Sony Reader, the Amazon Kindle, a computer and of late the iPad by Apple.

I tried the Sony Reader and liked the device but did not like the software. I ended up sending the reader back and chose an Amazon Kindle 2 for the wife. This is an excellent ebook reader and allows you to directly download books from the Amazon Store to the Kindle with its built-in wireless connection, a free service. Amazon uses a proprietary ebook format called Mobi. You need to mostly get these books directly from Amazon, although sophisticated users can get them from other sources. I’d recommend the Kindle 2 for the average reader.

Now for those folks that are interested in reading ebooks on their laptop or desk computers. Amazon has skillfully come up with a computer program called “Kindle For PC”. This free software program allows anyone to open a free account and download books directly to their computer. Not only can you read the latest and greatest releases, you can read from a fantastically large source of free books.

Another software item that is capable of reading ebooks is the Adobe Digital Editions program, also available free at (http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/). This program reads many digital formats, including epub, and pdf. This is a pretty good reader too. In addition to these programs, you can also read ebooks using your web browser.

If you are a Mozilla Firefox user, you can use an “Add-on” called “eBOOK READER”. This is an excellent reader but is only available to Firefox users. If you use MS Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, you can sign-up for a free internet account with “Bookworm” (http://bookworm.oreilly.com). This is also an excellent ebook reader and has the advantage of allowing you to read books on any computer with an internet connection. Those books you choose are maintained online and always accessible.

I’ve only scratched the surface on this discussion of ebook readers but I hope it is sufficient to garner your interest and look further into this topic.