Curling up with a good book has long been a favorite way to relax or learn, but technology is quickly changing how consumers approach their reading time.
A 2014 Pew Research Center study found that while 76 percent of respondents had read a print book during the previous year, electronic books were quickly growing in popularity and accessibility, with 57 percent reading on an e-reader device and 32 percent accessing via a smartphone.
Traditional paper books are still holding sway, but e-books are claiming a significant niche in the publishing market, with e-reader devices offering easy access to a plethora of titles, convenient features and on-the-go portability.
While the feeling of holding a good book between your hands is irreplaceable, using a lightweight and portable e-reader wins on convenience and accessibility. Imagine carrying your entire library of book titles with you wherever you go. E-reader users need to be connected to the Internet to be able to download new titles, but most e-readers allow for access to downloaded materials even when Wi-Fi is not available (perfect for leisure reading on the beach!).
E-book readers, designed specifically for digital publications, vary in price but tend to range from just over $50 for the device up to $220. Top makers of e-reader devices include Amazon (Kindle — $79, Kindle Paperwhite — $119 and Kindle Voyage — $219), Barnes & Noble (Nook Glowlight — $99) and Kobo (Aura — $129.99 and Aura H2O — $179.99), who all offer multiple e-reader options.
While different products boast different features, most e-book readers have similar basic functionality, such as fast page turns, high-contrast “e-Ink” screens and built-in Wi-Fi capability — and many feature touch screens that include keyboards for adding notes or searching terms. Certain models also include edge-lit screens and memory card slots for loading additional files.
One of the most attractive features of the e-book readers currently available for sale is an extra-long battery life. According to Wired.com, Amazon’s third-generation Kindle has a battery life that is “long enough for space shuttle missions.”
E-book readers also have access to the world’s largest bookstore of more than 4 million titles targeted for both business and pleasure reading, from literary classics to digital Harvard Business Review books. In addition to countless titles available for sale and download through popular retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Google Play store, some e-reader devices also allow users to borrow e-books for free through their local libraries.
The world of books always has been expansive, and aided by the power of your Frontier high-speed Internet connection, you can broaden your literary and learning horizons through the convenience and portability of e-books.