Daily Archives: March 3, 2009

The ebook Reader: what’s new?

You’re going on a two-week holiday near the lake. You’re flying to Watertown for a three day business trip. You’re going to the park with the kids for the entire afternoon and are loaded down with their stuff. You’ll go out of your mind if you don’t have books, but you don’t have the room or they’re too heavy to carry.

No need to fret. All you have to do is buy ebooks and download them in you handy-dandy ebook reader. An ebook reader, as a rule, can contain hundreds of books, and they weigh only a fraction of a paperback.

Nowadays you can read ebooks on a variety of multi-purpose devices like the iPhone, the Mobile Pocket PC, Treo, or Smartphone. The sharpness of the image compensates adequately for the size of the screen. (BTW, all of Zumaya Publications books can be read on these devices).

There are also dedicated readers, such as the Sony Reader or the Kindle (http://www.ebookweek.com/ebook_gallery.html#8). Most of these readers use electronic ink, or e-ink, which basically uses very small charged particles sandwiched between two films. A current passing through changes them from white, black or grey, providing an image as sharp as high-end printed paper. Once charged, they don’t require power until you “turn the page,” so battery life is extended considerably. These readers are relatively expensive at the outset, but if you’re an avid reader, you’ll eventually save since eBooks are a lot cheaper than print books-and they take considerably less space on your shelf!

As I mentioned above, the two best known readers are the Sony Reader and the Kindle. The latter was lauded by Oprah, which resulted in a phenomenal amount of sales: the original Kindle sold well over a million units (it was sold out in the first week). They are now selling an estimated 48,000 units a month. Between 2006 and 2008, Sony reported it sold over 300,000 readers.

Clearly, eBook readers are no passing fad. While they’re not for everyone or every wallet, they serve a useful function for those who lack space, who travel, who read everywhere. And while eBooks may never replace print, they’re definitely here to stay.

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