E-books have been around for quite a while. They appeared in PDF forms and early versions of e-readers called Mobi Books. Then the Amazon Kindle was introduced in 2007. It became mainstream when Oprah Winfrey mentioned the e-book reader on her “Favorite” List.
After that, Amazon could not keep their Kindles in stock as it became one of society’s new pop culture gadgets. Barnes & Noble then developed its own device called the “Nook”. Borders followed with the “Kobo” and Sony also has its own e-reader.
What makes e-readers popular are their convenience and instant gratification access. You can download e-books anywhere, anytime, and within seconds, the book is at your disposal.
Can’t sleep at night? Download a book to read while the bookstores are closed and you are in your pajamas. E-books are also cheaper than its hardback counterpart.
There two types of e-readers devices available. The E-Ink version allows you to read text similar to a page of a book. The color version allows you to view in color with added features, for example, to read magazines, browse the Internet, watch movies, listen to music, or play games.
One thing to remember is that the E-Ink version is readable in outdoor sunlight. The color version screen, although readable in outdoor light, will get a reflection glare, similar to that of a tablet/laptop screen.
You can buy e-readers as a standalone device like the Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook. If you have an iPhone, a tablet (iPad, Acer, Dell) or a PC, you can download the free Kindle or Nook reader application. I have the original Kindle, but also installed the Kindle app on my iTouch. I can synchronize both devices so I’ll always be “on the same page”, whichever one I am using when I’m reading.
According to paidcontent.org, an estimated 28.9 people will own an e-reader by 2012. My daughter is 5 years old and is already well versed in learning via the iTouch and computer. Will she be getting an e-reader when she’s ready? Yes, but that won’t be for another 5-7 years.
I do want her to appreciate the paperback books for as long as she can. With how fast technology is changing, e-books for children are going interactive, filled with e-learning capability.
So what do you think, will e-readers take over, and paper books be obsolete? Will our future generation prefer technology and e-reading over that of paper books? Your comments and ongoing discussions are always welcome!
Chrissy Le, Technology Marketing Specialist