Tips for Choosing the Best E-Reader for You

By Nici Perreault,

Up until recently, if you wanted to read a book, you simply borrowed or bought it. The book itself had a spine, binding, and paper pages. Fast forward a few years and times have changed. With all the advances in technology, it seems like everything has a screen and a wireless connection... including books.

In the past few years, the eReader industry has exploded. There's a wide change of possibilities out there. But which eReader is right for you? Here are some tips from Phillip Chipping, Owner of Knowonder!, a leading publisher of content for kids. According to Chipping, there are three main choices.

3 Main eReaders

1. Apple iPad: The iPad is the most expensive option, starting at $399. With the extra expense comes the ability to hold more apps, movies, books, music and more.

2. Amazon Kindle: The Kindle is a good choice for people who don't want/need a tablet to do all the "gadget stuff." There are three models: the Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire, each differing in their functions aside from reading. They range in price from $79 to $199.

3. Barnes & Noble Nook: There are four different versions of the Nook to think about. There's the Nook Simple Touch, Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, Nook Color and Nook Tablet. The "Nooks" vary in price from $99 to $249, with different degrees of complexity.

Also worth noting: Android also offers tablets and soon there will also be eReader options from Microsoft. Before you make your final selection, Chipping suggests some additional points to think about.

Related: Summer-Proof Your Gadgets

All About eReaders

• All eReaders require an Internet connection of some sort. Whether they're equipped with 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi, they all need an Internet connection to download books. Another feature that's available on most eReaders is the ability to download a book on your computer, and then transfer the book to the eReader by USB. All books can be read offline once they are downloaded.

• It is possible to rent books. If you have any type of Amazon Kindle, for a yearly fee you can have access to a service called "Prime" and can rent and return books. Local libraries have also begun making digital books available for rent, so track down that library card! Keep in mind that most selections are quite limited, but hopefully in the future will be broadened.

• Digital books may be more affordable. The price of books in comparison to their digital version is sometimes very similar, but there are cases when you will be paying less for the digital. There are many eBooks for sale for $4.99 and under. Because eBooks are easy to buy, you can feel guilt free if you impulsively splurge on a trashy romance novel just because you are in the mood.

• Availability of books is one of the greatest advantages of owning an eReader. Amazon has the most-extensive selection of books for the Kindle. However, regardless of which tablet you choose, when they do have the book you're looking for, the ease of buying and downloading the book is well worth it.

Whatever your needs are, with all the different types of eReaders out there you're sure to find the right one for you.

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