Why should you finally invest in an e-reader this year?

It seems like people are reluctant to buy an e-reader. They are usually dubious about the screen of the electronic device and its cost. For sure, it is not the same as reading a good old paper book… Still, this little electronic device offers quite a few advantages.

Let’s start by breaking a common stereotype: The impression that it’s like watching at a screen is a myth. It has nothing to do with reading a Word file on your laptop; and unlike a laptop or tablet, it never gets hot. Of course, we’re not talking about iPads and other tablets here, but actual e-readers –usually 16 bit greyscale touch screen displays text. It is absolutely like paper. I remember my first contact with an e-reader; I thought that it was a dummy, and that the screen was fake, a paper sheet under a thin matte plastic film; but then, when I clicked one of the button on the interface, the screen actually changed! I was amazed. The device uses an electronic paper technology to display content to readers. Electronic paper –which is not the technology used by all e-readers– is meant to be more comfortable to read than conventional displays. This is due to the stable image, which has no need to be refreshed constantly, a wider viewing angle, and the fact it reflects ambient light rather than emitting its own light –hence you cannot read in the dark, like a paper book. It’s readable in sunlight with no glare.

An e-reader is not really expensive when you consider it on a mid or long term basis. Obviously you need an initial amount of money; and you have a wide range of prices depending on the battery life, size of the screen and features you’d like your e-reader to have. It costs from about £60 for a Kobo Wireless eReader to £230 for a Sony ‘Daily Edition’ Reader.

Many of the books will come free as they are out of copyright, and the e-reader often comes with integrated dictionaries. New books are often at least four times cheaper than their paper equivalent. For example, you will pay about £18 for the English for Academic Purposes eBook by Ken Hyland, but £73 for the paper version. Obviously, there is no need to go to the shop as you have access to millions of books you can download in a few seconds.

And what about using your library-compatible e-reader to borrow and read eBooks from your local library! Hugh Owen Library has massive eBook collections. Here is another tip for Kindle owners: you may find usually pricey academic books cheaper since Amazon offers a new service: the Kindle Book Rental. You can now rent books for as long as you want (from 30 up to 360 days depending on your budget)

Worried about the battery life as you are a very serious student? With the Kobo eReader, a single charge lasts for one month on average, depending on individual usage. The Kindle battery will last up to two months with wireless off based upon a half-hour of daily reading time. And if you find it difficult to read because you’re tired, why not increase the font size on the screen!

Last but not least, imagine the space gains If you move houses next year, it won’t be a problem with your books, seeing that your whole library –up to 3,500 books, including your bilingual dictionary– weighs less than 300 grams! Handy to carry around, isn’t it?