Thursday, November 11, 2010

eReaders, Part 1

eReaders can help Christians access a lot of reading materials that would otherwise be too expensive or inconvenient to read. I’m posting this article precisely to promote the use of these devices, and I’ll admit at the outset that I have a biased for the Amazon Kindle because I own one. So my review will be based on my experience with the Kindle, but hopefully it will spark your imagination and interest in a way that's not brand-oriented. :P

What’s an eReader?
An eReader is a device that is designed primarily for reading electronic books and documents. This specialized function has its pros and cons.
First, the cons: Let me speak from my own experience. The Kindle is great for reading, but little else. It cannot handle color. It cannot handle movies. It has very limited use as an mp3 player. And even though it allows me to surf the internet, it is slow and very cumbersome to use. I tried using its surfing feature once or twice, then I gave up.
The pros: The Kindle is cheap. Mine cost about Php9,000, plus about Php1,800 for a leather cover. Now, there’s a new version that is faster, handier and cheaper (my friend’s getting one, and I’m torn between happiness and envy :P). My Kindle has also spared me from all the annoyances of reading from a computer screen. There’s no headache-inducing backlight and the text resolution is amazing! These may seem like things you can overlook, but if you plan to spend hours staring at your eReader, comfort is definitely an issue.

More Access at Lower Cost
First and foremost, an eReader should allow you wireless access to an online bookstore, which means that you can purchase books and have them downloaded to your device without ever having to leave your home. My device allows me to buy books from the Kindle Store, which has many books that are not available in even the local specialty bookstores.
What’s more is that these eBooks are significantly cheaper than their printed counterparts. I when I bought the paperback edition of Three Cups of Tea (see my review of the book here) I spent nearly 20$ (including tax), but the Kindle edition costs only 12$. That’s a big deduction!

Get Free Stuff
There are tons of great websites and blogs that offer free PDFs, a format that a good eReader should handle excellently.
You can also make your own PDFs, which means that you can turn just about anything into an eBook! Just think about all the free Christian books, articles, missions updates, etc., that you can take with you anywhere you go. And it will take no time at all to copy, paste and reformat these materials. Awesome? I think so. :)

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