“Reading is dreaming with open eyes”
Reading is one of the most underrated skills one acquires in the course of his life. And reading books is often seen a something relegated to either academics or nerds: you either read because you have to or because you have nothing else to do. Perhaps it is because the Digital Age has changed the way we do everything. We are wired to multi-task, to do many things at the same time. And reading can only be enjoyed when one is at leisure.
E-Book Readers have, in many ways, mitigated this problem. When you are stuck on a bus, a plane, a train, a hotel room with nothing to do: that is the perfect time to read. It is also much easier to carry one device along with you, rather than sacrificing precious space in your suitcase for a myriad books.
What is an E-book Reader?
An E-book reader is a mobile electronic device, used specifically for storing and reading books. Of course, any device that displays text may be considered an e-reader. But some are specifically meant for downloading and reading books.
In many ways, the e-reader is similar to a Tablet. They are versatile, allowing you to consume multiple types of content on a single device. Further, they possess better clarity of words on the screen, especially in bright sunlight, as well as a long battery life.
E-readers are capable of these functions because of the utilisation of electronic paper technology. This paper is available in two primary colours, namely black and white, as well as 16 shades of grey. The Sony Librie was the first ebook released that used this technology.
Most of these devices are Wi-Fi enabled. In addition, some software provides a link to a digital OPDS library. This enables the reader to download and read books of various types and from various sources. Material is generally managed in the cloud or, alternately, in a memory card.
The Amazon Kindle
The Amazon Kindle is a series of e-book readers developed by Amazon.com. These devices enable users to buy, download, browse, store and read a variety of content material including books, magazines, newspapers blogs and other digital media. This may be done through wireless networking.
Developed by Lab126,The Amazon Kindle series have a wide range of designs and software, ranging from E link electronic paper displays to Android-based tablets with colour LCD screens.
The very name ‘Kindle’ captures the essence of reading. Branding consultants Michael Cronan and Karin Himba suggested the name Kindle, which to them denotes the act of lighting a fire. This, they felt, was an apt metaphor for reading, which ignites intellectual excitement.
In 2007, the original Kindle was released. Since then, Amazon has developed and released several new versions of the device. In 2009, they introduced Kindle DX, which boasted of a larger screen. Later models include Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Paperwhite. The former included a keyboard while the latter possessed a touch-sensitive screen.
The latest model is the Kindle Fire HDX. It is, quite simply, a tablet computer with a reader app and colour display. Released in 2013, it has two models: the 7 inch and the 8.9 inch model
Both models contain a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. This processor has an Adreno 330 graphics processing unit. They also have a 1.2 megapixel front camera. Further, the 8.9 inch model has an 8 megapixel rear camera that shoots HD 1080p video.
The Fire HDX features a Dolby Digital Plus audio engine. It is also known to have a long battery life: normal usage accords for 12 hour battery life from full battery charge.
Both models use the same software, namely Fire OS 3. It features a button free tech support named ‘Mayday’ as well as ‘Silk’, a web browser accelerated by cloud.
The tablets can send video content to a variety of mediums, including television and game consoles. Unlike its predecessor the Kindle Fire HD, however, it cannot send content through a HDMI cable.
Depending on the model, prices for a Kindle range from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 15,000. The Kindle HDX, however, is rather expensive. The 7 inch model costs Rs. 19, 390 while the 8.9 inch model costs Rs. 34, 490.
Shopping online, however, does make it a little cheaper. The Kindle Paperwhite, for example, is available on Amazon.in at the discounted price of Rs. 7999 (its original cost is Rs. 10,999). There is also a discount on the Kindle HDX 8.9 by which one may save Rs. 4,000. There are even certain sites that specialise in making the consumer aware of discounts on various models of the Amazon Kindle
In the last three months of 2010, Amazon announced that, in the United States, their e-book sales had surpassed that paperback books for fiction. Of course, there is nothing like holding a hard bound or paperback in one’s hand; of relishing the smell and touch of new and old books alike. E-book readers cannot give one such an experience.
However, they do compensate for these demerits with their portability, fast usage and ease of use.
It is hard to say whether E-books will wholly abolish the printing of paperbacks. However, it is imperative that we embrace anything that kindles a child’s (or an adult’s) interest to read, no matter what form the content may be in.