Make Life Easier with an E-Reader

E-Readers are lightweight, portable and attractive. They can also include loads of apps to make your life more productive. This article offers tips and insights on how to make your life easier with an e-reader.

E-Readers 101

An e-reader is a mobile reading device with a screen that looks like the page of a book. Most e-readers feature E Ink screens, which display words and images in black and white. These screens are specially designed to be low-glare and easy on your eyes. E Ink screens also work well indoors and outside in bright sunlight. The majority of e-readers have touch screens, with higher-end models featuring backlighting for easier reading at night. Lightweight, thin and durable, an e-reader can be tucked away for travel or taken with you to the coffee shop. 

Why Buy an E-Reader?

E-Readers can hold thousands of e-books and magazines in a user-friendly format. They are very lightweight, and take up almost no space when packing for a day trip or flight. E-Readers work equally well at the beach, in your living room, or in your bed at night. Earlier models needed a cable to download an e-book, but most e-readers sold today offer wireless connectivity to bookstores and libraries through Wi-Fi, 3G, or both. Whether you're an occasional reader or a book junkie, an e-reader lets you find the titles you're looking for quickly and easily, at generally lower prices than printed versions.


The content for e-books is stored in specific digital file formats. Not all e-readers can handle the same formats, and some read a wider range of formats than others. Typically, an e-reader is associated with a particular library of books, all stored in the same format. If you want to download e-books from a different source, it's important to ensure your e-reader can handle the file format. For example, the open-standard ePub format is used by Google for its large library of free public domain e-books, and by public libraries which lend e-books to their members. To gain access to ePub book collections, be sure to choose an e-reader that reads the ePub format.

What About Apps?

Apps (short for “application software”) are user-friendly micro-programs created for devices like smartphones, tablets and e-readers. The apps available for e-readers vary depending on the e-reader brand and model. You can find productivity apps like calculators and notepads, and apps for games for all ages. Keep in mind that that many popular apps found on smartphones and tablets are not available on e-readers because the black and white E Ink screen does not support full motion. Before buying an e-reader, think about which apps you might want and check if they are available. 

Battery Life

E-Readers offer many advantages over traditional paper books, but they do require battery power. The good news is that the E-Ink screen is an energy miser: it hardly uses any power except when you flip the page. The battery life for the typical e-reader is 7,000 to 8,000 page flips, which can give you two or three weeks of reading (depending on how fast you read). However, features such as touch screens and backlights will cause the power to drain more rapidly.

E-Reader Alternatives

The alternative to an e-reader is a tablet. Like e-readers, tablets download, store and display digital content. The main difference is that tablets have LCD screens, which display content in full colour and full motion. These features make the tablet a great option for reading colourful, interactive content like magazines, kids' books and graphic novels. Tablets are also ideal for watching movies and surfing the Web. If you prefer to read your e-books on a tablet, you have two basic options: an all-purpose tablet or a tablet designed specifically for reading, with features such as a matte screen and smaller, lighter frame.

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Did you know?

You can get bags and cases that are specially made for e-readers. It's an inexpensive way to prevent scratches and can extend the life of your e-reader.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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