What is an eReader? Back to Basics

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It seems like there is a very simple answer to a very simple question: “what is an eReader? However, the truth is that eReaders and similar devices are developing so quickly now that many consumers are losing touch with what constitutes an eReader, what they are good for, and what’s the point of them again?

Sometimes it helps to go back to basics when you are deciding whether you would like to buy an eReader, or perhaps when you are deciding which eReader to buy.

We want to provide you with a detailed overview of exactly what an eReader is, why they were invented in the first place, and how far they have come. This will help to help with your decision making when deciding to buy your first or 10th eReader, as well as how to truly get the best from it.

From the Basics: What is an eReader?

In simple terms, an eReader is a shortened version of electronic readers or electronic books. So when you are talking about eReaders, it is a device that can display text on the screen and is a mobile electronic device.

In physical form, an eReader can look like a small computer or a larger mobile phone. There is a variety of different designs of eReaders, so they can all look very different. Many have their own keyboards, which allow you to type to search for books and many are touch screen enabled many have bright screens, much like a computer, TV, or mobile phone. Others have screens that do not emit light, which mimic the look of paper books on the screen. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but this is just to explain the basics of what eReaders can look like.


From the Beginning: When Were They Invented?

There has been a lot of evidence that demonstrates precursors to the physical invention of the eReader back in the 1930s. Namely, Bob Brown, a writer of his time, and named the actual Godfather of the eBook, wrote about the future need for words and books to be available electronically, and then theoretically envisioned what we now know as the eReader.

Much later on from Brown’s imagined “Readies,” in 1998; the first eBook was sold to the mass market. For many years, the eBook struggled to really gain the recognition that it has today, and sales struggled due to lack of interest. It was only in 2007, when the popularity of eBooks rose to the point of market frenzy. It was, of course the introduction of the initial Kindle, which sold out its initial stock in just under 6 hours of being on sale. This is perhaps why many believe that the Kindle is the first eReader; it was the first of its kind to be famous across a wider market.

Now, of course, there is a wide variety of eReaders available, including the Apple iPad, the NOOK eReader, the Sony e-Reader, the Kobo, and of course, the Kindle remains.

From there onwards, eReaders have grown in sales, popularity, features available, designs, brands, and varieties. Consequently, many books are now only available electronically, to the extent that in May 2011, Amazon.com announced that more of these electronic books are sold in the USA than any paper and hard-back books. Find out more here.

What Really Matters: What Really Is the Point of the eReader?

Devotees to the traditional printed book are wondering what the true purpose of the eReader is. After all, it seems there is a myriad of technological fads and trends that come and go. It is a relief to be able to carry the readers anywhere across the globe and get access to your favorite books at any point in time.

However, there are varieties of purposes of the eReader, which go beyond the need for gadgets. Perhaps the solution it provides to the problem of storing a large amount of bulky books in your home is the most useful. As we cannot all have room in our houses for a self-purpose library or drawing room, and even if we can, we may not want to when it is not necessary; an eReader can electronically store thousands of books. Thus, you would be saving the space that would be occupied in your living room or study.

This has also allowed reading to become a much more environmentally friendly activity, with less waste on material. Thereby saving trees from being chopped down for the production of paper. It also allows writers to share their work for free, without the printing costs usually associated with publishing, allowing even the most avid bookworms to get access to an oasis of information, imagination, and inspiration. There are many other benefits and features of each different eReader available.


+Ayodhyanath Guru holds a B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering and has worked with various prestigious clients in the IT industry and presently working as a Software Engineer. He is a part time blogger and presently authors the Jafaloo.Com blog. Being a tech enthusiast Guru likes to surf the web and blogs about interesting technical topics like How-To guides, freewares, Tutorials, Software, Gadgets, web applications etc. Apart from blogging he likes coding in Java/J2EE and PHP.

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