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Select the Best Portable Ebook Reader

You’re considering a new handheld eReader, a portable handheld wireless eBook reader, a mobile 3G eReader, or whatever flavor piques your interest. How do you go about deciding which one is the best one for your needs?

For most avid book lovers, an ebook reader will not replace your existing book collection. And, you will most likely continue to purchase new books. But as time passes, you will find less and less reason to continue to deal with paper-based books. You may find that many of the books in your collection of favorites are already available on-line for free. Simply download them and you will be creating your new digital book collection. And, you will quickly find that buying a new book for your portable e-reader is simpler and faster than buying a new paper book.

If you are an avid reader and money is not an issue, then by all means, go and buy the most expensive ebook reader you can find. Or for that matter, consider buying an Apple iPad. As you’ll see elsewhere on our best-ebook-readers site, we think the iPad is just the bees knees. But it is much more than just an e-reader and therefore considerably more expensive than most of your other choices. If, on the other hand, money is important to you and you’re the type that doesn’t like to waste money on things that you don’t need, then you need to be careful about buying one of the new ebook readers. Before you rush out and put your money on the counter for a brand spanking new ebook reader, you first need to think about what you want to do with your e-reader.

Each personal reader ‘type’ can coincide with different characteristics of an eBook reader that will best suit your use of the device. And, the type of documents you prefer to read will also have a significant impact on the eReader that is best suited for you.

You have to consider what type of reader you are. Maybe you’re the type who reads many books and then dumps them… to a friend, to a library, to that pile in the room you try not to think about, or to the trash bin. For most books, do you just want the read, like a TV show, and then don’t really care about preserving and maintaining that book in your ‘library’? A book once read becomes disposable? In this case, a basic inexpensive monochrome ebook reader will probably be just right for you. You should consider eReaders like the Kindle, the NOOK, the Sony Touch, or the Kobo.

Perhaps you’re the type who likes to go over a book again and again, or who refers back to books frequently as references you like to keep handy. You will want to make sure that the eBook reader you choose has plenty of memory in order to hold a large library of books. Most popular eReaders come with a pretty good amount of memory, but you have to remember that the operating system of the reader can take up a sizable portion of that built-in memory. For example, the Amazon Kindle comes with 4 GB of memory, but only about 3 GB are actually available. Some eBook readers such as the NOOK, the Sony Touch, the Kobo, the Sharper Image Literati, and the iRex allow for expandable memory using add-on memory cards. This is clearly a desirable feature if you plan to develop a digital library you want to have handy.

Next, what type of documents do you want to read on your new eReader. Each type of reading materials can require a different type of eBook reader to offer you the best experience with the document. Are you mostly interested in just regular books? Are you a paperback gobbler? Constantly consuming one paperback or another? If you only want the eBook reader as a substitute for a paperback you usually have stuffed in your briefcase or purse, then most likely a monochrome e-reader like the NOOK, the Kindle, or the Sony Touch will be all that you need.

If you like to borrow books from your library, do they make titles available in digital format? If so, which digital format(s)? And, does the eBook reader you are considering support those formats?

Do you use many books as reference sources. The kind of references that include photos and illustrations and that you’d like to have available at any time. Are you a significant magazine reader? Do you like art books, photo essays, and books filled with images. In this case, you’ll want a monochrome eReader with adequate gray scales or gray shades to accurately depict the illustration. 16 Gray scales is the best available. 8 might do; but you will probably regret not buying the 16 gray scale device. Consider the Kindle, the NOOK, the Sony Touch, the iRex, or the Kobo Wireless. Or you might find that a color e-reader is the best choice for your desires. The color eBook readers will be more expensive and will also have considerably shorter battery life. You also have a much smaller selection of devices at the present time. There is the NOOKcolor, the Sharper Image Literati, and the crème de la crème, the Apple iPad.