Accessible Entertainment

Accessible Entertainment

May 31st, 2013 by Kelsie Bowman in Local Regional News

Kindle Touch

Kindle Touch

When the e-reader exploded onto the scene, my initial thoughts included words like "blasphemy" and "betrayal." I had discovered my love of rustling pages before I even understood the meaning of the words, and I invested a lot of time and money into that romance.

But recently, when my sister handed me her Kindle Paperwhite to share in the joy of a fabulous fictitious find, I was surprised. The e-reader was so light and easy to handle. It slipped into my purse without taking up extra space-let's face it, I was sold there-and right off the bat I noticed at least three other books in its digital library that piqued my interest.

Call me a traitor.

Smartphone apps

With tools like the Kindle app, Nook app, Kobo app, Apple's iBooks or Google's Play Reader, digital book lovers may not need to buy an actual e-reader if they don't mind reading from a smaller screen. Not to mention, some of today's smartphone screen sizes can rival the flat-screen TV in my living room. Since most people in the known universe keep a cell phone handy, using a smartphone as an e-reader seems like a no-brainer.

Who should buy this: A reader who already owns a smartphone and doesn't wish to invest in a new device.

Price range: Free + cost of books

Tablets

Though they tend to be larger in size, thus more difficult to tote around, really any tablet with the ability to install applications can serve as a perfectly usable e-reader. Many still prefer something like the new Kindle Fire HD or the Nook HD+ over the generally more expensive iPad. These tablet-style e-readers are all about entertainment; they have the ability to store and display not only books, but movies, magazines and games. Users can access the Internet and sites like Facebook.

Who should buy this: A reader who already owns a smartphone and doesn't wish to invest in a new device.

Price range: Free + cost of books

Dedicated e-readers

These e-readers are dedicated to the art of reading ... and that's it. Many, like the aforementioned Kindle Paperwhite or the Nook Simple Touch, mimic the look of a real book and aren't so hard on the eyes. Their batteries last the longest and their screens won't create a glare when used outside on a sunny day.

Who should buy this: Readers who don't want to completely lose out on the experience of a real-life book, want the ability to get lost in a story without the distraction of the Internet and who simply want to read.

Price range: $69-$180 + cost of books

Who should buy this: A reader who doesn't mind the occasional distraction, loves movies and games just as much as books and who plans to use the tablet for more than just reading.

No matter how you spin it, today's e-readers-between tablets that do it all, dedicated e-readers and even smartphones-make reading so much more accessible in a world where we never stop going, going. The most conservative e-readers can typically hold over a thousand books-imagine finding space for over a thousand books in your house, much less your pocket.

At the touch of a screen, readers can obtain a virtually limitless supply of books and even movies, magazines, apps and games without having to make the drive to the library or the bookstore. Most e-book editions even cost less than the hardback copies.

And honestly, when I finally make it to the beach this summer-or if all else fails the pool-the last thing I will want to lug around in my beach bag is the pile of books meant to occupy my hours of lounging.

Though I admit-I still love a good library.