Love reading? You should invest in an e-reader
WHAT IS A KINDLE OR E-READER?
E-READERS are handheld electronic devices that allow users to read digital versions of books, newspapers, magazines or other documents, all on the one device.
A Kindle is the most common brand of e-reader and is designed and marketed by online shop Amazon.com.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Rather than carry around a small library of heavy printed material, you can access hundreds of books and magazines etc on one lightweight device.
E-books are normally also cheaper and once you purchase an e-book you can begin reading immediately - no need to wait for the postman. You can also easily change the size of the font to make reading easier.
WHERE DO I GET ONE?
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
While many people use dedicated e-reader devices, you can also use a smartphone or electronic tablet to read books.
Apple's iBooks and its Android alternative Google Play Books are in most cases already installed on such devices when you purchase them.
ALREADY A USER? tHEN TAKE YOUR KINDLE TO THE NEXT LEVEL:
* HOW TO BOOKMARK A PAGE
TO SET a bookmark on the Kindle Paperwhite, tap in the upper-right corner of the screen. A flag appears, along with the location and section of the book, with a plus sign in a circle.
To set the bookmark, tap the plus sign. The flag darkens, indicating the marked location.
After you set a bookmark, tap the upper-right corner of the screen and a small menu appears, displaying all the bookmarks that have been set in the book.
When you tap a bookmarked location, a window insert opens. You can read the page from the insert or go directly to it by tapping the page.
To return to your former location, navigate by bookmark or use the Back icon from the toolbar.
All Kindles come with a pre-loaded user guide of 'how to' instructions for your device.
* HOW TO HIGHLIGHT TEXT OR MAKE NOTES
YOU can highlight text to refer to later or add your own notes (like you would in the margins of a printed book) to a particular passage.
To do so, select the text in your book by touching your finger to a word and dragging it across the screen. As you do so, The selected text turns white on a black background. When you release your finger, a pop-up window offers the options: Share, Add Note, Highlight, More.
If you tap 'Highlight' the text will appear as black text on a grey background.
To delete a highlight, select any of the highlighted words by touching and dragging across them or by using a long-tap. A Delete button appears in a pop-up window; tap it to remove the highlight.If you tap 'Add Note' a pop-up window appears with a text entry block and the on-screen keyboard. Type your notes using the keyboard and tap 'Save'.
To view all your notes, highlights etc for an e-book, tap the top of the screen to display the toolbar. Then tap 'Menu', and then 'View Notes & Marks'.
All your notes and highlights, as well as the popular highlights for that e-book, will be displayed.
* TO UPGRADE OR NOT?
INDUSTRY commentators' are in agreement that the best e-reader on the market currently is the Kindle Oasis. However, it's also the most expensive - by a long way - retailing for $449.
Key benefits are that is weighs a mere 131 grams, has a 300 dpi display which makes it feel like you are reading from paper and a built-in light allows you to read in a range of environments. The battery can last up to eight weeks, based on reading 30 minutes per day, and takes just under three hours to charge when connected to a computer via USB.
But big seller for the Kindle Oasis is that is comes with a detachable leather cover that features a built-in battery to significantly extend your reading time - quadrupling the time between charges.
But if the price point is a sticking point, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, which retails for $179, still scores very well in user reviews, and while the Paperwhite is heavier in hand, it's significantly lighter on the hip-pocket.
TOP APPS FOR E-READERS:
THE world's largest social network for readers. READ thousands of book reviews by members, keep a virtual bookshelf of what you've read, and build your to-read list all on the app. While the app is popular, the original website www.Goodreads.com rates higher with users. Free. Available on both Android and iOS.
WHY spend a small fortune on ebooks if your library already has a way of borrowing digital versions of its books? The OverDrive app HELPS users to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the digital collections of participating libraries. You can borrow titles from the library's collection 24/7. Users can create holds and wish-lists. and easily return ebooks and audiobooks. Free. Available on both Android and iOS.
WATTPAD offers A LIBRARY of free books and publications, ranging from the work of previously unpublished authors to free ebook classics, including Sherlock Holmes, Macbeth and even Grimm's Fairy Tales. It is a combination of a way for authors to self-publish their work, a digital reader for ebooks, and a gigantic social network for writers and readers to connect with each other. Free. Available on both Android and iOS.
A LIBRARY of more than 150,000 audiobooks with titles in its library and its increasing integration with Amazon's Kindle system offers great benefits for its users, including the option to pay a small fee to upgrade a Kindle ebook with an Audible audiobook, and then switch between audiobook and text almost seamlessly. You can even bookmark a section of an audiobook, or the capability to vary playback speed. Free 30-day trial, $14.95 monthly subscription. Android and iOS.
Do you have an e-reader? Or a favourite app? Share your tips and experiences with us by clicking the red "ADD COMMENT" button below.