Wednesday, March 9, 2011

E-Reader Guide to Devices, Formats and Bookstores

We're halfway through Read an E-Book Week and it occurred to me that some who are new to E-Books might find it helpful to know more about the different kinds of E-Readers and E-Books that are available in order to make an informed decision based on what and how YOU read.

For instance, if you get most of your reading books from your local library, you'll want an E-Reader that can access and display the E-Books your library provides, something that Kindle, for instance, can't do. But if you order all of your books from Amazon, then the Kindle would be a natural for you.

Ben Richter has created an excellent slide display showing the most popular E-Readers, the formats they can display and where you can access E-Books for each particular E-Reader. Below is a screenshot of one of the slides. Surf on over to the full slide show.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Read an E-Book Week, March 6 - 12, 2011

This week is Read an E-Book Week. E-Books have become immensely popular in the past 3-4 years, but did you know that e-books have been around for 40 years?

Dedicated e-readers such as Kindle, Nook, and others have exploded in sales and tablets like the iPad, which can also be used to read e-books, have practically gone nova is the amount of their sales.

A report made last October from the Association of American Publishers stated that eBooks sales grew 193% between January and August 2010, and a recent report from Amazon indicated that e-book sales have outstripped paperback book sales.

I have my wife's old Kindle reader that I inherited after I gave her a new one for her birthday last year. Even though I had been reading e-books on my desktop computer, laptop computer and iPhone for years and had used the Kindle Reader App on my laptop and iPhone, I had never had a dedicated e-reader and wanted to see if I liked it well enough to add another device to my collection.

I like the ease of downloading books immediately from Amazon, but that is perhaps the only thing I REALLY like about the Kindle. I feel limited by it's proprietary book format and it gets old having to email .pdf format documents to them so they will convert them to Kindle format so I can read them on the Kindle.

I LOVE the idea of an e-reader though! I travel a great deal and it is so much easier to load books (TEXT books. Anything with a lot of illustrations or graphics or color is a waste on the Kindle) on the e-reader and take one item instead of a multitude of books. E-books are economical, though they have been rising in price over the past several months, and I enjoy the ability to search them quickly and to make notes.

So I probably will eventually buy a more up to date e-reader to replace this first generation Kindle I'm currently using. I just haven't decided which one it will be, except that I'm reasonably sure it won't be a Kindle.

Do you read e-books? Which e-reader do you use?

Happy "Read an E-Book Week"!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

National Grammar Day 2011

Do you wince when someone uses poor grammar, whether writing or speaking? Does it make you cringe when someone writes "it's" (a contraction of the two words "it is") when they mean or are referring to "its" (the possessive form)? Does it pain you to hear someone say "I should of taken the train" instead of "I should have take taken the train"? Do your eyes narrow in displeasure when you see a sign that reads: "Patrons must wipe there (or they're) feet before entering" instead of "Patrons must wipe their feet before entering"?

Then National Grammar Day is a day made for you, my friend.

Grammar, simply put, is the system of a language. Many like to think of it as the "rules" of a language.

I was fortunate to have teachers who were strong when it came to English Grammar during my elementary and junior high school years. They provided a solid foundation of the rules and system of correctly writing and speaking. I did not particularly care for diagramming sentences or identifying split infinitives, but learning grammar was not as difficult as math for me. I suspect it is one of those "right brain/left brain" issues. In any case, English Grammar came easier to me than other learning subjects. Though some have referred to me at times as a "Grammar Nazi", the truth is that I am constantly learning and re-learning English Grammar.

And I hope you will too.

Happy National Grammar Day! Treat our language well.
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