Introduction to E-Reader devices and the major ebook reader companies in the market

Today more than ever, electronic book and document e-reader devices are gaining popularity in people’s lives.


There has been growing interest in the functions and usefulness of an e-reader because of the success of tablet pc devices like the Apple iPad.

There are a number of electronics companies and leading publishing companies that have jumped on board to push the world towards electronic reading.

While most people do not know this, electronic reading was actually pioneered in 2003 by several digital publishers but only gained traction in the market with the release of the Amazon Kindle. An e-reader offers practical features that make them easy to adopt. One of the highlights of having an e-reader of any kind is that you no longer have to carry around a lot of books or documents. All that you need is stored on flash memory on the device and is available at your own convenience. You can use your reader to get the latest news, browse the web, read books and even check emails. Some more sophisticated eBook devices allow you to even take notes, listen to audio books and download apps and games. The usefulness list is almost endless as are the reading and knowledge learning capabilities. But by far the biggest feature that most electronic book devices have is access to a vast number of downloadable books, newspapers, magazines and other material without needing to have a computer. Most of these readers can download the content directly over a wireless internet connection or a 3G connection. This is very helpful for those who travel frequently or may not have access to a computer on a regular basis. The reading experience is also well matched in many instances because the E ink® or LCD displays are optimized for prolonged reading and do not affect the eyes. 

One of the misconceptions that many worried about when eBook reader devices came out, was whether people would accept and adopt the idea of holding a device that is lighter than a book in their hands as opposed to buying actual physical books. This misconception has been refuted time and again and recently showed when electronic book sales overtook the sale of paperback books. This is only a small indicator that many people see an eBook reader device an important and a viable option. There are many benefits that come with having an eBook reader in addition to its many features and capabilities but none is more important than the storage capacity. Since most eBook reader devices have expandable memory, it is not only possible to purchase books and other published materials but to actually store hundreds and thousands of books on one device. This makes it possible to eliminate an entire library of physical book. Also since a number of libraries across the US are becoming more open to e-book lending (which was pioneered by Barnes and Noble), the days of having to go physically into a place to find a book may be coming to an end. Of course this is not to say that book stores will disappear any time soon, but e-reader devices provide a compelling alternative to the traditional book reading. 

Amazon Kindle

The Amazon Kindle reader is one of the best eBook reader devices on the market and has been dubbed, the company’s best selling product of all time. In addition to the normal Kindle, there is an ad-supported version which is affordable as well as the Kindle DX which is ideal for students and those who prefer a larger screen. Amazon also has access to over 400,000 titles and books including most of the New York Times Bestsellers and newspapers and magazines. 

Barnes and Noble the Nook

Barnes and Noble joined the eBook reader market in 2009, with the Nook eBook reader which offers a competitive alternative to the Kindle. The NookColor has been dubbed the “Reader’s Tablet” and has had strong sales. Barnes and Noble has about 2 million titles that are available in its eBook range and also sells interactive books for children and a Newsstand of its own. 

Sony Readers

Sony was first into the eBook market but hasn’t been as innovative as Amazon or Barnes and Noble in the last few years. There has been some speculation that a Sony eBook reader will soon be available that can rival Amazon and Barnes and Noble but it is yet to be seen. The current range including the Daily Reader are touch optimized with E ink® Technology which is very innovative in itself for Sony as well as Barnes and Noble. 

Apple iPad

Apple is a late comer to the market but has made waves with the iPad and has made an impact with its top selling products. The iPad is considered an e-reader because of its beautiful display and easy access to many eBook stores. The Apple iPad has been a success and is a top choices for an eBook reader. Not only does it have access to its own iBook store, you can also download the Amazon App or the Barnes and Noble Book App and gain access to all their offerings.