Friday, July 17, 2015

5 Things to Consider When Looking at E-Readers

1.  Start with an app.  I have the Kindle app on my phone, my iPad and Big Mamma Mac. iBooks comes installed on Apple devices, and I like that one, too.  I just don't like reading on computer screens.  I think most e-readers have apps available.  They're generally free.  Get the apps.  Pick up a couple of those free books and start reading.  That's the best way to find out which one works best for you.  

2.  What's the battery life?  Dedicated e-readers use a lot less juice than a tablet.  An iPad won't last over a 24 hour travel day unless you can charge it somewhere.  Turning on Airplane Mode saves lots of power.  A backlit screen uses more juice than one that isn't (you can turn that feature off), but a backlit screen is incredibly useful for traveling, camping or reading in bed.

3.  Tablet or e-reader?  I prefer reading on a dedicated e-reader because I like the non-glare screen.  Other people don't notice a difference between an e-reader and an app.  You'll have to try it and see.  When something strikes me that I want to look up on line, I grab my iPad, as my (couple of years old) Kindle doesn’t have a great browser.  However, my daughter's Kindle Fire keeps the Kindle screen pretty well, and has enough internet capability to handle everything she needs from a tablet as well as a reader.  Going with a tablet gives a child immediate access to immense quantities of information.  "Look it up" takes on a whole new meaning.  You'll be surprised at what they find, and how much fun they have doing it.  

4.  What format does your local library support?  It probably does them all, but check.  This is your portal for access to the world for free, so use it. 

5.  Think about durability.  I have broken an iPad, I am ashamed to say.  I haven't broken a Kindle yet, and I am rough on them.  Ask around.

Clearly, I am a Kindle devotee, since I started with Kindle when they first came out in pre-tablet days.  I also love my Apple products, though Windows and Android aren’t really all that different in use.  I don’t know what you have or what you like.  Look at everything.  Talk to everybody you know.  Try things out.  Then make the selection that will work best for you.

The bonus is that starting a child on an e-reader or tablet gives that child access to the world.  That child will, without even trying, learn how to “look things up.”  That child will, without even trying, become a life-long learner, a self-educating adult.  What greater gift could you give your child?

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy and The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy Book Two, Chasing Dreams are both available on line at Amazon in both hard and Kindle format, and available at Smashwords in ALL e-formats.  They’ll be available at all retail outlets very soon!  Five-star reviews are already coming in!

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