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Buying a device to read ebooks: 6 questions to ask yourself

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If you are ready to try ebooks and consider buying a relevant device, don’t rely only on reviews from tech gurus. They won’t be reading on your Nook Tablet or Kindle Touch after you buy it following their recommendations.

You should be more focused on yourself. Yes, the most important person to answer your questions about ereading devices is you.

Before digging into technical specifications and prices of ereaders and tablets, you should recognize your own reading preferences. I hope questions below will help you achieve that.

1. How much time do I spend reading?

Tablets have LCD screens, which cause eye strain. That’s fine if you don’t spend a lot of time on reading books. But if you’re a book lover who can’t live without a cup of tea and a good book in the evening – and read for hours – a much better option is an ereader with eink screen.

The rule to use could be: the more time I read, the more relevant is an ereader.

More to read:
A Difference Between Ereader and Tablet Screens [Infographic]

2. In which language do I read?

If English is not your mother tongue this question becomes essential. Ebooks are not as easily accessible as print books. They are usually integrated with ebookstores and with devices those ebookstores sell. It means that you can’t read any ebook on any device.

For example, if you live in the Netherlands and buy a Kindle, you’ll be easily buying ebooks from Kindle Store, but it will be much more difficult to get Dutch language books from a Dutch ebookstore to your device.

Ask yourself how many of the books you read is in your own language. If it’s majority, I recommend you to look for ebookstores in your country and check which ereading devices and applications they offer.

More to read:
6 Sources of Non-English Books for Your Kindle
How-to: Find Non-English Books at Kindle Store
5 Tips and Resources for Non-English Kindle Users

3. Which books do I read?

If you read fiction, you’ll probably feel much better with an ereader. The device is dedicated to reading and its purpose is to make you focus. Only you and the beautiful text – that makes a perfect reading companion from an ereader.

For non-fiction books, full of pictures and charts, it’s good to consider a color screen (tablet). Moreover, if you want to buy travel guides, children’s books or cook books, a tablet is a better option. You will be able to use multimedia elements in those books, like videos or interactive charts.

Only text – go for an ereader. Not only text – consider a tablet.

More to read:
Tablet or Ereader – Which Device Is Better For Me to Read Ebooks?
What Are Enhanced Ebooks And How to Find Them?

4. Why am I reading?

Sometimes we read to escape, sometimes we read to have fun, sometimes we read to learn and work.

If you want to forget about daily stress, if you want to dive into a wonderful world of a new novel from your favorite author, pick up an ereader.

If you want to stay in touch while reading, share what you read and discuss content with other readers, a tablet is a better choice. It is also a good pick when you simply can’t afford being disconnected and want to get instant notifications of web events (but remember: you can always use smartphone for that purpose).

Less connected – an ereader. More connected – a tablet.

5. How do I want to buy new ebooks?

This is a question about how much freedom you want regarding the way you buy ebooks. This is related to the integration of ebookstores and ereaders (for instance Kindle – Kindle Store).

Adding ebooks to Kindle from other sources is not as easy as from Kindle Store. In fact you have to go through a learning process how to do it. Sometimes it means conversion and DRM removal – which I don’t recommend.

If you don’t want to limit to one ebookstore, though, a better solution is to buy a tablet (but not the one from ebookstore, like Kindle Fire or Nook Color). When you have an Android tablet or an iPad, you can download several ereading applications. Thanks to that you’ll be able to buy or download ebooks from different sources.

6. What is my daily reading routine?

Some people celebrate a reading moment. They can read a book only at home. They need a comfortable chair and a pleasant light from a night lamp. Others can read anywhere, anytime, and there is not that much they need to enjoy reading.

If it’s books which drive your day, if you read anywhere, many times in daylight (on a bus or at a bus stop), you should be more willing to buy an ereader. And remember: there is always a mobile phone with you, which is perfect for reading on the go.

More to read:
How Mobile Phones Can Extend Our Daily Reading Experience

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Learning about your own preferences is much more important than which device is cheaper, has a better look and is recommended by the famous reviewer from Gizmodo. As you are turning into ebooks, and it’s a one-time process, it’s good to do it the proper way.

Don’t let the badly selected device spoil your interest in ebooks. Do let the well picked device make you enjoy ebooks to the fullest.

If you still hesitate, are not sure whether ebooks are worth it, you can always use a smartphone to test ereading applications and ebookstores.

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