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Read, Set, Go! Tech for easy reading

tech-reading

While some of us love our paper books, lugging those fairytales, comedies and romantic novels around can be back-breaking. Luckily, with the explosion of internet powered mobile devices and apps available, it’s possible to carry thousands of titles around in your pocket.

So which of these modern eReaders are worth keeping and where are the best places to buy and find eBooks? We asked around the iiOffice and put together a quick rundown of the best e-reading resources for all our bookworm customers out there!

 

eBook Readers

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When it comes to eReaders, there are basically two primary options. Namely, whether to go with an ‘e-ink’ based reader, or a traditional mobile device. Electric ink readers like the Amazon Kindle, or Kobo range are specialised reading devices with a monochrome display designed to closely mimic natural paper. These devices have high brightness, no glare, and great contrast, making them better for the heavy readers out there. Electronic ink readers also have much better battery-life than standard mobile devices, so you won’t find yourself eating up your data.

Alternatively, if you’re new to the eReading scene and you already have an Android or Apple tablet, perhaps give those a try. Tablet screens are getting higher and higher resolution with each new generation, making them more and more suited to long-form reading.

 

EBook Stores

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Amazon Kindle Store

Amazon has always been king when it comes to books. The Amazon Kindle store offers the largest selection of eBooks of any online store, both paid and free. Books are only available in the proprietary Kindle format, however there are apps available on all major smartphone platforms that will let you read the Kindle format on a standard mobile device. The Amazon Kindle Bookstore also offers a subscription service, but only on a small subset of all available titles.

Kobo Books

In addition to its eReader devices, Kobo also has an app and online bookstore with over 5 million titles.
You’ll also find a wide variety of discounts and promotions available as well as the ability to send eBooks as gifts to friends and family. Kobo also has a self-publishing e-book platform known as Writing Life.

Books on Google Play

The Google Play store has a wide selection of eBooks available, as well as the ability for customers to publish up to 1000 DRM free EPUB or PDF books, as long as each file is below 50MB.

 

Free eBook Resources

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Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg was started by Michael Hart in 1971 with the digitisation of the United States Declaration of Independence. Since then, Project Gutenberg is affectionately known as the world’s oldest digital library. It’s a volunteer effort to digitise and archive cultural works. There are over 50,000 items in their collection in a variety of popular formats including plain text, HTML, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and Plucker. Usage is completely free because the website is maintained by donations from the public.

Manybooks

Inspired in part by the mission of Project Gutenberg, Manybooks was founded in 2004 with the vision to provide an extensive library of books in digital format for free on the Internet. ManyBooks has over 33,000 titles in its collection including many literary classics, so we recommend you take a look now!

Open Library

Open Library is an online project intended to create “one web page for every book ever published”.
Originally founded by Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, it provides access to many public domains and out-of-print books, which can be read online. As of May 2010, the website has over 1 million titles available in formats that accessible for people who are print-disabled.

Do you have a go-to solution for reading while on the move? Let us know in the comments.

 

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15 comments

  1. Janice Patterson says:

    Quite a few years ago I downloaded free Kindle on my ipad ….and now it’s my reading device , I found books too heavy to carry and when reading in bed, love being able to oder books and get them immediately
    On average I read a book every 2-3 days

  2. Anne Francis says:

    I have a kobo arc. Its a little tablet, and is very convenient when traveling. I am able to download audio books ( as well as other books) from our public library system. The library also has magazines etc for borrowing ….these are all free!! Love it.
    I am thinking I’m able to get the Kindle app on it as well but havent tried that yet.

  3. Helen says:

    Overdrive!!! You missed Overdrive! If you are a member of your local library you can probably borrow ebooks through Overdrive as a lot of libraries pay for their members to be able to use this service.

  4. Ron says:

    What about iBooks ??

  5. Decima Marshall says:

    Go to your local Library and get started with eBooks on loan. They also have magazines, and audio books. All for free.

    Decima Marshall

  6. Robert says:

    There’s no mention here of Audio Books and Readers. As a person who is going to be totally blind in the near future, I need as much info as I can get about Audio Books.

  7. Rob. Fin says:

    JW.org or JW library is an excellent source of free e-books audio and videos in over 800 languages on important helpful and positive subjects.

  8. Allison says:

    I love my old Amazon Kindle keyboard with free 3g connectivity, stores thousands of books, battery only needs recharging monthly. Plenty of free books available on Amazon.
    Recently subscribed to book bub who email out free books daily.

  9. Beth Evans says:

    Audiobooks are great for the older generation, the blind and the bedridden. But there are pitfalls in both buying and using Audiobooks.
    The very best Audiobooks are recorded in M4b format BUT it’s practically impossible to buy a reasonably priced player that can play M4b files. With M4b format you can get all of the title, author, narrator information on your player AND you can bookmark the place you left off reading AND if you get bored and want to scan ahead OR scan backwards because you’ve forgotten who a character was, you are able to do this. Only if your player has the M4b facility to do this.
    Apple iTunes together with Audible seems to have a monopoly on this market. Most but not all Apple iPods can play M4a files, not as good as M4b but close.
    M4a files are music files with capabilities of storing more information than MP3 files and can be “strung together” to keep the music files or “chapters” in order. Like Albums.
    If you buy Audiobooks from the cheaper online outlets you download them as MP3 files. The individual Audiobook may have a string of files from less than ten MP3 tracks to perhaps over a hundred MP3 tracks dependent on the length of the book. You can play these Audiobooks on ANY MP3 player BUT you will often lose your place. Also your files or “chapters” (not proper chapters, just tracks) may get jumbled up and played out of sequence. With M4b format you get real chapters by joining several MP3 files together in a chapter and it NEVER plays out of sequence..
    HOWEVER you will tear your hair out, and it will happen often with MP3 ONLY Audiobooks when your player puts your MP3 audiobook files in a “party mix” thinking they are music files. Your “chapters” get mixed up.
    Note of warning…. Some Audiobook downloads are “secure” downloads meaning that you can only hook the already paid for Audiobook off the internet via iTunes and then only load it on to a Apple iTunes authorised iPod that you own and have registered with online iTunes.
    I found out the hard way and cannot access three expensive books that I bought from AudiobooksNow. The eight other books that I bought from them downloaded fine in MP3 files. Should you prefer to shun iTunes and their monopolising policies, you can get cheap applications (apps) or programs from the internet which will convert MP3 files to M4a or M4b format and make the listening more pleasurable, no more jumbled chapters plus info about the book. Cheap Android Smart Phones make good Audiobook players. Get one where you can extend the memory with a microSD card. Hope this helps.

  10. Lynn Morrissey says:

    I find I need both audio and visual types but I’m reviewing my needs at the moment because something seems to be not quite working. Not sure what yet. Some advice or ideas would be valued.

  11. Kevin Bockmann says:

    Project Gutenberg is an extraordinary library. Contains many historical books of educational and classic studies.

  12. Sue says:

    To Robert, I have been a member of audible.com and audible.com.au for many years and have downloaded over a thousand audio books onto the audible app on my iPhone . I am not elderly, blind nor bedridden – just a person who loves books. I listen to audiobooks in my car; whilst working at home or anytime I can’t have a physical book in my hands! I haven’t tried any other companiy because I have never had a problem with audible. They have a vast range of books; the downloads to the app are easy and quick and if you don’t like a book for any reason, you can return it for a refund. The audiible books have the same numbered chapters as the written book and are easy to fast forward or to rewind. I do suggest you invest in a small Bluetooth speaker for your home as it is a much more pleasurable way to listen than using ear pods. I also know that our local libraries lend devices and audio cassettes to borrowers. I really hope this helps and that you’ll continue your enjoyment of books.

  13. Vicki says:

    I love both overdrive and google play. Love that feeling of sitting at home and “going to the library”. I actually quite like reading using the phone, its small and light and I am quite happy reading on line.

  14. To Sue,
    Many people cannot afford very expensive iPods and iPhones and my information was aimed at this section of the community.
    A second hand $25 Android Smartphone does the trick or a new Alcatel Smartphone around $50 if you prefer.
    It seems that I accidentally inferred that you personally were old, blind and bedridden. Please accept my apology.
    I mistakenly thought that otherwise healthy audiobook listeners would know what I meant.
    Can you legally sell the 1000+ audiobooks you’re finished with or even give them away? You can with real paper books.
    Glad I hung on to my old favourite music CD’s. You can still legally sell these and vinyl too. So keep on supporting iTunes! They are not fat enough yet.

  15. Mary Cheah says:

    MY main concern with having a kindle reader is that when the system crashes or is taken out you have nothing left. no more books they are at best only a temporary thing, they can vanish in a flash….also with the cloud storage, nothing is under our control.

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