Lately there have been times when I’m sitting in a waiting room at the dentist’s or doctor’s office and I find the available reading material isn’t interesting or there’s just not any. I’ve tried spending my waiting time playing games on my cell phone, but they don’t hold my interest like a good book can.
Yet, at the moment I’m bouncing back forth between “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, and the “Southern Workman”, a 1921 annual from the Hampton Institute in Virginia. The annual is more of a personal research project, but I’m reading them without putting down one and picking up the other. Instead, I press a couple of buttons on my portable reader system and presto it’s displayed on the screen.
Say what? An e-reader, or e-book reader, or in my case the Sony e-reader PRS-505 (hence the term ‘Portable Reader System’). Which translates as a device that can display digital books, periodicals, and articles using e-ink technology.
The neat thing is that I don’t have to carry around books with me, physical books that is. I just carry around this 10 ounce, 5 inch by 7 inch device that holds over 150 e-books.
I could go on and on about each of the features and capabilities of the e-reader, but it would take a couple of pages. If you click on this link to Sony, your browser should bring you to the features section where you’ll find abundant information about the PRS-505. There are a variety of e-readers hitting the market these days and too many to name here. You can get a list of them and their features over at Wikipedia.
One thing you’ll have to remember is that there are limitations with some e-books. Some e-books can only be accessed online by a computer, laptop, or netbook or some variation thereof, in part or whole due to the agreements of publishers and distributors. For a detailed and legal explanation I recommend an excellent article “Understanding the Limitations – and Maximizing the Value – of eBooks” written by Conrad Jacoby. And as the article mentions, there are several sites that provide free e-books such as Adobe and Google.
E-books are available in the Fontana Regional Library system through NetLibrary, MyiLibrary, Gale, and a few others via NCLIVE and can only be read online. In this situation you’d want to set up an account using a computer in your local library first. This allows you read an e-book from any internet accessible device, anywhere, any time. For more information on this head to NCLIVE.
All in all, I find the Sony e-reader to be a great traveling companion and what I like the most about e-books is that I can carry around a bunch of books without really carrying around a bunch of books.