kindle

I've had a number of calls from people that have received e-book readers for Christmas mostly asking if I know of any good websites where they can download free e-book's.

So what is an e-book and how would you go about reading it. e-book stands for electronic book and is the latest way to download books from the Internet to read at home. There are a number of ways to read an e-book either with a dedicated e-book reader, on a computer or laptop, or a smart phone or Tablet PC (iPad).

The most well-known e-book reader is the Amazon Kindle, but there are a number of others from other manufacturers including Sony, MP man, Bebook and iRiver.

We are also now starting to see magazines and newspapers delivered in e-book format, although most of the readers out there at the moment only have black-and-white screens the technology is evolving very quickly before very long we will have colour.

What makes an e-book reader different from a laptops or tablet PC’s, is the screen. They use a new technology called E ink, this is a form of digital paper. Once the image has been written to the screen the screen is then turned off but the image remains. The screen is only powered when you change a page so the batteries last a very long time making it an ideal companion when you're travelling. Because the screen looks very similar to paper it's extremely easy to read and doesn't suffer from any reflection problems that you get with laptop screens, it's also possible to read it in full sunlight which is impossible with a laptop or Tablet PC.

While many of us still prefer the feel of a paper book in our hands, there is no doubt that e-book technology will take over from paper books in the not too distant future. I can hear the screams of anguish now from all those book lovers out there, but as they say don't knock it until you've tried it. We are just at the beginning of that revolution now and already the prices have started to drop both on the readers and the e-book's. Many people that pick up an e-book reader for the first time very quickly become converts to the new technology, finding it easier to read (because you can change the size of the text at any time) and very convenient because you can have a large number of books stored on the reader instead of having to carry large piles of books around or store them in your house. The reading experience really is very enjoyable the screen looks so like paper and not at all like a computer screen that you very quickly forget that it's not a real book in your hands.

There is an ever-growing number of places on the Internet where you can download e-book's, again the most well-known is Amazon. But there is also Barnes & Noble, Project Gutenberg, Waterstones, Google books and many many more. Probably one of the largest sources of free e-book's is Project Gutenberg, www.Guttenberg.org they currently have 33,000 free e-book for download. Another good source of ebooks is www.ebooks.com

For those that prefer to listen to their books or are unable to read due to failing eyesight then you may prefer to get audio books, again there are a large number of sources online including Amazon, Apple and Audible. Audible now is probably the largest source of audio books with over 50,000 available, it's possible to buy individual books or to sign up for a monthly subscription (prices are quite low and give you at least one book a month). www.audible.co.uk Books can be downloaded and listened to on the computer, an iPod, or other MP3 device. For free audio books try www.booksshouldbefree.com they have a large number of free audio books that are in the public domain.

If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for FREE advice. Bruce@mirax.org or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.

Bruce Taylor.

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