If you read yesterday's post, I explained what an ebook is. Now you might be asking how you read one. There are lots of ways.
First, you can read one right on your computer or laptop. No need for fancy devices. If you have Adobe -a free software(usually called PDF)- you can read them right on your computer. Or you can read download them and read them on the internet using HTML. This is not my favorite way to read an ebook, but it can be done. I find that if the story is short enough and the publisher only grants these two options, then I can live with it.
Second, after you have downloaded your PDF or HTML copy of your book, you could print it out. This however gets expensive when you pay for ink.
Third is to download your ebook to some form of ereader device. This might be an ereader or another device that allows ereading applications. This is my favorite way to read books.
I started out reading ebooks on the computer. This didn't last long for me as I like to get comfortable when I read. Most people do. So I got a Personal Digital Assistant(PDA) - a handheld computer or personal organizer. These are devices like the Palm. I got the Palm TX a few years ago. This worked okay. You could load PDF copies of ebooks and read them with a back light. As a writer, I could also write books on the Palm and the transfer the data to my home computer. But this was a bit complicated with the software I had on it. I ended up having to reformat everything I wrote. Maybe I just didn't understand it. The PalmTX software didn't support all forms of ebooks either, so some books were unreadable. I have since learned that I need to add a different software to my computer to change the format to a Palm readable format and then load to my Palm. Huh? Right. I want simple.
Palm has now moved into the field of cell phone/PDAs. I've never owned one of these, but I'd have to think the software is better now and might be an still be an option for ebook reading. This all depends on what you want from your ereader and/or phone. Other phones offer ereading applications that you can download to the phone and load ebooks to. Phones like the iPhone, Blackberry or Android have these capabilities. Even the iPod touch. So you might be able to download a free ap for your phone without buying a true ereader. Try ereader.com for software. Many readers might want to go this route instead of spending a huge amount on a reader device.
Now that my palm is kaput and I do a lot of ebook reading, I have a Sony ereader. There are lots of different ereaders on the market, but their main function is so you can read books on them. Their screens are bigger and they hold more information. I won't get into the differences in ereaders in this post as there is too much information for that. But I will give you a list of some different readers.
An ereader is the way to go if you read a lot of ebooks and you need a bigger screen to see. I foresee ereaders adding more aps to them like phones are adding reading aps. I can make notes on mine, it has the date and time, search and book mark features, MP3 player and photos.
Still haven't downloaded an ebook this week? What are you waiting for? Not sure where to buy them? Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you the "where".