E-readers are transforming the way we read, opening up books, magazines and newspapers to new audiences and new situations. The number of people struggling with broadsheet papers on the train is falling, and instead of a suitcase full of heavy novels holidaymakers now take just a single pocket-sized gadget.
Here we take a look at just how and why e-readers are changing the rules for travellers.
The convenience of an e-reader is the key factor that has made them so popular among travellers.
Gone are the days when suitcases were weighed down with half a dozen novels. Now all you need is an e-reader in your pocket and you have enough literary goodness to keep you going for months on end.
The e-reader also means that you aren’t limited to the books you chose to carry on your travels. Don’t fancy reading that thriller you downloaded at home? Just head to an internet café and download a rom-com instead.
No matter what the conditions you will be able to read a book on your gadget without problems. Even the glare from the sun as you lounge on the beach cannot stop your enjoyment of a good read.
For those who struggle with small print changing the font style and size is a real advantage.
And e-readers are light and easy to hold, unlike some cumbersome books that flop closed if you try to rest them on your knees. E-readers also leave your other hand free for sipping on that cocktail.
E-readers have come down in price as competition between manufacturers increases, making them accessible to those on tight budgets.
And the charge to download a book is almost always cheaper than buying the paperback version. There are many free books available too, and some libraries allow you to borrow e-books free of charge.
With an e-reader you quite literally have the literary world at your fingertips.
Online stores such as Waterstones e-books have books on just about any topic you can imagine, from well-known and up-and-coming authors. In fact, many new authors are turning to e-publishing as it is cheaper, so you can discover a lot of lesser-known names through your gadget.
It is becoming more and more common for e-books to be more interactive, containing videos, links to websites and audio files.
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As soon as you decide you want to read a particular book you can have it on your screen within minutes, if not seconds. No waiting for a hard copy to be delivered or seeking out the nearest book store.
Go beyond books
Many e-readers also support magazines and newspapers so you can get your fix of current affairs or celebrity gossip too.
Those with full-colour screens emulate the printed versions beautifully so you don’t have to miss out on the latest images.
Not just for e-readers
E-book apps are available on many smartphones and tablets so you don’t have to have a dedicated e-reader to enjoy them. For those who want to travel super-light this means one less gadget to carry.