Who needs an E-reader?

Apart from 3D television sets, ‘e-readers’ proved to be a buzz word at CES 2010

Tags: E-booksE-readerSamsung Electronics Company
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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  January 11, 2010

Samsung unveiled its E6 and E101 e-books at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill e-readers though, because you can use them to write up notes and read your e-books as well. The e-books come with a stylus that gives you the ability to scribble away.

Unfortunately, e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle are not available in the Middle East yet, and we’re yet to see whether its bigger brother, the Kindle DX, will arrive at our shores soon. But if you’re keen on becoming an e-book worm (without the e-reader) there is, interestingly, a way to get your netbook to behave like an e-reader.

The two most well-known e-reader programs you can install on your netbook are Microsoft Reader and  Adobe’s Digital Editions Reader. You can install both of these for free, and they can read some of the more popular e-reader formats such as ePub.

After you’ve installed your chosen software, there’s still the issue of having your netbook behave like an e-reader. That is, you want to turn it 90 degrees on its side and read it like an e-reader or a book. To do this with most netbooks, you’re going to need another free piece of software called EeeRotate. It’s a small program that helps your screen rotate with the help of the control, alt and arrow buttons on your keyboard.

All you need to do then is download books, and the Gutenberg Project provides numerous options with regard to downloading online books as it has 100 000 books available.  

Apart from the Gutenberg Project there’s also other sites where you can buy ebooks from, such as www.ebooks.com. One thing that is really questionable about this site though is that it seems as if books cost more on ebooks.com as compared to buying them online as paperback covers.

At the time of writing, Andre Agassi’s autobiography OPEN on Amazon.com cost US $16.46, whilst on ebook.com the same book costs $19.99. It would be far better to get your hands on a Kindle and download books for what is touted as $1.99 for a book on the Amazon website. 

It’s great to see that all over the world, more people are catching onto the idea of using an e-reader. It saves space on one’s bookshelf and saves money, while at least keeping one well-read in an age in which it’s difficult to find time for that age old past-time. 

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