An eReader is a handheld device that allows you to read digital books (‘e-books’), magazines, newspapers or documents. 

Reading material is downloaded from online stores such as Amazon, Waterstones or Barnes and Noble via a wireless or 3G connection. You can also download books to a PC or Mac and then transfer them to your eReader via a USB cable.

Some models have a touchscreen, including the latest Kindle (the Paperwhite) and one of its main rivals, the Nook Simple Touch. 

One of the great draws of an eReader, is the ability to download free samples, to see if a book is to your liking before committing to pay. Amazon also offers Kindle owners a ‘Lending Library’ for free to premium (‘Prime’) members of the website. There are a large number of free ‘out of copyright’ classic books available to fill your library at no cost. 

Key benefits and features of an eReader:

  • Most models store at least 1,000 books. 
  • Screens allow you to read even in bright sunlight without glare. 
  • Some models include a built-in light for night-reading. 
  • Clear text and fonts, and a sharp display. Some later models allow you to customise the fonts that you see. 
  • Adjustable text size.
  • Built-in wifi or, in some cases, 3G connection.
  • Battery life of at least a month on most models if wifi is turned off.
  • Page-turning function so you feel as if you’re reading a real book – with turning buttons for left and right-handed readers. 
  • eReaders do not heat up like a laptop.
  • Books can be categorised or stored as collections.
  • Readers can make notes and highlight pieces of text. 
  • Your own documents can be saved to your eReader. 
  • Screen can be rotated for better viewing of pictures, diagrams, maps, etc.
  • Also able to read newspapers, magazines and web pages.
  • In-built keyboard or on-screen keyboard enables searching within a book, a library or online. 
  • Some models have a touch screen. 
  • You can add your own annotations to the text.
  • Automatic bookmark.