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Technically Speaking: What e-reader is best for you?

Welcome to our new column about technology and you! We are two techies at the Dewitt Community Library, and in this column we will bring you practical information about technology and how it affects your life.

What René Says: I’m a reader from way back! I love the feel of paper books, love the ability to dog-ear them to my heart’s content, and even sometimes (the horror!) like to tear up old ones and scrapbook the pieces into new creations. If you are a fan of all things print, too, you might be avoiding the leap into e-books. There are so many options — e-readers, tablets, laptops, smart phones! My advice for hardcore books fans like myself is to consider a low-cost e-ink reader, such as a Kindle or a Nook. You can load thousands of books onto them, they are small and incredibly lightweight, and — best of all for print lovers — the screens use special ink (e-ink) that don’t have the glare of computer screens so are easy on the eyes and great for outdoor readers! Just toss your e-reader into your briefcase or bag like you would a paperback and read on the go!

What Paul Says: Well, I like reading too, but I like more options than a simple e-reader can give me. I don’t want to be tied down to any one reader or device and I want to integrate my reading into my other daily activities. If you are like me and want flexibility, an e-reader may not be the best choice for you, and many providers of e-books now give readers the option to read the same book on a variety of devices. If you want to read between phone calls on your way into work, you can download items to a cell phone. If you are on the go but would like a bigger screen, then you could use a tablet computer. If you are working at home and need a break, you can always pick up where you left off on your laptop or computer. That’s the beauty of having applications or programs that work across all of these types of devices. Plus you have all of the other features of your phone, tablet or computer at your disposal, too.

In the end, it comes down to individual choice, budget and life-style. Do your research, and don’t forget that your local library is a great resource! At the DCL, we not only have many devices for you to try and borrow, but we can also help you to chose the best options for your needs and give you one-on-one help in how to use them.

Visit the DCL to meet Paul Morrell, assistant director of computing and technology services, and René Battelle, paralibrarian for technology.

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