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Easy methods to Make the Most of E-Books, and Find Free Ones


The early models of e-book readers, created about 25 years ago, weighed greater than a pound and needed to be connected to a pc. Those clunky slabs paved the best way for the trendy, lightweight devices that may download the newest best sellers and old classics (which are sometimes free) in mere seconds.

E-book hardware and reading apps proceed to evolve, so for those who’re seeking to upgrade your device, discover a gift idea or start reading electronically, here’s a guide.

You may read electronic books on e-readers, smartphones, tablets, computers and other gear. Before you choose on a tool, consider what you desire to read.

Should you favor text-based books, an e-reader like an Amazon Kindle, a Barnes & Noble Nook or a Rakuten Kobo is smart. Compared with tablets, the monochrome, paper-like screens are easier on the eyes, the devices get great battery life and there are not any disruptions from other apps.

Dedicated e-book readers just like the Amazon Kindle provide a smooth reading experience with crisp, high-resolution text on a neutral background.Credit…Amazon

Should you wish to read comics, illustrated books, digital magazines and other visually oriented material, you need to consider a tablet with a giant color screen. With a tablet or a phone, you should use one device for a wide range of tasks and entertainment options.

Text-only books work superb on these as well, although screen glare and eye fatigue may hamper your reading.

Displaying e-books is only one function of a multipurpose tablet like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. Color tablets are generally higher for showing off visual content like graphic novels, children’s picture books and photography collections.Credit…Samsung

Should you need guidance on which e-reader to purchase, Wirecutter, the product review site owned by The Latest York Times, recommends the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids as its top selection for e-reader this yr, with the Kobo Clara HD and Kobo Libra 2 as alternatives.

The location also has recommendations for the most effective tablets at various price points, favoring Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and the Amazon Fire HD8.

Should you’re upgrading your hardware, consider donating your old Kindle or iPad to a company that may repurpose it — after you wipe your personal information from it.

An e-book reader permits you to buy and download books directly over a wireless connection. Should you already own a phone, tablet or computer and need to purchase e-books, you’ll be able to install an e-bookstore app (or apps) on it and arrange an account.

Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and Rakuten Kobo all have Android and iOS apps that permit you read e-books, organize your library and hearken to audiobooks (or books with built-in text narration).

These digital bookstores even have desktop software or browser-based reading options, which may be great for individuals who prefer to read on a big desktop monitor.

One warning: You may’t buy e-books directly from these apps. You need to buy the book or other content on the corporate’s website, because of Apple and Google’s in-app purchase policies, after which your books are delivered electronically to your app.

And app store owners have their very own rules. The Apple Books app permits you to buy content directly in your Apple hardware. Google Play Books & Audiobooks, which works in a browser, has apps for Android and iOS, but iOS users must first buy their content on the net.

When you’ve downloaded a book, explore the settings in your device and within the app for customizing your reading experience, equivalent to making the text greater.

Steps vary based on the app and device, but tapping the highest of the screen often reveals a toolbar where you’ll be able to adjust the typeface, font size, line spacing and background color of your e-book. (The iOS 16 update to Apple Books moves its menu and toolbar to the underside of the screen.)

If you desire to look up a word within the dictionary or on Wikipedia, translate a phrase, highlight a passage, make a remark or search the book, press and hold your finger on the screen over the text until a toolbar pops up with reference and annotation options.

Within the recent iOS 16 update, the Apple Books reading toolbar has moved to the underside of the screen.Credit…Apple

Along with the reference tools, some Kindle books include Amazon’s X-Ray, a feature that gives details about characters, plot and context.

Like other reading apps, the Amazon Kindle software includes controls for adjusting the look of the text and ways to search out out more in regards to the book itself.Credit…Amazon

If you find yourself able to take a break, you’ll be able to typically tap within the upper-right corner to set a bookmark. Should you’re using your books app on multiple devices, bookmarks and other annotations may be set to sync up so that you don’t lose your home.

E-bookstores offer sample chapters to try before you purchase, and most have free public-domain books as well.

Check together with your local library to see if it lends e-books to its cardholders. Libraries using the OverDrive distribution system typically lend digital materials through the Libby app for Android and iOS. (The Latest York Public Library, nevertheless, uses the SimplyE app for Android and iOS.)

Apps like Libby, far left, and SimplyE let you enroll for a library card and take a look at e-books out of your library’s digital collection. Many e-readers can even borrow books from libraries using the OverDrive distribution system.Credit…Overdrive; SimplyE

The Web Archive, an enormous repository of digitized content, has books in the general public domain together with an internet lending library. The Google Books website is one other trove of scanned books and digital text; many titles are free, but the location points users to stores and libraries for copyrighted works.

Finally, there’s Project Gutenberg, a site that provides free downloads of 60,000 public-domain books in a wide range of file formats. The location’s founder, Michael Hart, is commonly credited with creating the primary modern e-book available for download when he typed the Declaration of Independence right into a university’s mainframe computer on July 4, 1971.

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