Amazon says it’s selling as many eBooks as it is physical books. The days of “dead tree” books may be numbered because every major technology firm is placing a lot of importance on publishing—Apple, Google and, of course, Amazon are all investing a lot of money to make you switch to eBooks.
Some people just read PDF scans of books on their computers, while more and more are using eBook applications for tablets and smartphones. There’s also a large number of people who buy eBook readers like the Kindle, devices that have been designed only for reading books, and use E-Ink displays that are easy on the eye, mimicking the experience of reading on paper.
Of course, the experience of reading on these devices is very different from reading on paper—a tablet might be able to serve Web links and animations inside a book, while the eBook readers focus on reading ease, and being able to buy and download books at any time.
Curious about eBooks but can’t decide if you’re ready to move on from paper? Torn between an E-Ink eBook reader and an LCD tablet? Answer the following questions and you may have a better idea about the device that will suit your needs best. An “a” is worth one point, “b”, two points and “c”, three points. Tally up at the end and you’ll have the answer:
1. Is the content of the books you read:
a. Almost always totally text?
b. Full of illustrations, photographs and infographics?
c. Generally text, with the odd chart and picture thrown in?
2. Do you read more than one book at a time?
a. Occasionally, but for the most part, I stick to one title at a time.
b. Well, not too often, but I do not often know what I will read, so I like to have a choice of titles with me.
c. All the time. I switch from book to book more than once a day!
3. Are you comfortable with buying a gadget just to read a book?
a. Perish the thought. I have already read them, with no gadget needed.
b. I already have too many gadgets, so no, it becomes another thing to carry.
c. Definitely. Anything that can add to the reading experience works for me.
4. Can you consider purchasing books from anywhere other than a real book store?
a. Never. Books equal book stores: An unalterable equation for me.
b. It depends. If a book store is handy, I would go there.
c. I will go wherever the books are—book stores, websites and apps all work for me.
5. Are you likely to be reading while travelling, say, in a bus or the Metro?
a. I could be reading ANYWHERE—wherever the fancy takes me.
b. I like to settle down and do my reading.
c. I usually read at home, but I sometimes read while travelling.
6. Do you want to read the latest books on the day they release?
a. Not really. I can wait.
b. If a book has been getting attention, I might.
c. Absolutely. If it is on the best-seller list, I want it now!
7. Do you think it is okay to put a video in a book?
a. Not at all. If I wanted videos and sound, I would go watch a film.
b. Why not? It can make the experience richer.
c. No videos. I’d draw the line at some audio or Web references.
8. Do you ever need to check a dictionary while reading?
a. Never. I am perfectly at ease with the language.
b. Sometimes, when you need to get the exact meaning of a term.
c. All the time. I am a bit of a fanatic in this regard.
9. Is budget a constraint when you go out to get yourself a book?
a. You bet. I am the type that hunts for the best deal before buying a book.
b. Varies from book to book. Ideally, would like the best price, but am not averse to paying extra if I think the book is worth it.
c. No, I think good books are priced reasonably for the enjoyment they give us.
10. Do you like to share what you are reading over your social networks?
a. I’m reading a book. What does that have to do with Facebook?
b. All the time, I want my followers and friends to know what I am reading.
c. Occasionally, if something is really worth it.
And the last question, whose answer is worth double the points. A = 2, B = 4 and C = 6.
11. Do you love the smell and feel of paper?
a. Absolutely. For me, books are paper!
b. I don’t mind it, but am not exactly fanatical about it.
c. I prefer the look of words. If I loved paper, I would not have moved from postcards to email.
If your total is 19, or below:
You remain a dyed-in-the-wool, traditionalist bookworm. Paper works best for you.
If your total is between 20 and 29:
You appreciate the convenience of digital books, but need a little extra to make it work for you. A tablet is a good buy for you.
If your total is 30, or above:
You want the best of both worlds; you want to carry your entire library with you, and browse new books at any time, but you still want the best reading experience as well. You need an eBook reader that uses an E-Ink screen.
You worship the printed word rather than the surface on which you read it, read voraciously, and want the latest titles, price no constraint. Get an eBook reader. Now!
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