Would you like to upgrade your ereader, or give an ebook reader to a friend? This post you’ll find suggestions and advice on ebook format, digital rights management, and improved night reading.
If you aren’t sure about the recipient’s favorite way to read ebooks, give them an ereader that will read ePub books. This standard format is supported on every platform by dozens of e-reading applications. A book published in the ePub standard format will be available no matter what happens in the marketplace, or whether they shift to a different reading platform in the future. Furthermore, there are numerous easy ways to convert an ePub book to be read on Kindle readers.
A book based on the proprietary Kindle format can be converted to other formats, but the process isn’t easy and the results are less than ideal. However, if you know absolutely that the user has and prefers an Amazon Kindle, then you can gift them either format. They have already accepted the technology risk associated with the Kindle format.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)
If a book is protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) it may be difficult to read on other platforms. If possible, purchase a book without DRM protection.
If the publisher of the book insists on DRM protection, your choice of platform could become important. Apple and Amazon books with DRM cannot be read on any third-party device or application.
In contrast, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many other stores sell book with the standardized Adobe ADEPT DRM technology that third-party ereaders can properly decode and display on any platform.
LED versus e-ink
For the choice of reading device, the only significant criteria I have found is the choice of LED screens versus e-ink screens. Some people have a difficult time reading LED screens for a long period. Other people (myself included) can comfortably read LED screens for any length of time. If you want to gift someone with a new or upgraded reading device, try to learn how they feel about reading on LED screens.
The following readers provide front-lit displays that don’t shine light directly into your eyes:
- $99 on sale: The Nook Glowlight Plus is a dedicated e-reading device. This device can display any book in ePub format, ensuring upgrade protection and allowing purchase from many book vendors.
- $99 on sale: Kindle Paperwhite can only display Kindle-format books.
- $119: Kobo Glow HD is a dedicated reading device which uses Kobo’s reading software.
- €119: inkBook Obsidian is a full featured Android e-ink device which can utilize any Android reading app, including Kindle and Nook apps.
There is a wide variety of devices with LED screens, so you can pick any one which meets your needs. I recommend that you acquire and use blue light filters at night to prevent the well-documented effects of reduced serotonin generation.