A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Reading Services
With the explosive growth in recent years of digital reading, many consumers are finding themselves at a loss for information when it comes to buying an e-reader, finding the digital content that they wish to read, and securing it in the proper format for their device. Today’s digital reading market is generally dominate by four primary competitors, each with their own formats, devices, and unique requirements. Getting started with digital reading means being familiar with each company’s approach as well as independent alternatives.
Amazon: The Big Fish in a Small Pond
Amazon was the first to market with a major e-reader, which most people know to be the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle is directly tied into the Amazon Bookstore, which offers the largest number of all-digital titles of any digital bookstore currently in operation. The company’s tablets are numerous, with high-end, all-color models based on Android and traditional, e-Ink models that look like a printed page. These devices also support formats like PDF, DOC, and others.
Barnes and Noble wasn’t about to let Amazon get the upper hand in online books, especially since the company is widely considered the largest and most successful bookstore in the world. The company’s Nook uses the Barnes and Noble online bookstore for its content, and it does not have access to competing bookstore options. Consumers can buy an e-Ink or all-color model, and they can view their TXT, PDF, and DOC files on the device as well as images and audiobook files.
Whether it’s scanned pages of older books on the traditional Google Books site, or e-books offered through the Android-focused Google Play store, there are plenty of titles available. Some are even free. Google Books can be viewed on any Android tablet or smartphone, making them highly portable, though the lack of e-Ink screens will give some readers a headache.
iBooks are available for reading on iPads, iPods, and iPhones. They cannot be read on the desktop at the current time, which is a bit of a letdown. Readers will find most major publishers and titles, including most of those available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Great Options for All Consumers
Transitioning to digital reading is easier than ever, with apps that span the gamut form Amazon e-readers to Apple iPads and every desktop in between. Making the switch to a hybrid digital-and-analog lifestyle, has never been more exciting.