What is a Kindle?
Amazon’s Kindle is an electronic device used for reading and was first introduced in 1997. The device has since evolved and now includes touch screen devices and devices with keyboards which heighten user experience.
Books, periodicals, newspapers and the like can be downloaded wirelessly from Amazon on to the device and read on screen using e-ink technology. The Kindle software can also be used via Apps on Blackberrys, Macs, Microsoft Windows, Androids, iPhones and iPads, the list is growing rapidly.
Why choose a Kindle over a physical book?
Kindles are small and lightweight so can be easily carried whilst travelling. Kindle books are generally much cheaper to purchase than a physical book and Amazon offer many of the classics and older books for free. Storage capacity is amazing and the screen has an anti-glare finish so that it can be read in the sunlight. When switched on, the Kindle automatically goes to the page that you finished on at the last reading and the device can be set up to show other readers’ comments. The reader can also download part of a book and decide whether they like it or not before making a purchase. The font size can be changed and it also has a very useful onscreen dictionary.
Which e-Reading Device should I choose, which performs their job better?
There are basically three classes of product; black and white e-ink readers such as Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Sony Reader; 7” LCD tablets such as the Nook Tablet or the Amazon Kindle Fire; and full size colour tablets such as the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Firstly sort out In your mind what you want it for; is it just for reading or does it need to have more capability such as surfing the net, games or email facility? You need to consider price and, of course, the weight of the device – an important factor if it is going to be a constant companion.
Also, consider when and where you are going to use it? Research has shown that the e-ink technology screen is easier and more comfortable to read compared to the LCD screen for daytime reading in natural light where as the LCD screen used by the iPad is better in dim or artificial light.
How are e-book sales affecting bookshops?
It is fair to say that the rise in e-book sales is a major cause for concern, especially to smaller independent bookshops. Amazon have released figures which show that they are now selling more e-books than paper books, with e-books experiencing a 366 per cent rise in sales last year! This is impacting badly on publishers who have reported a nine-year low in sales and printers and book shops are obvious casualties of this new technological era.
Recent figures show that independent booksellers are closing down, for example there were 1,289 in 2009 and at the end of 2011 there were just 1094 still surviving.
What do Authors think of e-books?
Many authors are still having their books published but are also using Amazon as a new and unexpected source of additional sales. They’re tapping into a new, technologically-advanced audience and are still enjoying royalties/commission via all methods of sales
Whatever your view on e-books are, it has been reported that more children than ever are reading books in their leisure time via electronic devices which cannot be anything other than a good thing! On the down side though, bookshops were more than that, they are often coffee shops, gift shops and meeting places – so is this another nail in the coffin of the High Street?
Kindle for charities
More and more charities are using Kindles and iPads to market themselves as a form of social media marketing. Having information on a handy device gives information directly to readers, which benefits awareness. Many charities and companies can release social strategy guides on the Kindle or iPad store giving real benefits of social media awareness.
We would like to thank the team at Cancer Research UK for providing us with this article; Keep up the reading, it can be fun through technology or through a book!
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