Tuesday, January 17, 2017

E-Readers

What to do When Your E-Reader Disappoints You
As winter takes hold and we warm up to some seasonal reading, many of us are doing our reading on an e-reader. Increasingly cheap and lightweight, e-readers allow us to carry a multitude of books with us everywhere we go. Most are fairly well lit, so they can be read in the dark or even sometimes outdoors. Yet sometimes e-readers aren’t so great. Sometimes when you go to sit down and read, there’s a problem. Whether your battery is dead, it’s too bright or the e-paper screen is nearly invisible, any number of problems can arise when using an e-reader. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself in that spot:

Bring the Shade
 If you’re having trouble reading the screen of your e-reader, you may need to bring yourself an umbrella. Whether you’re spending time at the beach or further inland, the sunlight can get intense even in the midst of winter. Those e-paper screens don’t hold up so well in such an environment, but it also stinks to be cooped up inside. So invest in an affordable beach umbrella. Even at the park, you can make good use of the portable shade, and if it starts to rain, you’re in a lot better shape. Don’t forget that e-readers are vulnerable to water unless you have an expensive case.

Use the WiFi

 Unless you’ve invested in a more expensive e-reader with a data plan (and at that point, you’re better off just getting a tablet like the iPad), internet access is going to be a real issue. When you need more books, that’s your only option anyway—so access the local WiFi. Yet be warned when you’re utilizing WiFi in public spaces. Caf├ęs and other hotspots run a major risk of exposing you to hackers, who like to sit in range of unprotected connections and use “sniffer” programs to infiltrate people’s devices to steal data. Your best bet, in that case, is a service known as a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It might seem odd putting security software on your e-reader, but it still contains valuable data worth protecting. This VPN review by Secure Thoughts will point you in the right direction.
As a side note, you can also deal with a lack of content access with a VPN as well. Some digital content is restricted by locale, but a VPN can be used to change your assumed location so that you can shop for whatever you want.

Stay In
Sometimes it’s not the best to go out on a trip; sometimes we need some time inside. When you’re hanging at home and your e-reader has got you down, why not do some reading on your PC or laptop? In most cases, your PC screen is going to be larger and already set up at a better angle for reading. And consider this: reading mobile devices is strongly associated with a new form of neck pain some are calling text neck,” with e-readers being no different as they tend to be held and read in much the same way. Conversely, you could purchase a stand for your e-reader, but if you’ve already got a desk set up perfectly, why bother?
 
Go Low Tech

As silly as the suggestion sounds to some, if your e-reader proves to be a disappointing experience, it may be time to put it down and head down to the bookstore to pick up some real books.

Not only do traditional books have a very different (and sometimes more satisfying) feel to them, but they’re also incredibly cheap if you buy them used. Amazon regularly sells books for just a few cents or dollars, depending on your subscription. Used bookstores also offer countless novels for pennies on the dollar. And one of the greatest things about physical books is the ability to sell them back or lend them out to friends. They also make for great decoration if you’ve got the space.

Options
One of the best parts about owning an e-reader is that you have choices. It may be that the e-reader isn’t the best solution to every problem, but it’s still nice to have. Just be ready to put it down when it becomes a nuisance. How do you like to read your books? Do you prefer e-books or the real thing? Tell us your preferred method below. 

About the Author: Cassie is an avid reader and technology enthusiast. She blogs about a variety of  topics including internet security and the latest gadgets. In her spare time, she enjoys warming-up on the couch with her favorite author.

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