The best device for reading etextbooks is whatever device you own. There was a time when e-books and etextbooks came in many different formats, and depending on the reader or device you had, you were required to use a specific format. Fortunately today, you can read etextbooks on ereaders, tablet computers, Mac and PC computers, and smart phones. Today we will go over the main options and formats for reading etextbooks with the most popular devices.
For a truly lightweight etextbook experience you may want to read etextbooks on an ereader. Even though Sony was the pioneer of e-book readers, the most common ereaders are the Amazon Kindle and the Nook ereader by Barnes & Noble. The easiest way to get etextbooks on your Kindle is to purchase them from the Kindle book store. Amazon has a large selection of etextbooks that can be instantly downloaded to your Kindle. The kindle can also read PDF files and .mobi files. You can also download the Kindle app on your computer or smartphone to read your Kindle books on your computer and other devices.
You can also read free books from the Kindle marketplace or even Project Gutenberg on your Kindle. To get free books from Project Gutenberg just go to m.gutenberg.org and choose the Kindle version. When you are asked if you want to download the .mobi file say yes. You can also get free books from other sources, such as Google Books, these will be in the ePub format, which the Kindle can’t read, but you can use a free converter software such as Calibre to change the format. Calibre is a power house when it comes to organizing and controlling the formats of your ebooks. This free took is definitely worth the download when you are using ebooks in any format.
The Nook supports the ePub format and PDF files, you can also use Calibre to convert your ebooks to a format that the Nook can read. Barnes & Noble also offers etextbooks through the Nook Study app, but they suggest you use it on your computer, instead of your ereader because textbooks are usually graphics intensive, plus Nook Study offers extended textbook tools that are not compatible with ereaders. So even though it is possible to read textbooks that are text heavy on a small ereader device, in order to get the full functionality of your enhanced etext, you would be better off downloading them to your computer.
Having your textbook on your desktop can make studying at home easy, especially if you have a dual monitor set-up, which would allow you to have the book open on one side and your notes on the other. You could use your laptop or netbook for a more portable solution and you can usually print most etextbooks that you purchase. You can also use tablet computers and smart phones to view your etextbooks. These are great portable solutions, but you still may want a copy on your computer to take advantage of advanced note taking and enhanced functions that are offered with many etextbooks.
Apple has a new innovative interactive textbook program for iPads called iBooks, which enables study cards, highlighting, and touch screen graphics that you can move around. Most vendors who sell etextbooks offer an app for the iPad as well as an app for Android devices. So you can usually read your etextbook on multiple devices. The easiest way to get etextbooks is to choose your device and then download or convert the text in the appropriate format for your favorite device. You will usually be able to have your etextbook on your portable device and on your main computer. So when you are deciding where to purchase your etextbooks, the format isn’t really that much of an issue anymore. Just choose one of the offered formats that is compatible with your device or use a format conversion tool like Calibre.
If you want to keep it simple, just put your text on your favorite laptop and then choose your favorite ereader or tablet and put the text on it as well. That way you can study at home or when you are on the go. There are pros and cons to using etextbooks, but the lightweight portability can really make studying on the fly as simple as pushing a button.