Jan 27
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When Johannes Gutenberg created the movable type printing process, around about 1439 AD, it really transformed both book production and the act of reading. A lot of students of history hold it as being among the most far-reaching events in modern-day history. It resulted in the mass production of very affordable printed books, massively boosted literacy levels in Europe, and later the world, and was an important facet in the renaissance, the reformation and both the industrial and scientific revolutions. It, quite literally, put printed books in the hands of the common citizen for the first time ever and prepared the groundwork for our present day, knowledge based culture.

In between Gutenberg's innovation of movable type and the very early twenty-first century, there had not been a great deal of innovation in basic book design. There were undoubtedly enhancements in printing techniques and productivity. Computerised text editing and computer controlled printing techniques decreased cost and time requirements, but the end merchandise, the book, would still have been immediately recognisable to Gutenberg and his contemporaries. It was not until the introduction of e-readers, beginning in 2006, that there was a further quantum leap in the world of books. Electronic books and pdf files had been about for quite some time previous to that, but they definitely had to be read on computers. Whilst some of these at least were "easily transportable", they were a long way from the convenient size and weight of a book.

E-books and e-readers rapidly grew in popularity. As consumers purchased more e-book readers, additional e-books were provided to read on them. Having a bigger choice of readily available electronic books gave yet more consumers the faith to buy the readers, which stimulated publishing companies to make even more e-books accessible.

It was an upward spiral and by 2009, when Amazon launched its enhanced Kindle 2.0, e-readers were definitely the hot gadget on the marketplace. Having the ability to acquire e-reader hardware from a company with such a long established connection with books, and one which provided a tremendous assortment of e-book titles suitable for use with its reader hardware, gave buyers even more confidence and sales of e-readers soared. B&N subsequently launched the Nook reader which was, for some time at least, the main competition for Amazon's Kindle.


E-readers were effectively an immediate hit with anybody who travelled quite a bit. The ability to lug hundreds, even thousands, of books around in such a tiny and light gadget was incredibly appealing. No more battling to jam heavy books into hand luggage, an e-reader could provide you with all the reading material you needed for a brief trip or holiday. The lengthy battery life was yet another very appealing feature. Most e-book readers will work for several weeks between battery charges. There is no requirement to stress over running out of battery power - and if you're off on a fairly short excursion, you might not even need to carry your cable and charger.

When e-readers appeared on the marketplace, they gave an extremely user-friendly package for reading and carrying e-books. They could keep countless electronic books in their on-board memory, and they were more compact and lighter in weight than a typical paperback. They also employed e-ink technology screens, which were fantastic to read text on and had an extremely low power demand.

E-readers can run for weeks between one battery charge and the next, so there's very little risk of running low on power when you're at an exciting part of your latest best-selling novel. Simply put, e-readers were (and still remain) the ideal instrument for reading text based e-books. It was a marriage made in heaven; the e-reader hardware and the e-book products complemented each other perfectly, and each thrived on the success of the other.

Amongst the fundamental distinguishing aspects of today's e-readers is the e-ink technology display screen. This uses pigmented spheres held in suspension in a viscous fluid and sandwiched between two electrical contacts. By modifying the current in the plates, white or black spheres, are located in view and this creates the text.

It's a great way of showing text and is, for many people, just as good as looking at printed text on paper. There's no back-light, so you will experience less eye strain than when reading on a normal computer monitor, and you can pick the font type and size that suits you best. All things considered, it's an extremely pleasurable reading experience. After making use of an e-reader for an hour or two, many people will probably not be aware that they are working with an electronic instrument instead of thumbing through the pages of a conventional printed book.

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