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How Does an E-Reader Work, Anyway?

Getting books and other content onto an e-reader varies by brand and model, and there are several on the market. The Amazon Kindle and iPhone, for example, use wireless technology, so you don't need to connect with an Internet-connected computer to buy a book. In fact, purchasing reading material on the Kindle is pretty painless:

  • Turn on the device.
  • Browse through the 3,000 or so titles in the online store by touching a button on the screen. You can search by author, title, or subject.
  • Click to purchase the book, which appears on the device within seconds.
  • Begin reading.

Other e-readers, such as the Sony Reader and Foxit eSlick Reader, require that you download the books from the Internet to your home computer and then transfer them to your reading device.

Pricier e-readers, such as the iRex Digital Reader 1000S, have a larger screen size and allow you to make handwritten notes on your reading material. The Kindle features "Read to Me" technology that will read aloud any downloaded book, magazine, or newspaper article. Other e-readers, such as the Cybook by Bookeen, include an MP3 player that allows you to listen to audio books as well.

Cynthia Ramnarace writes about families and health from Rockaway Beach, N.Y.

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