Written by Travis Van Slooten
Owning your very first ebook reader is the start of a reading experience like you’ve never known before. Choose and download your favorite bestsellers in minutes and take them with you wherever you go! However, it is important to know what kind of ebook reader to purchase. Your choice of ebook reading device will also determine the type of ebook formats that you can later download. Here are the more popular ebook formats.
Buying an ebook reader is very exciting! Finally, you’re going to be able to take your books with you everywhere in a convenient, small device. Before you get started, you do need to pay close attention to what kind of ebook reader you should get. There are different ebook formats out there that are supported by different readers.
Unfortunately, there are some readers that are severely restricted in the types of formats they can read. The companies that develop the readers often have their own format, which they hope will become the ‘industry standard.’
The different reader formats include:
Adobe Reader Format (PDF)
If you’ve been on the Internet for any length of time at all, you’ve probably come across ‘PDF’ files. These have become the standard way people pass along or sell information and ebooks. The problem with this file format is it often doesn’t translate well to your reader due to size constraints. Luckily, both popular ebook reader companies, Amazon and Sony, offer ways to convert these files (Amazon’s is more of a ‘beta’ version.)
Mobipocket Format (MOBI)
Another popular format is MOBI. This is more of a standard, and does not limit its own use on devices (though devices can limit it.) MOBI software is free to download onto your computer, and is included in the Amazon Kindle. MOBI is not available on Sony readers.
Amazon Kindle Format (AZW)
The Amazon Kindle is an incredibly popular device that has set the bar for what a good reader should be. Amazon has led the way in the industry, being one of the first to develop their own reader. Most AZW downloads are priced at $9.99 and under.
Sony Reader Format (LRF)
If you’re going to get a Sony Reader this is the file format you’ll become most familiar with. Sony has restricted a number of other formats, requiring customers to make purchases through their store. Take the time to browse through their selection to see if they have the titles you’re interested in as their options are a bit more limited than others.
As you can see, choosing the right ebook reader has lot to do with committing yourself to a favorite file format. As the industry grows, it’s likely we’ll see an industry standard emerge. For now, things will remain segmented, forcing consumers to search for the titles they want.
Take the time to look through reviews and commentary on the different readers. The chances are good that if people are consistently complaining about file formats on that device, you might want to look elsewhere. Despite the difficulty of making your decision, you can rest assured that you’re going to get tons of use out of your ebook reader because they are ultra-convenient in any format.