A device that has revolutionised the way people read books the Amazon Kindle was first released towards the end of 2007. An e-book reader (or an electronic book reader), the Amazon Kindle certainly wasn’t the first and it launched at a time when people weren’t particularly aware of e-books.

So what makes the Amazon Kindle different when compared other e-book readers?

Well, as a massive online retailer, Amazon was able to tailor the Kindle’s system so that it could operate with the online store, which also happens to host thousands of e-book titles. Using Wi-Fi technology, users can buy an e-book via their Amazon account then use their Kindle to directly download it onto the device.

Other e-book readers require a computer connection to transfer e-books downloaded from the Internet onto their hard drive; this is where the Kindle holds a vital advantage over its rivals.

As well as e-books, the Kindle can also access other online publications such as newspapers – which can be subscribed to in e-book form – and some blogs and magazines. The standard Amazon Kindle model has a considerable memory capacity, meaning that a user could store up 1,400 e-books. This is another of the advantages that the Kindle can offer its users.

Recognising that people like to read when they travel, Amazon’s Kindle devices allows users to have hundreds of titles at their fingertips without consuming excessive amounts of space in a rucksack or suitcase. Regardless of whether they’re hardbacks or paperbacks, books – in their traditional form – can take up a considerable amount of space in a rucksack or a suitcase; it would be a struggle to store 25 books in a suitcase, let alone 1,400 and that’s without any clothes or other important items. Small in size but with a screen big and clear enough to read from, the Amazon Kindle weighs less than 170 grams – making it convenient to take over five books on holiday.

It’s charged via a USB cable and possesses an incredible battery length – of a month; this means that a user will probably need to charge it just once or twice on a lengthy cross continental trip. Those going on a standard one or two week holiday probably won’t have to charge it up at all.

Whilst the current Kindle models only offer a black and white display, Amazon has developed a new model, the Kindle Fire, which has already been released in America. With its full-colour screen, this particular Kindle model has proven to be a significant success, although it isn’t strictly an e-book reader – rather a tablet computer that is capable of doing everything the current Kindle does and more.

There are a huge amount of books available to purchase from Amazon, as well as samples and free books. Due to the much lower costs that are involved in producing e-books, they are, understandably, much cheaper than physical copies. This factor has encouraged many readers to give the work of authors they’d previously considered reading, but hadn’t, a look – simply because of the low price of e-books.

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