Digital books, or eBooks (for electronic books) offer a wide range of advantages over the traditional paper book. First, remember the days of lugging around a backpack full of huge textbooks? Imagine how much easier it would be on the strain and health of students if all they needed instead was one digital device with all their textbook information held within.
Second, these books can go anywhere you go and be read anytime, anywhere. Thought you were in the mood for a mystery but realized later you would rather read a romance? No problem, simply choose from your many book selections and read!
For consumers, however, the problem is not the advantages of eBooks; those seem pretty clear for most folks. The problem is the choices you find with eBook stores. As with all technological changes happening these days, overstimulation can easily kick in, making the decision process even more difficult.
To help compare among at least some of the eBook store options available this review covers nine eBook websites, comparing features, search options and even price comparisons to show variations in similar book purchases from one site to another.
Below are the criteria TopTenREVIEWS used to evaluate the eBook stores rated on this site:
Appeal & Ease of Use
An eBook store should be easy to search and find titles that interest the users. The site should be easy to navigate for basic category areas and by author and genre. Browse features should include popular titles, as well as allow for a more complex search by key word. In today’s online environment, if it takes more than 2-3 minutes to find a particular book then the site is not very user friendly.
eBook prices will become an issue if there is more than one site providing the same preferred book titles.
First and foremost users must be certain they can view and read their purchases after the sale. If a user plans to read books from their computer then there is no issue – all the sites reviewed here have options available for computer reading. When it comes to digital devices, however, things become a bit more complex.
Most popular eBook reader devices also have stores that cater to eBook formats compatible with those devices. Nook and Sony’s eBook Reader are two such devices. For smartphones the options are less clear-cut, but most sites provide options such as EPUB formats which are typically readable on most smartphones and reader devices.
Additional Electronic Offerings
Additional user-friendly features provided by an eBook store may outweigh pricing considerations. For example, one site provides the option for purchases that can be shared with friends and family. A slight price difference may not be important to someone with a book buddy or family members who can share book titles.
Help & Support
No matter how user-friendly the site is, inevitably there almost always comes a time when users have questions about the site, book purchases or other issues. As with any online store, help and support are significant considerations.
These areas are significant in the ranking of eBook stores selected for this review such as Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble eBooks, Sony Reader Store and more. In the end, a user’s choice should be dictated by device, title needs and personal preferences. Be sure to check out more articles on eBook stores.
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