When you consider the cost of an e-reader device, it does make you wonder if it’s actually worth buying one at all. Many people will just say “I’m just going to stick with my paper-back book”. And that is a valid point. After all, we’ve had the book in its present form for a long time, scrolls before that and tablets before that. The book as we know it now is almost perfect. You can’t really break it, it doesn’t need batteries and it’s easy to carry and read.

On the other hand an electronic e-reader device is a little more susceptible to breakage, need a battery and can get problems with programming. Not to mention the initial cost. On the face of it then that would appear to rule out the e-book reader and we’ll leave it to the geeks. Enough said.

But consider this. The Amazon Kindle 3. Amazon’s latest version of its own e-reader device, is its best selling product to date. How can this be you might ask? Well there is more to the device than at first meets the eye and one must realise that e-reader devices, once sold in enough numbers will have a beneficial effect on our environment. How so, you may ask? The basic answer to this has probably already occurred to you and it is this; that the e-reader can store several thousand books. Each book will require no paper. A best- selling novel of 20,000,000 copies will require several thousand trees to produce. A best- selling novel of say twice that number will require a forest the size of Hong Kong to be felled.

Suddenly the e-reader device begins to take on a different manifestation. It doesn’t seem so ‘geeky’ after all. The Amazon Kindle 3 for instance can store a staggering 3,500 books and it’s no thicker than a pencil! Do you know how heavy 3,500 books would be if you tried to carry them all with you? The answer is over one imperial ton. If you were to stack all 3,500 books up one on top of the other it would come out at 275’ and this coincidentally, is exactly the same height as the world’s tallest tree, the General Sherman. All of a sudden the e-reader starts to make a bit more sense.

There are other plus sides to this though. Once you become familiar with what these new electronic book readers can actually do. Obviously you can read a book on them. The book is electronically downloaded, within a miniscule 60 lwhich though you will have to pay for them, they will generally be cheaper than the paper equivalent. You can also have a pre-view of each book before you decide to buy it, all from the comfort of your armchair, no delivery cost and no trekking out to buy at a shop.

If you like your morning newspaper then I’m afraid I can’t help you........but wait, that’s not true. In fact you can have your newspaper sent to you on your book reading device! It just gets better and better. There are also several features that this new technology embraces too. These include the ability to bookmark your last page, read in direct sunlight just like on an ordinary book and if you get tired or something, then depending on which device you decide to buy, will read the book to you. I must admit I like the last bit. Often when I lie in bed at night I listen to the radio and nothing will interest me and it would be great to have the sort of literature I like to read available to me. I love falling asleep to my favourite novel/non-fiction, it’s totally brilliant.

You can actually see this quiet revolution beginning to happen. In America, the sale of e-books, for the first time, surpassed that of hardcopy publications. There is even talk of this device entering our education systems and it is suggested that school children will carry one of these devices around much in the same way as the calculator. This quiet revolution is similar in many ways to how the music industry is going. Today we think nothing of storing all our favourite music on one or two devices so small as to be almost miraculous especially when you consider the size of a vinyl record (LP) as lovely as they are, they do look amazingly large in comparison to the gadgets we store our music on today.

In conclusion, e-readers are beginning to attract the attention of the public as this triumph of technology begins to change our perceptions of reading. The idea of being able to carry so many books, newspapers, magazines and documents, even surf the web (3G model) is a technology that just has to be embraced. E-readers are the future.