What is a Wireless Reading Device?

B. Miller

A wireless reading device is a small, portable, electronic device which allows the user to download and read books, magazines, and newspapers. It may also be referred to as an eBook reader. A computer is not required when using a wireless reading device; the device is capable of connecting to the Internet and instantly downloading any print media that is available. These reading devices also have special screens that, instead of looking like computer screens, use "electronic ink" that mimics the look of a page in a book. This is intended to prevent eye strain and virtually eliminate glare if reading in a bright or sunny location.

Reading devices that use "electronic ink" are intended to prevent eye strain.
Reading devices that use "electronic ink" are intended to prevent eye strain.

Most wireless reading devices are capable of storing hundreds to more than a thousand books, which means that you can take your entire library with you wherever you go. Books not loaded onto the device can be stored online or on your computer's hard drive for later use; they are not lost or deleted. The devices are designed to be thin and light, to fit easily into a bag or purse, and to be easy to hold. Commonly, specific buttons allow you to turn the page or increase the font size, and the device will also feature a small keypad or touch screen for typing. Some have the capability to read out loud to you, or to play an audiobook.

An eBook reader is considered as a wireless reading device.
An eBook reader is considered as a wireless reading device.

Though not all books, magazines, or newspapers are available to be downloaded to a wireless reading device, there are already hundreds of thousands of options, with more being added every day. Many companies allow subscribers the opportunity to cancel their print subscription, and instead automatically receive the latest issue right to their wireless reading device daily, weekly, or monthly. In addition, books and other media purchased for a wireless reading device are generally substantially cheaper than their printed versions. These reading devices also commonly allow the user to view blogs or personal documents as well.

Wireless reading devices may include other beneficial features such as a basic web browser, built-in dictionary, an annotation or bookmark feature, highlighting, and a search feature to look for a specific section within a book. One notable downside is that these devices run on a battery, and will need to be charged periodically. Though most have a long battery life of a few days or weeks, it could be an annoyance if you are traveling with the reader and the battery runs out.

Most wireless reading devices range in price from $200 US Dollars (USD) to approximately $400 USD, though this changes constantly. They generally come with a one- or two-year warranty against defects. Though it is an expensive purchase up front, over time it will likely save money and prevent waste, considering that wireless reading devices are also better for the environment than the constant purchase of newspapers, magazines, and books.

A wireless reading device allows users to read magazines and newspapers online.
A wireless reading device allows users to read magazines and newspapers online.

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Discussion Comments


@Mor - The file aspect is what concerns me. I've heard about companies that keep tabs on their e-book products, to the point where they will recall them right off your device if they want to or feel it is necessary.

I don't have the best wireless reading device, but what I do like about it is that I can strip off digital rights management from my book files and basically be sure that I can keep them once I've bought them.


@MrsPramm - I just don't find them as comfortable as books and I don't think I ever will. I like being able to flip back to re-read sections if I want clarification on something and that takes forever in an e-reader.

The one thing I do like is that I can now get a lot of classic novels that have gone out of print without having to pay for them. I usually read them on my tablet. But I'd still rather have them in book form, rather than just a file.


I absolutely love my e-reader. I'm a reader in general and I do still love paper books as well. But, honestly, being able to have a hundred books at my fingertips without the weight, and being able to just touch a word and have it defined without having to hunt it down in a dictionary, is just so useful.

It kind of annoys me that some people have reacted so badly against e-books and just wireless reading devices in general. The words are what is important and the ability of people to read them. I love paper books as well and I think they should always be available, but I don't think that using an updated modern version of books makes you any less of a reader.

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