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Tablets as eBook Readers

With numerous eBook reader apps available in Tablet there is no need to buy a dedicated eBook reader if you have already invested in a Tablet. With the introduction of Amazon Kindle Fire we have a 7” Tablet which is very attractive with its low cost ($199) and wide support from Amazon. It will be sold in millions so now onwards I will include Fire also apart from iPad when I talk about tablets.

Both iPad as well as Kindle fire use LCD color displays so you cannot read any books outdoor in sunny day light. But it is perfect for indoor reading and books which comes in colors especially magazines. Since it emits light it is preferred over e-ink display for those who are over 45 years when you start struggling to read in low light. You can also check out the latest tablet PCs, before considering Tablets as eBook readers.

iPad eBook Readers

iPad has too many eBook reader apps from various vendors so you are spoiled with too many choice, iBooks, Newsstand, Kindle, Inkling, Nook, Kobo, ReadCHM, GoodReader etc. It is an excellent eBook reader with its outstanding IPS LCD color display. It supports all kinds of formats.


iBook is the official eBook reader application from Apple. ePub is the native format for iBooks but it supports pdf too. It is not mandatory that we need to buy books from Apple stores; you can upload any ePub or pdf books to your iPad. Indian Apple store has only free books. iBooks gives a fantastic GUI as expected from any Apple product. It gives an almost real book experience by mimicking the turning of pages similar to folding paper showing contents from both sides. Books are neatly arranged in shelf showing the covers similar to a bookshelf in real World. You can create any number of sections for the Shelf and arrange the books as per the topics similar to a library. You can annotate, book mark etc any book and it remembers the page where you had left last time when you open the book.

With regards to customization, iBooks allows its users to change the size of the font, but also the font itself. You can also set the screen brightness right from within any book, which is great for reading at night. You can search for texts within the book similar to spotlight in OS X.

Over all it give an excellent experience with vivid colors which no other device can match at present. Following picture shows both iBooks shelf and iBooks Store.

The only issue I have noticed is while turning pages of a scanned pdf book of large size it takes a fraction of a second to focus which is annoying to the eyes especially if you want browse through the books very fast. Other eBook applications in iPad wait for the display till the processing completed which may have more delays but better for your eyes. This issue is specific to scanned pdf only. But once it is focused I have not seen any other device with such a crisp display of characters which enhances the experience.

News Stand

News Stand is similar to iBooks but meant for periodicals. You can subscribe to magazines and it automatically downloads to your NewsStand when it is published every month. This is available only in iOS 5 so you need to update your iPad’s firmware to get this feature. You can buy most of the magazines you have heard.
Zinio Apps 2.0

Zinio Apps is available across all the platforms for quite some time and it is used for reading, browsing, annotating and shopping for magazines. It is the first popular News Stand application with thousands of magazines where you can explore and read few articles from top magazines free before buying it. Once you buy, it can be read offline. You can book mark articles, pages and photos. Zinio interface is attractive and easy to use. It is a must application for those who love magazines. 


Kindle apps is available free for iPad which allows you to read all books and magazines available in Kindle format. So with Kindle apps in iPad you are not really missing Kindle e-book reader unless you mainly read fiction for long hours where Kindle excels since it is very light. Moreover Kindle with its e-ink display allows you to read your favorite books outdoors in very sunny day. Kindle apps allow you to look up words on Google and Wikipedia without leaving the app and an excellent dictionary support built into it.


Kobo readers support almost 2.3million books, magazines, and newspapers. It has got almost all the functionalities of Kindle /iBook apps.

It supports page turning like iBooks, has dictionary support and you can create annotations. It supports multi touch, mark up text and press and holds more information. Kobo readers with it solid social networking support encourages sharing of your book experience.


Inkling redefines text book for iPad. Inkling reader application is focused on education sector with features and category of books appealing to students and teachers. Inkling allows you to buy chapter by chapter wise, no need to spend the entire amount upfront to buy the book.

Inkling titles are 40% cheaper. The interface of Inkling is uniquely designed; you can find any information very quick, without spending time on searching. Each chapter comes with quizzes and self-assessments. It supports multimedia features too, so many chapters has audio, video etc. to explain things. With its unique social networking features learning become fun, by sharing notes with study groups and it allows you to see other’s comments too.


Inkling books are available in various categories Architecture & Design, Arts and Photograph, communication, Economics, Health Science, History, Medicine, music, science etc visit their store more information.


Chmmate and Read Chm are for reading Microsoft HTML help type files and books. You have customizable fonts and size, background, built in image browser etc.

File management is available through Wi-Fi Connection. There are other book reader apps like Bookman and Magcloud etc where you can find lot of free books.

Read-along App for Kids

There are many interactive books available from Disney and others specially meant for kids with rich multimedia content. It entertains your kid with pictures, sound and video and a nice story to read along. Ex: Toy Story 3. 

There are many other titles which your kids will certainly enjoy, Jack and the Beanstalk, Dr. Seuss Book, Alice for iPad are a few among them. For more visit the link http://www.disneybookapps.com/

Our Choice eBook

Algore’s Our Choice is an interactive eBook which sets benchmark of eBooks. Our Choice teaches us the potential of an eBook. It combines audio, photos, video, maps and infographics with text in a package that truly earns accolades from everybody. The content is all about Algore’s favorite topic Global Warming but it certainly teaches us a lot about the production of environmental friendly energy. The important topics it covers are the following
  • What Goes Up Must Come Down: A shockingly simple look at the effects of man-made deterioration of the atmosphere
  • Population: A glance at the world’s slow but steady efforts to curb population growth
  • The True Cost of Carbon: A glance at the problem,CO2
  • The Power of Information: A glimpse at the importance of information technology to understand the impact of all these

It is better to experience the book so I do not want to write further about it.

 The History of Jazz, The elements and Solar System are other books you will certainly enjoy.

Amazon Kindle Fire

iPad is an all-rounder for content consumption (both passive and interactive content apps) and to a lesser extend satisfies the need for content creation.  Unlike iPad, Kindle Fire is focused on video, music, magazines, books, and web browsing functionality, with secondary support for games and apps.  The hardware is capable of supporting both passively consumed content and interactive content. But Amazon stripped down its interactive capability to focus squarely on passively-consumed content. So expect Kindle Fire to be very good as an eBook reader.

Kindle Fire 7” Display is very sharp and has an anti-reflective IPS screen. Kindle Fire battery lasts for 7.5 to 8 hours. It can store 30,000 books and there are plenty of it available from Amazon stores and is synced with Amazon cloud. Apple Kindle Fire does not have the capability of streaming the video to a TV unlike iPad.