Why Every College Kid Should have an eReader

The days of lugging around three, 1000-plus page volumes of Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” are over! Thanks to the wonders of modern science, the backs of college students will be straight once more. The advent of the eReader has created a virtual library that weighs less than a pound.

Following are seven reasons an eReader is a must-have item for kids in college and beyond.

Economical

Though they require a greater initial cash outlay, eReaders quickly “make their money back,” with inexpensive and sometimes FREE ebook downloads of great literature and discounted electronic titles of popular novels.

You can download books on the go

Can’t remember that passage of the book you referenced in your term paper? Now you can download the book immediately to your eReader, then use the search function to find the exact passage.

Searchable text

How many times have you marked a page, only to discover you can’t find it later? An eReader nullifies the dog-ear. Its search feature allows you to find words, phrases and characters. You can also highlight text and copy it into a “notes” file, allowing you to read an aggregation of your highlights and personal notations. It’s great for keeping track of bibliography references.

Some offer text to speech

Certain brands and models allow readers – or in this case, listeners – to absorb literary information via audio on the go – en route to class, in the shower or riding the bus.

The walking library

Most eReaders are “library compatible,” which means readers can “borrow” eBooks from local public libraries. Lit majors will marvel at the vast assortment of classic novels. You can also download free music, audiobooks and movies from libraries.

Most eReaders offer an integrated dictionary and web browser

Unlike having to drop your book and seek out an unfamiliar word in the dictionary, eReaders come with built-in dictionaries and web browsers. Check your email, peruse the latest headlines and search for pizza joints – all in the same place.

Better for the environment

Fewer printed pages result in fewer trees destroyed, leading to a net landfill decrease. Digital eBooks are a great, easy way to go Green.

eReaders cost between $50 (for the Pandigital Novel 6in Personal) to $500 (for the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101). The prices often reflect size of hard drive, dimensions of screen and color capacity.

Katie Fetting-Schlerf is a Seattle-based writer who never thought she’d give up her hoard of paperbacks for a few free eBooks. She was wrong. Now she can once again sit on her sofa.

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