Yes, I'm back...
E-readers seem to have been a popular Christmas present again this year, but I think Christmas 2012 will have seen the biggest choice of devices available.
In the UK the choice has previously been Kindle or Sony- despite Sony readers having been available first, they couldn't compete with the Kindle once it became available to UK readers.
(You may even have taken to reading your e-books on your smart phone...)
But this year there's been an explosion of devices available from new e-readers to tablets.
Publishers have finally got their act together this year too.
You can buy e-books direct from many publisher now- the big mainstream publishers will likely cost more than you'd pay at Amazon, but buying direct from a small independent publisher is a great way of discovering new writers and supporting these important organisations too.
Tablet devices were selling well before Christmas, as they offered the practicality of reading books and being able to access the Internet (though you are paying a higher price).
In October I bought my kobo glo and I'm really happy with it. (It has much better battery life than the first generation Sony e-reader I had.) With the adjustable font and text size, along with the front light, it's great for reading in the car as daylight fades- I couldn't do that with my previous reader.
How do you choose the right e-reader for you if you're finally venturing into e-books? The answer is as usual, research.
Don't be put off by the variety of technology discussed on the TechRadar website, it has some interesting reviews on Tablet devices and e-readers, so type in the name of the device you're interested in finding out about in the search box and go from there.
There are lots of online reviews available, so compare views.
You can try out Kindles in Waterstones book stores, and Kobos in WH Smith's. In fact wherever e-readers (of whatever make) are sold instore you'll find them on display to try out. (Talking the UK here.)
This Christmas (over 3 days) I read 2.25 novels, and at least 10 previews of books I was interested in. It was lovely to spend Boxing Day curled up on the sofa reading - and my books didn't get bent or creased by something resting on top of them in my bag...
I do still buy paper books- just ask my family - but you can't beat e-books and readers for space saving. :-)
Happy New Year...