We have noticed that there is a lot of confusion around the words that go around digital reading (for example, many people don’t seem to grasp the difference between ebook and ereader). We therefore believe it is necessary to make some clarity, with a basic glossary. Let’s start with the basics:
an e-book (we actually call it more often “ebook” without a hyphen) is a digital book, this concept must be clear as the difference with a printed book is exclusively a container, not a content. A book is always a book whether it is read on an electronic device or whether it is printed on paper.
an e-reader (or e-book reader, or ereader) is a device on which to read e-books. Its function is exclusively dedicated to reading and faithfully reproduces the reading on the press as it is not backlit but needs external light exactly as for printed paper, in fact it is called electronic ink. You can connect it to a wireless network and download / purchase all the e-books you want (credit card permitting). It has a very large memory: it is possible to store thousands of texts in a device that weighs no more than two hundred grams and is very convenient to carry around. Once purchased the e-books will always be available on the e-reader without having to connect it to an internet network each time. There are several companies that produce them, the most famous are the Kindle (later we talk better) but the market is constantly expanding.
the Kindle devices sold by Amazon that allow the reading of e-books purchased directly from the Kindle Store. But here too there are two families: that of the Kindle Paperwhite (first and second generation) and that of the Kindle Fire (first and second generation). The main difference is that the former are e-readers while the latter are more than complete tablets where it is possible to download / purchase Apps from the Amazon App-shop, buy music, play games, surf the internet. All of course, only through the ways of Amazon. This “totalitarian system” is penalizing for aspects that are more than obvious but we do not deny that it is comfortable (as owners of a Kindle Fire and a Paperwhite) as you have everything immediately available.