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Features

Senior News Line: Help fill the hours with an e-reader

E-readers are great for elderly people who might have trouble holding a weighty paperback or who find venturing out to buy books a struggle.
E-readers are great for elderly people who might have trouble holding a weighty paperback or who find venturing out to buy books a struggle.

I don’t often recommend specific products in this column, but there’s one that many of us could use right now: a Kindle. The Kindle is a handheld reading device, also called an e-reader, that holds thousands of books.

Books can be downloaded into a Kindle — both books you buy, or read for free, from Amazon, and free books from your local library. With Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, for $9.99 a month, you can read as many books as you like, or many books are $2.99 or less.

For the device itself, consider the Kindle Paperwhite. Go to Amazon and read the reviews, questions and technical specs, such as WiFi versus WiFi+Cellular Connectivity, audio capability and storage size.

If you already have a tablet, you can read e-books, as well. You’ll need an app, available for free on Amazon, if that’s where you’re going to order books. In the search box on Amazon, type in Kindle app.

The biggest difference between reading on a tablet and reading on a Kindle is this: The Kindle has one purpose, which is reading. The screen doesn’t have a glare, unlike the shiny glass on a tablet, and you can easily increase the size of the type font.

If you want to download free books from your library, either onto a Kindle or a tablet, you can likely get help if you need it. Many libraries are technically closed now — the public can’t go in — but staff are still there, some of them specifically to offer technical help. Call to ask for the specific e-reader app they use.

2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

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