The Joys of the eReader

In the past, I’ve written about using your MP3 player for listening to lots of content and shuffling it around. But the longer I use my Nook, the more convinced that there’s something new and even more incredible out there. I’m not referring to the apps that you can get, either. Rather, it’s that an eReader provides an especially nice way of shuffling written content.

I’ve long advocated using multiple texts or study tools in learning a language. But in the old days, this meant a stack of books with bookmarks and a notebook to the side. With the eReader/tablet, though, your reader will remember where you left off with regular books while PDF apps like ezPDF will remember where you were in your PDF file, which you can read through just like a book.

There’s one other nifty thing out there these days: PrintToPDF. I use Firefox, and so have installed the PrintToPDF plugin, though comparable options exist for most browsers. The neat thing about this is that it allows you to go to a set of web lessons, print them to PDF and dump them on your eReader, thus providing that content when you’re not on wifi and remembering where you were reading the next time you pull it up.

If you’re looking for you next investment for language learning, I’d suggest the Nook Tablet or the Kindle Fire. This will enable you to carry around several books for your study and keep track of how far you’ve gotten with them for little effort beyond the occasional printing and syncing of files.

About G Barto

Geoffrey Barto has been teaching language and culture for more than twenty years. His focus is helping people use language to achieve their goals, both for personal growth and in building their careers. The right words can make all the difference in the world!
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5 Responses to The Joys of the eReader

  1. Jessica Labud says:

    it’s cool that nowadays the technology can help in so many ways to learn a language (you just need to want it and not to give up..)
    this Nook sound great…does this work with ipad too?
    Cause I use ipad, not Kindle…also for example I downloaded an app for my language learning… (I chose this one because it’s free and easy…every day one word I learn…not a big deal)…check the app if you want…

    • G Barto says:

      You can download apps for both Kindle and Nook for your iPad, allowing you to buy and read Amazon and Barnes and Noble content. And surely ic can read PDFs.

  2. Niall Beag says:

    Now why didn’t I think of that? I’ve been downloading websites as HTML and viewing them that way on my (cheapo) e-reader, but the format always comes out messed up. Print2PDF sounds like exactly what I need.

    Thanks for that!

  3. yussef says:

    Any thoughts on how an ereader compares to a tablet for this type of reading/studying/learning?
    My basic thoughts on the ereader is easier on the eyes, but you can probably do a bit more with a full on tablet. Of course a basic ereader can be had for a lot less money.
    I wonder if theres an app out there which lets the user take notes and such on the pdf. This could combine the handwriting/touchscreen options of tablet with physical books.

    • G Barto says:

      I use a Nook Color and you can mark up pdfs with EZPDF as long as they aren’t locked. I’m sure it’s the same for the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire, all of which are about half as much as an iPad. I don’t know about the more basic eReaders.

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