Technology has changed our lives immensely over the past few decades, and every one of us has a certain device we just can’t live without. Some of these technologies, like cell phones or video chat, may make communication easier. Some, like word processors or notetaking apps, may make it easier to get work done. And others, like gaming devices or streaming apps, may just make us happy, giving us a great way to pass the time each day.
For many, eReaders are their device of choice, allowing them to read on-the-go, read multiple titles at once and consume content more easily than ever before. For the E Ink team – who’ve dedicated their careers to working with this technology – eReaders have a special meaning. Inkers Carolyn Tusinski, Jenn Vail and Brian Bigler explain why.
Carolyn Tusinksi Jenn Vail Brian Bigler
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What do you love most about your eReader?
Brian: For me, it's about convenience; being able to have a library of titles with you no matter where you go. You never know when you're reading if you’ll want to read one book all the way through before starting another. You might just be in a mood to start reading something different. What eReaders offer me is the ability to read multiple titles at once, all on one device.
Carolyn: I like the idea that I can pick up where I left off on various devices so even if I don't have my eReader, I can catch up on my reading on the laptop or phone. And while I appreciate that, I also love the low power consumption – my eReader is accessible to me for weeks and weeks on end. That’s the kind of reliability you want.
A library in your pocket
Do you find that you read multiple books at once?
Brian: On occasion. Also, I like the ability to be able to download a sample and read that first. It really helps me decide if I want to go ahead and buy it.
Carolyn: Agreed. Those samples are very generous and give you a good amount of content so you can really make a good decision.
Brian: I also like the fact that oftentimes eReaders allow the access to digital publications, for lesser known authors, so you can really explore new titles and categories of reading without having to rely on bestseller lists or mainstream publications.
What was your first eReader?
Brian: It really is about the mobility of the device. So when I started off, I had the Kindle DX, with a 9.7-inch E Ink screen. Basically, it’s the size of the original iPad and it's just too big and heavy. Now, from that experience, I definitely value the smaller form factor.
Carolyn: My first eReader was not an E Ink one – it was an LCD based NOOK tablet. Same as Brian, that was quite large and bulky as well, and it only made it about five hours in a day. Since then, I’ve transitioned to my first Kindle, the Kindle Voyage.
Brian: I think I'm on my fourth Kindle. But my dad was actually big fan of the E Ink version of the NOOK, because he liked to go in and browse in the brick-and-mortar bookstore, sometimes choosing to buy the hard copy, sometimes the digital copy from right inside the store.
Closest experience to reading actual paper.
Share a lesser-known fact about your favorite eReader.
Carolyn: They allow sharing! You can release one of your titles for two weeks to another person, to share it with a friend or colleague so they can enjoy it as well. What is still the kicker for me, though, is the mobility eReaders offer. The idea that you can just carry it with you all the time and you've got an entire library of books with you is irreplaceable for me.
You’ve each noted that you’ve had a number of eReaders over the years. What has guided you along your path to purchase, or in choosing a new device?
Brian: For me, it’s always been about new features or better resolution. At times I’ve preferred an eReader without ads, or with WiFi, or with 3G. I wanted to get away from the buttons at one point, so I opted to buy a device that offered the ability to swipe.
Carolyn: The affordability factor is always what sells me – being able to get a quality eReader at a great price point.
Jenn: I think I upgraded because of the E Ink platform on each different device, but once I upgraded because I wanted a front light at the time. And then, I upgraded for resolution.
But I was one of those people, prior to having an eReader, who hoarded books. When I moved to Boston, I must have had 600 books with me. I swore from that point forward, I would never buy another paper book because, while I really liked paper books, I have a serious reading addiction and didn’t have the space to keep them all. Now, I love the freedom of being able to buy a book at midnight, or buying a book at 1 a.m. from the comfort of my bed.
Brian: I’m more of a casual reader. I do most of my reading when I'm on vacation or traveling. With that, I love the flexibility and mobility of having an eReader as opposed to a hard copy.
Reflective display means you can read anywhere - even in bright sunlight.
Jenn: I read all the time – like five or six books a week. So I just don't go to bookstores because it's not feasible for the amount of content I consume. And while I don’t mind paper books, I now notice the difference. It’s exhausting to hold a paper book when I could just put my Kindle on a little stand, or I can prop it up against a candlestick and I can read anywhere. It goes right in my purse and I automatically have thousands of books at my fingertips.
What drove you to join E Ink?
Jenn: I joined because it was the next big thing in publishing. At the time, the technology seemed cool but it was early on – the product wasn’t fully finalized. It’s been exciting to watch the technology unfold.
Brian: I joined because of the technology. It was an offshoot of instant photography, and I was fascinated by the research and development going into the brand.