What You Need to Know About E-Reading

It's cheaper than ever to snuggle up with an e-reader. But finding bargain-bin books is a challenge.

1. Look for big deals on the big three. You can now buy an Amazon Kindle, a Barnes & Noble Nook or a Sony Reader for $150 or less. Plus, if you were going to buy a tablet computer anyway, the Apple iPad ($500) and Motorola Xoom ($600) make excellent e-readers.

2. Read the small print. Some low-cost smart phones, including the Apple iPhone 3GS and Samsung Continuum, make decent e-readers. But you'll need e-reading software. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer free apps to download for most major mobile devices. The iPad also comes with iBooks, a Kindle competitor. Want to read e-books on your PC? No problem: The leading e-reading apps are free for laptops and desktops, too.

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Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance