Searching for books to read in your native language

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Have you Asked Where can I Find Free Online Books to Read?

One of the more common questions posted in expatriate groups is where can they find reading material or libraries with reading material

Reading a book
Reading before the 21st century

in the expats’ native language. We have found there are several Expat run English libraries in the country we live in, but probably a better option is to seek out and find free online books to read.

There are many sites to either download books or to read them online and with a regular internet connection this is a good way to find much of what you want to read. Probably the best part of these services is books that are no longer under copyright protection are available in many locations.

Many of us are satisfied with the huge free libraries available online, and reading the selections on our computer or tablet, yet many of us also find two things lacking in this experience. First, this will never replace the demand for current periodicals such as magazines and newspapers in digital form. Second, the availability of an actual book from today’s best seller list. Fortunately, several companies have come up with digital solutions that go a long way towards resolving these two issues. Welcome to the world of E Readers

What is an E Reader?

Kindle E Reader
Reading in the 21st century

If you are among those of us who are asking or have asked what is an E Reader, we will demonstrate how these are an indispensable item to have to receive current reading in your native language almost anywhere in the world. Like most electronic products E Readers were offered by many companies beginning with the Rocket ebook marketed by Barnes and Noble in 1997. Unlike many tablets the E Readers use a screen display aptly named electronic paper enhancing the readability of the display.

The market has evolved significantly beginning with the introduction of the Kindle E Reader in 1998 by Amazon. Currently while many E Readers have come and gone, there are three leading marketers of E Readers. Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble are the three major players in the E Reader market and each has advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other two so it is best to decide what features are important to you when narrowing your selection.

The current market leader is the Amazon Kindle line of products and you can read our review of their four Kindle products by clicking here. In quick summary the major advantages of the Kindle products are there is a model for each of four different price point customers ranging from those seeking a reader for under $100 to those willing to pay significantly more for many more features which are detailed in our review linked above.

In addition to many models with many features such as screen lighting to enable reading in the dark without any additional lighting, the Kindle has access to the Amazon library of books. magazines and newspapers which is, in our opinion, the most extensive, best organized library out there today. Amazon offers a number of inexpensive subscription services including Amazon Prime which we review here and the unlimited reading subsciption which we review here.

Another great advantage of the Kindles is all but the entry level model can be purchased with access to cell phone networks that allow you to access your reading anywhere you can find cell phone connectivity, and Amazon pays the Cell network charges. The major thing the Kindle products lack is the ability to use the common open format E Reader Epub files.

Kobo E Readers are the generic E Readers that do a surprisingly good job accessing many digital publications. Unlike the Kindle, Kobo readers have access to Epub formatted digital publications and they also do not force the user to read advertising like some Kindle products do.

Kobo have high screen resolution making them easy to read in the daylight, a large amount of onboard storage and months of battery life. The area where Kobo comes up short is the digital library it accesses is not as well organized nor as easy to navigate as the Kindle library is.

As mentioned above Barnes and Noble introduced the E Reader by marketing the Rocket ebook. Today Barnes and Noble remains an active player in the E Reader market with its Nook Glowlight Plus model which is an inexpensive yet capable E Reader. The first advantage of the Nook Glowlight Plus is it is waterproof at and inexpensive price point.

Second like the Kindle Paperwhite which we review here the Nook Glowlight Plus it has a touchscreen display and a screen lighting ststem that allows you to read in the dary without additional lighting.

The biggest disadvantage the Nook Glowlight Plus has versus the Kindle family of products is the same as Kobos main disadvantage. The library is not as complete, organized nor easy to access as Amazon’s Kindle library.

In summary, the best way to find contemporary reading in your native language in a country that speaks a different language than you do is by using an E Reader. While we have presented three of the most popular brands, in our opinion based on access, features and ease of use the Amazon Kindle family of products is the handsdown winner. Enjoy your Reading!


If you have any suggestions, ideas and or questions please leave a comment below.

6 thoughts on “Searching for books to read in your native language”

  1. My Grandmother is looking to retire and wants to leave the colder climate and move to closer to the equator. We were just talking about that when here comes your website! She currently doesn’t have an E-Reader and I like doing early shopping can you blame me? This site DEFINITELY clears up which model I would think about getting her. Thank you for such a great website!

    1. Hi Akeem, I am happy the reviews of how to find reading in your language were helpful.  You might also enjoy and learn from articles on how to find entertainment you are familiar with from your home country and how to stay in contact with your home country once you have moved.  Both are linked for your ease of finding them.  Finally most of us have found there are things we have to have that we cannot find locally.  To assist us we have a page to help our visitors access online shopping and you can access it by clicking here.

  2. Thanks to your article, differences between various
    E Readers finally became clear. I my opinion, E Readers are an excellent idea. I know that my daughter truly benefited from hers while backpacking around Europe. Thank you for the comprehensive review of different E Readers. I found them very helpful.

  3. Hi Robert,

    one of the best way to read now is using E-reader, that’s the way to go, I agree that Kindle is the best still on the market or well at least for me. its so simple and light, safe for the eyes

    the bad thing with the kindle is with the many ads which kind of annoying sometimes.

    and nook is waterproof? really ? didn’t know it before reading this post… thank you for sharing robert 🙂

    1. thank you for the comments Elbert.  The nook model mentioned is waterproof, that seems to be the trend so check the specs of any E Reader you are considering.

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