Ebook reader

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An eBook reader, or ereader, is a hand-held device for reading electronic books and other materials which historically were published in paper form.

Kindle 2 ebook reader

The first commercially successful ereader was the Kindle, which began to be sold by Amazon in 2007, and it was closely followed by the Nook (Barnes & Noble). Ultimately, these specialized devices may end up being superseded by the corresponding app on tablet computing devices, including smartphones. A related development is the emergence of workable, standardized formats for electronic books, such as mobi, which allow a book to be transferred to any one of a variety of different reading devices, programs, or apps.

Even before the advent of commercially successful ereader devices, non-copyrighted literature was beginning to be made available freely in electronic form by Project Gutenberg.