by Andrea Doyle | June 07, 2011
According to Gartner Inc., a leading information technology research and advisory company, sales of e-readers will reach 11 million devices this year. North America accounts for nearly two-thirds of the worldwide total.

Today, less than four years after Amazon.com introduced the Kindle, customers are purchasing more Kindle books than print books—hardcovers and paperbacks combined.

“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books,” says Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined that it would happen this quickly. We’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.”  

E-readers and tablet computers are highly sought-after products and make effective incentive awards. 

iPad 2
The iPad 2 is much more than just an e-reader; it’s a multifunctional tablet. It can be used to browse the web, read and send e-mails, enjoy photos, watch videos, listen to music, and play games. In addition to reading, there is full access to the web and more than 65,000 native iPad apps available. Here is a link to apps for business purposes: www.apple.com/ipad/business/apps. iPads are available at Apple Store locations and authorized Apple resellers. Or phone (800) 692-7753. $499, apple.com, rymaxinc.com

Kindle 3G
At only 8.7 ounces and one-third of an inch thick, the Kindle 3G is lighter than a paperback and thinner than a magazine and can hold up to 3,500 books. The Kindle 3G features a battery life of one month. Books and periodicals are delivered via Whispernet in less than 60 seconds. Incentive buyers should call (206) 266-5026. $189, amazon.com

Kobo eReader Touch Edition
At the end of May, Kobo launched its all-new Kobo eReader Touch Edition. Featuring a new touch screen, the model allows users to just swipe to turn pages, as well as highlight phrases, look up words, zoom in and out of images, and increase font size. The new device also includes Reading Life, Kobo’s social experience that lets users earn awards just for reading. 

The Kobo eReader Touch Edition is available for incentive buyers at (612) 291-8168. $129.99, bestbuy.com

Libre Air and Libre Touch
The Libre Air from Aluratek connects to any Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows users to connect to the web and access over 2.3 million titles available at kobo.com. The Libre Air uses an exclusive, proprietary reflective light LCD screen that looks similar to paper. The non-backlit display is soft on the eyes and reduces glare in sunlight. The e-reader boasts a battery life of two weeks on a single charge. Featuring a built-in MP3 player, the $119 model allows readers to also enjoy their favorite background music while reading.  

The Libre Touch e-reader also has built-in Wi-Fi and features a seven-inch, touch-screen color LCD. It enables the user to read e-books, view videos and pictures, send and receive e-mails, and browse the Internet in full color. The Libre Touch also features a built-in MP3 player for playing background reading music. Contact John Messenger, Aluratek’s national account manager, for more at (866) 580-1978, ext. 8738 or [email protected] $119 for the Libre Air, $149 for the Libre Touch, aluratek.com

Nook Color
Barnes & Noble recently released a software update for its Nook Color, which gives the tablet features such as apps, e-mail, and web browsing. The Nook Color features a seven-inch, full-color touch screen that gives users a vibrant reading, browsing, and even online shopping experience. The unit, which has built-in Wi-Fi, accesses apps, receives and sends e-mail messages, and plays Adobe Flash video. It is compact enough to fit comfortably in your hand.
   
Meanwhile, the Nook 3G and Nook Wi-Fi also offer tactile, paper-like reading experiences with their color touch screens. Barnes & Noble’s expansive Nook Bookstore has more than two million digital titles.

In Barnes & Noble stores around the country, Nook owners can access free Wi-Fi and enjoy the Read In Store feature to read Nook Books for free, plus the More In Store program, which offers free, exclusive content and special promotions. 

Nook devices are available for incentive buyers at Barnes & Noble stores and on its website, as well as at Best Buy. Call Barnes & Noble at (212) 414-6326, and Best Buy at (612) 291-8168. $249 for the Nook Color, $199 for the Nook 3G, $149 for the Nook Wi-Fi, bn.com, bestbuy.com