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Fast online CPE with an e-book reader

Get started immediately with a book download and FunCPE online exams

About 50% of FunCPE courses use free online materials. The other 50% of the courses use books. This article concerns the courses that use books for the course study materials. You don't need an ebook reader to take a FunCPE book course . . . but it is an option to consider.

Why get an e-book reader?

Ebook readers are electronic devices that are designed for reading digital books and magazines. They come in several sizes but most are 8 x 11 inches or less.

All ebook readers:

  • provide instant access to books,
  • are lightweight and easy to carry around (easier than a stack of books anyway),
  • can hold several thousand books
  • allow you to read in the dark (say your spouse wants to go to sleep, but you want to keep reading about that interesting fraud case) and
  • have long battery life. 

For an excessively comprehensive comparison of e-book readers, check out this wikipedia page.

But how do you know which one to buy?

Most popular e-book readers

The top 4 selling e-readers, according to PCWorld are:

But what if you want to use your e-book reader for more than reading?

Tablet computers allow reading and surfing

Tablet computers are another category of electronics worth considering for e-book reading. While not as powerful as notebooks or laptops, they are handy for e-book reading and general web surfing.

I like to buy the most mainstream products, on the theory that they will be supported in the future. So let's just compare the leading e-book reader (Kindle) with the leading tablet (iPad).

Kindle vs iPad

= > iPads are tablet computers that have e-book reading capability.

But they can also be used to:

  • surf the web
  • read and answer email
  • create documents and spreadsheets

You need a wireless connection to be able to access the Internet with an iPad unless you get the more expensive 3G iPad.

Major disadvantage of an Apple iPad is cost ($400 to $750).

= > Some Kindles allow reading e-books and also allow surfing the Internet.

For simplicity and ease of use, Kindles are great.  They are also very cheap.  The ones linked below are especially cheap because the first two have "special offers,"  or in other words your Kindle will display ads from time to time.


Full disclosure

Our family bought an iPad in May 2010. I actually like to read books on the iPad. The text is easy to read (and enlarge, as necessary) and it holds SO many books I can never run out of reading material.

But there is just one problem. I can only wrestle it (carefully) out of my husband's hands when he falls asleep. So all my reading on the iPad is done very late at night, which is a limiting factor.

I have been able to find a number of free ebooks (just search on free ebooks) and our library has a program which allows you to check out ebooks and download them for a limited period of time to your e-reader.

My main objection to e-readers is that you can't share your books with friends.

My conclusion about e-readers

Although I really like hard-copy books, it seems like e-readers are going to become the most common way to read books within about five years. While books will never disappear, printed books will become less common, just as CDs have become less common with the advent of downloadable music.

Which FunCPE courses use books that can be downloaded?

View thelist of CPE course books for FunCPE courses.

Kindle versions of books are usually 10% less than the printed books, and of course there is no shipping charge.

One of the (many!) advantages of FunCPE courses is you can get your book however you want--

  • Borrow from a friend
  • Obtain from the library
  • Purchase a new or used book at a local store
  • Order online from Amazon
  • Download directly into your Kindle or iPad
Since all of our courses are "exam only" and we don't sell or ship books, you can get books for the book-based courses however you want! For more information, read Using a Kindle to take your CPE course.

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