Obviously I am a fan of ebooks. But I am a fan, not just because they are portable, are sometimes cheaper, or because they don’t take up shelf space. I am a fan of ereaders because of the tools that they bring to reading.
There are three in particular that most ereaders have that everyone should use.
Dictionary – almost every ereader now has a built in dictionary. For kindle all you need to do is touch the word (on touch screen kindles) or move the cursor to the word on non-touch screen kindles. That will either pop up a dictionary or bring up an entry along the bottom of the page. Everyone needs a dictionary at some point, so you might as well get used to using it. The new Kindle Paperwhite also has a flashcard game that uses the words that use lookup in your dictionary to help teach vocabulary.
Wikipedia – Everyone knows that Wikipedia should not be used to write papers. But it is a good enough system to give a good overview of almost anything. On the new Kindles the wikipedia is a tab on the dictionary popup. So if there is not a good definition in the dictionary then you should try wikipedia. It is particularly helpful with names and places.
Translation – Translation is an option I rarely use, but it is occasionally helpful. Highlight the phrase and then a popup will appear just like you were highlighting. Choose more and one of the options is translation. It does not do Latin, which is what I most often want to look up. The language options are French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Dutch.
Bonus tip – if you are as frustrated as I am about typos in ebooks then take charge and start reporting content errors. In the same menu system as highlights or wikipedia, you can Report Content Error. There are four options, typo, formatting, image and other. Most of the time I only report typos. So at one point in one of the Chronicles of Narnia the book said Asian. What it meant was Aslan. So I typed in ‘it should be Aslan not Asian’ and reported it. If you want you can go to http://kindle.amazon.com and see a report of what happens. It is not very detailed, it really just says whether the publisher has acknowledge receiving the report, now what actually happens once they get the report.