sunshineA reader wrote to say his wife has a Kindle and loves reading outdoors. His iPad costs hundreds of dollars more but he can’t read it in sunlight. “Not fair!” he said. “My wife grins at me as I struggle.”

If you Google the question, “how to read the iPad in sunlight,” the first answer that comes up is to use polarized sunglasses. So we bought a pair, and though Joy tried several times during two days of good sunshine, she couldn’t read a thing. She followed the instructions from the web to rotate the iPad 90 degrees, but the screen was still darker than when viewed with the naked eye. It didn’t work for our reader either. Which goes to show, you can’t always trust solutions you find on the web.

For reading in sunlight, there’s nothing better than “e-ink” screens, such as those found on the basic Kindle models. Both the Kindle ($70), the Kindle Paperwhite ($120), as well as at least one version of the Barnes and Noble Nook, work wonderfully in bright light. Too bad they can’t play movies or show color pictures.

Here’s a plus for Kindle fans: If you run out of stuff to read, any articles you find on the web using your computer or phone can be sent to your Kindle where they can be read offline. “” has full instructions for doing this. Basically, you add a button to Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer or whatever you use to browse the web. Once installed, all you have to do is click it to send the article to your Kindle. Other options let you send articles by email or send documents directly from your computer files. Pretty handy, eh?

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