Electronic books, also called ebooks, are quickly taking off. Special devices dedicated to reading these ebooks, called ebook readers, have contributed to this newfound popularity with their powerful feature sets. At the forefront of this ebook revolution is Amazon’s Kindle 2. The second-generation of Amazon’s game-changing gadget, the Kindle 2 has a variety of features that people are getting excited about.

Ever stare at your computer screen and get a headache? So did people who used to read ebooks…but Amazon’s Kindle 2 has changed all that. The Kindle 2 uses a new “e-ink” technology that doesn’t have any glare, so you can read it in direct sunlight or in a dim room without hurting your eyes. The Kindle 2 also features crisp, clear images on a large display that rivals some print in paper books! Plus, with Kindle 2 you can even adjust the font size to your liking.

Another one of the advantages of ebooks is the ability to look up words on the spot. Amazon’s Kindle 2 is a walking dictionary, letting you look things up on the web as you read. The Kindle 2 is completely wireless and connects you to 3G networks automatically, which means you can look things up from anywhere. No monthly plan is required; you can read and shop right out of the box.

Online shopping is another advantage that ebooks have over the library. You can download new titles to your electronic reader without ever going to a book store. Amazon’s Kindle 2 is the leader in this department, as it gives you access to all the books in Amazon.com, the largest digital library on the planet. Plus the Kindle 2 boasts the ability to store up to 1,500 books. That’s an entire library in the palm of your hand! No more need to take a stack of books on those long business trips, just one little device.

And that is where Amazon’s Kindle 2 really shines – it’s as thin as a magazine at 1/3 inch thick, and weighs less than a paperback book at 10.2 ounces. It’s slim and discreet profile let you carry it anywhere, and you can charge it from your computer via a USB cord. Plus the Kindle 2 also offers a text-to-speech feature that can read your newspapers and books out loud to you, if you so choose.

5 Things CNN Money Loves About The Kindle 2

It’s really good at what it’s designed for: Reading books that are mostly text. Its e-ink screen technology makes reading a book almost as effortless as reading a book that’s printed on paper. The slimmer new Kindle 2 design makes it easier to hold, carry, and turn pages. And the long battery life means you don’t have to worry about getting lost in a text without a charging cable.

It’s discreet! No one will ever know that you’re reading The Da Vinci Code, The Tipping Point, Infinite Jest, DOS For Dummies, or anything by Danielle Steele.

Kindle-optimized Web sites are on the way. Instapaper, which lets you save magazine articles, news stories, and blog posts to “read later” is one of our favorite Web sites and iPhone apps. Now founder Marco Arment is working on a version that’s tuned to the Kindle’s browser.

It’s super for traveling, with a few caveats. When I spent three months backpacking in Europe several summers ago, I brought too many books: A few thick editions of Lonely Planet and Let’s Go, a Rick Steves, novels for 8-hour train rides, Eurail timetable, and more. A Kindle 2 would swallow all of those into a much smaller, lighter package, plus it would be searchable. But: The Sprint (S) wireless features will not work outside the U.S., so make sure you get everything before you get on the plane. And while black-and-white maps are passable on the Kindle, color illustrations — e.g., subway maps — are often useless.

New books are cheaper on the Kindle than on paper. Makes up for the $360 you have to drop to get a Kindle in the first place. Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, for instance, costs $17 in hardcover at Amazon, but is $10 for the Kindle. The Host is $5 cheaper on the Kindle, too.

With all of these options, it’s clear to see why Amazon’s Kindle 2 is leading the way in the world of ebooks. Just like Apple’s ipod changed the way we interact with music, the Kindle 2 is revolutionizing the book world, offering easy-to-use hand-held personal digital libraries. Modern technology has finally caught up the printing press.

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