E-readers have exploded in popularity over the last few years. Avid readers might feel reluctant to give up on their traditional paper and ink, but there are several key advantages to using an e-reader instead. Not only do e-readers save you shelf space, but you can also carry around over 1,000 books at a time. Try doing that with paperbacks.
If you’ve been thinking of making the switch to digital, here’s a rundown of the top 5 e-readers that are dominating the market at the moment.
Amazon’s Kindle was one of the first mainstream e-readers. Book lovers now have five models to choose from, ranging from the basic Kindle ($79) to the color touch-screen Kindle Fire ($199). Kindles have a high-contrast E Ink display designed to replicate book print, and to be easy on the eyes. Devices have up to one month’s battery life and can hold up to 1,400 books. Over 800,000 books are available from the Amazon Kindle Store for under $9.99, and many millions more titles are available for free. Users can also purchase blog, magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and transfer PDFs onto their Kindle to read offline. Amazon Prime members can borrow books from the Kindle Store without having to pay a purchase fee. In addition, you can now borrow Kindle books from many public libraries.
The Barnes & Noble Nook is the Kindle’s main competitor. Prices start at $99 for the Nook Simple Touch, and rise to $199 for the premium Nook Tablet. Certain Nook models come with GlowLight technology, so you can read in comfort in darker environments, and Nooks generally have the longest battery life of any e-readers. The Nook Store contains over 2.5 million titles, which are available wirelessly. You can also take your Nook into any Barnes & Noble store and read books on your Nook for free. All Nook models have touch screens, and hold at least 1,000 books.
The Sony eReader is $129.99. Like the Kindle and Nook, you can download books wirelessly over wi-fi from the Reader Store. Users can also gain wireless access to their public library’s book selection and borrow books directly to the device for free. Using the included stylus, you can make hand-written notes on the text, and all Sony eReader books are advert free. With over 1GB memory, the Sony eReader can hold over 1,000 books, and lasts for up to two months without a charge.
The iPad isn’t technically an e-reader, but deserves an honorary mention on this list. As well as the pre-programed iBooks app, which now allows you to purchase and download textbooks, the Apple app store contains numerous apps that enable you to read ebooks on the device, including a Kindle app. The iPad is significantly more expensive than other e-readers, with the iPad 2 starting at $399 and the latest iPad starting at $499. For that price, however, you get all the features of Apple’s trailblazing tablet.
Kobo is a range of three e-readers, including the two Kobo Touch models ($79.99 with adverts, $99.99 without) and the Kobo Vox ($179.99). As well as the standard e-reader features – being able to store countless books on one device, a long battery life, wireless downloads and a glare-free E Ink screen, Kobo also includes some quirky extras that make the device more personal than other readers. These include reading awards, which you can unlock by spending time reading, and the ability to share your book progress over Facebook and Twitter.