During May of 2012, I broke down and bought an eReader. The one I bought was a very light, simple, and basic Kindle. It only has wi-fi and no 3G, and it came with ads. Before the purchase, I did lots of research, going through Amazon, Barnes&Noble, CNET, and Google. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to use my eReader. After I bought it, I’m really glad that I did. Here’s my guide to buying an eReader:
Step 1: Ask yourself, “Do I read a lot?” If the answer is yes, then an eReader may be a good choice for you. If not, then you can probably spend you money else where and be happier. Remember eReaders are a bit expensive, so you may need to save money over time or budget appropriately to buy one.
Step 2: What do you want the eReader to do? eReaders aren’t just eReaders anymore. Many of them have video playback features, can store pictures and music, and even let you surf the Internet. If you want colors and pictures, you’ll need to buy a higher end eReader, like an iPad, a Kindle Fire, or a Nook Color. If you just want to read books, I suggest just getting a basic Nook or Kindle.
Step 3: Do you want the eReader to have the same reading style as a book? If yes, then I recommend getting an eReader that has an e-Ink screen, such as the basic Nook or Kinde that’s in black and white. If you don’t care about the eReader having the same style as a book, then you can look at other things, such as Kindle Fire, Nook Color, Nook Tablet, or an iPad. Personally, I didn’t want my eReader to have a screen similar to a computer since after a long time, computer screens tire out my eyes. I have no problems with tired eyes after hours of reading on my basic Kindle. The e-ink screen is very similar to the style of a book. The only difference is the texture in my hands. Plus, usually all eReaders allow you to change the font style and adjust the size if you need to.
Step 4: Do you want a light included with your eReader? Th upper level eReaders that have computer-like screens all include back lights in the screen. However, the basic ones, such as the Nook and Kindle don’t have the lights unless you buy a Nook Touch with Glowlight or a Kindle Paperwhite. I didn’t want an eReader with a back light since the contrast would annoy me while reading in the dark and tire out my eyes quickly. Therefore, I just bought a basic Kindle, and whenever I read with the overhead lights out, I simply turn on a lamp or use a book light. And actually, many eReader cases for the basic eReaders have lights built into them. So, in order to answer this question, think about how your eyesight usually reacts to light.
Step 5: Will you be bothered by ads? If so, then you’ll want to buy a Kindle without ads or buy a Nook. I bought the Kindle with ads and I still love it. The ads are only displayed at the bottom of the homepage and while the Kindle is in sleeping mode. They don’t interfere with the reading experience at all. However, I can’t choose a personal screensaver. Still, I’m glad I only spent $79 on my kindle, and it still does everything I want it to do.
(Optional) Step 6: Do you care about how the words change on the page? The older Nooks changed word by word when you turned the page, but that drove me insane. I felt like I kept getting motion sickness watching the words. So, I chose the Kindle which changed the words page by page instead of individually. As far as I know, all the upper level models all change page by page and only the basic Nook changes word by word.
Other things to consider:Do you want a touch screen? My Kindle isn’t a touch screen and so writing notes takes a long time, but I don’t mind typing on it too much. Plus, there are buttons on the side of the screen, so I can easily turn the pages. On touch screens, you have to swipe or touch the corners to turn the page.
Do you have a smart phone? If you have a smart phone, you can download the Kindle or Nook apps and still get books without having to buy another device.
Do you care about expandable memory? If you’d like to use a memory card in your eReader, then Kindles are out of the question. Nooks support memory cards, but Kindles don’t. However, with the Kindle comes the Cloud Drive. Any book you download is stored onto your Cloud Drive, so you can easily download it or archive it away, but you either need 3G or wi-fi to do this.
In general, I think battery life is about the same for Nooks and Kindles. They’ll last a long time if you just read books (anywhere from 1 week-2 months), but if you want to do other things, like surf the web, it’ll kill your battery faster. People say that Kindles have a larger selection, but it’s really up to you to do research and decide on which one you prefer. I believe Wal-Mart is now carrying both Kindles and Nooks, so you can test run them there, or you can go to a Barnes&Noble and test run their Nooks. Plus, their staff may be able to help you more if you run into technological issues. However, I believe that they’re both good eReaders, and it’s all about more personal preference.
Any questions or things to add? Just leave a comment ^_^
Free eBooks on Amazon:
As a side note, I’ve noticed that most free books on Amazon are only free for a limited time, and they usually fall into the erotica or dark mystery/murder mystery genre. You really have to go through a few pages of ebooks before you can find one that’s not in those two genres. I haven’t gone through Barnes&Noble books, so I don’t know about their free books if they have any. It’s a good idea to start with the keywords “free kindle,” “free ebook,” and narrow your search down to just the Kindle department of Amazon.