We continue our journey through one of the biggest gift-buying times around the world with the “Buy This” series. A countless number of “bad” gifts will be purchased and gifted only to be tossed aside to join the museum of bad gifts. Unfortunately well-meaning tech-centric gifts often end this way. I’m here to change all of that with yet another inexpensive, but useful gift idea, an e-ink e-book reader.
I remember when I thought e-book readers were a silly idea. Then I tried a Kindle 2 (and then a Kindle 3 and now a Kindle touch) and realized these were great little devices – especially if you read books very often. Here’s why:
- They are fairly inexpensive
- You can obtain nearly any book in e-book format
- Great battery life (not just days, but weeks of battery life on e-ink readers compared to tablets
- It’s light and compact – I find the Kindle & Nook form factor much better than a hardcover or even most paperbacks for reading. And if you carry your book/s along with you the e-reader format is even better for lighter travelling. I can carry multiple books with my tiny Kindle without adding weight or bulk.
- You can check out e-books from the library
So what to buy? I personally prefer the Kindle over Barnes & Noble’s Nook although feature and review wise they are very, very close. I just see Amazon surviving longer than B&N and once you’re in the Amazon (or B&N) ecosystem, it’s just easier and better to stick with that bookstore ecosystem. I put Sony, Kobo & other e-readers well below the Kindle & Nook.
My current favorites are these two Kindles:
You’ll also do well with the Barnes & Noble Nook e-ink devices which of course you can check out at your local Barnes & Noble stores. The Kindle’s can be found in many stores including Target, Best Buy and others.
The tablet – like Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook Color are all good choices too, but they are definitely not e-ink devices and so expect them to be heavier, much less battery life and more difficult to read outside due to glare. The tablets of course do have their advantages, but for book reading purposes the e-ink reader is supreme.