5 Reasons To Avoid A New E-Reader Today

Kindle Scribe vs. reMarkable

5 Reasons To Avoid A New E-Reader Today

Key Points

  • E-readers rely on a battery, which no physical book requires
  • Some e-readers cost more than $100
  • E-reader devices have limited storage space
  • It’s easy to get distracted while reading e-books on an e-reader
  • The potential negative effects of blue light could hurt your eyes

E-readers have disrupted the way we read by offering a portable and versatile digital reading experience. These devices allow us to carry entire libraries in a single device, customize our reading preferences, and even access a wide range of e-books in the cloud. However, jumping onto the e-reader bandwagon might not be the best idea for all. It’s important to consider these five reasons to avoid a new e-reader today before buying one for yourself. 

5 Must-Know Facts About E-Readers

  • E-readers are small, slim devices that store digital libraries of e-books. They easily fit in your bag or pocket, making them highly portable for reading on the go.
  • With an e-reader, you can carry an entire library’s worth of books in a single device. Most e-readers allow you to download and store thousands of e-books in the cloud, giving you a wide range of reading options to choose from.
  • Unlike traditional books, e-readers allow you to customize the text size, font style, and spacing of each title according to your preferences.
  • Most e-readers come with built-in backlighting. This illuminates the screen to make it easier to read in all lighting conditions, not just in well-lit spaces.
  • Modern e-readers offer features such as digital highlighting, note-taking, and bookmarking. This makes it easier to revisit important sections, jot down thoughts, or organize your reading materials.
  1. Amazon Kindle (2022)
    • 300 PPI display (glare-free, paper-like)
    • A single charge via USB-C lasts up to 6 weeks
    • 16GB of storage
    • Access to Kindle Unlimited with over 2 million titles
    Buy Now on Amazon

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    11/28/2023 05:27 am GMT
  2. Kobo Libra 2
    • 7" HD E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen
    • Waterproof body for reading anywhere
    • 32GB of storage
    • You can take up to 24,000 ebooks, 150 Kobo Audiobooks, or a combination of both with you anywhere
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/27/2023 09:23 pm GMT
  3. Kindle Paperwhite
    • 6.8-inch 300 PPI glare-free display
    • Up to 10 weeks of battery life
    • Available in three different colors
    • Now includes 20% faster page turns
    Buy on Amazon

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    11/27/2023 12:12 am GMT
  4. Kindle Scribe
    • 10.2-inch 300PPI display
    • Take notes with millions of titles in the Kindle store
    • Create notebooks, journals, and lists
    • Review digital documents
    Buy on Amazon

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    11/26/2023 10:41 pm GMT
  5. BOOX Note Air2 Plus
    • Large 10.3-inch e-ink screen
    • Take notes or make sketches with digital tools
    • Choose from a basic or premium pen
    • 64GB storage
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  6. Kindle Kids (2022 release) – Includes access to thousands of books, a cover, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee - Ocean Explorer
    • Designed for reading only, so there are no apps or games
    • A single charge lasts up to 6 weeks
    • 16GB of storage
    • Comes with a 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/27/2023 11:16 am GMT

The History of E-Readers

Despite their popularity today, the history of e-readers truly begins in the 1970s. Half a century ago, researchers and developers first began exploring the possibility of an electronic book. However, it would take them 20 whole years to make this idea a reality. The late 1990s saw e-readers finally emerge as a viable, affordable technology for consumers to read digital books on the go. The NuvoMedia Rocket eBook was the first of its kind. Released in 1998, the device featured a monochrome LCD screen and could store up to 10 e-books.

While the interest was there, the Rocket eBook ultimately failed because of its high cost and limited storage. This lingering interest led to the invention of e-ink technology. It was a cost-cutting measure, but it conveniently provided a more paper-like experience to boot. Soon, Sony was the next to enter the e-reader market. They released the Librie in 2004. It was the first e-reader with e-ink until Amazon’s Kindle hit shelves in 2007. A breakthrough in the e-reader industry, Kindle users could download e-books directly to the device without the need for a computer.

Kindle’s wireless capabilities coupled with Amazon’s unrivaled e-book library played a significant role in the popularization of e-readers. The floodgates opened following the Kindle’s launch, with other companies such as Barnes & Noble and Kobo pouring into the competitive e-reader industry. These competitors offered their e-book platforms, and as a result, they expanded the availability of e-readers to a wider audience. Alas, the rise of smartphones and tablets has seen e-readers fall by the wayside to multipurpose devices such as the Kindle Fire.

Why Avoid A New E-Reader?

Given their popularity over the years, there’s no arguing e-readers provide a convenient and versatile reading experience. From their portability to their vast digital library to their various customization options, e-readers are a popular choice for a reason. With that being said, there are five good reasons to avoid a new e-reader today. Looking beyond the convenience and flexibility of digital reading, there’s a fair share of downsides you should consider before making a purchase.

Kindle e-reader in the middle of setting up.

Not even the popular e-reader brand Kindle is without its fair share of flaws.

©Tada Images/Shutterstock.com

Reliance On Battery

Rain or shine, day or night, power or no power, you can always pick up a physical book and observe what’s on its pages. The same cannot be said for e-readers, which rely on a charged battery to work. While battery life has drastically improved over the years, it’s still a serious reason to avoid a new e-reader today. Avid readers who enjoy long reading sessions or frequently travel without access to power outlets will not be happy about having to constantly recharge their e-reader. Instead of searching for a place to plug in your charger, just pick up a physical book instead.

Average Cost

E-readers have gotten more affordable since the Rocket eBook came out in 1998. Yet, e-readers still require a serious investment upfront. High-quality e-readers can exceed price tags of $150 or even $200. Even the most affordable models can cost you close to $100. That’s a lot more than heading to your local used bookstore and grabbing a discounted copy of your book for a few bucks. That price doesn’t even include what you’ll pay for e-books, which are not that much cheaper than a physical copy.

Limited Storage

Storage space can be another reason to avoid a new e-reader today. Newer models typically come with enough space in the cloud to store thousands of titles. However, cloud storage won’t do you any good without an Internet connection. With such limited storage space, you could end up heading out on your road trip or flight without remembering to download your titles from the cloud. You’ll be left with nothing to read until you connect to the nearest Wi-Fi network. This limited storage space is a serious pain.

Distractions While Reading

With Amazon’s release of the Kindle Fire (and the emergence of other affordable touchscreen tablets), e-readers aren’t just for reading books anymore. These days, many come with internet connectivity and various apps, games, and streaming services built right in. Giving readers access to emails, social media, and other digital content, it’s clear to see how distracting this might be for some. It’s a lot easier to lose focus on your book and wind up endlessly scrolling social media with these e-reader tablets.

Effects Of Blue Light

No thanks to blue light, using an e-reader for extended periods can have a serious strain on your eyes. Unlike traditional paper books, e-readers emit potentially harmful blue light directly into your eyeballs. This can cause discomfort, fatigue, sleeping problems, and potentially more troublesome effects that need further research. Blue light’s side effects can also lead to symptoms such as headaches, dry eyes, and difficulty focusing. You should be especially wary of blue light if you have existing vision issues.

Person reading e-book outside.

Blue light might not bother you outside during the day but can be a real problem in low light at night.


In Review: Reasons To Avoid A New E-Reader Today

From battery reliance and cost to limited storage space, distractions while reading, and the effects of blue light, there are five perfectly valid reasons to think twice before investing in a new e-reader. These devices might seem convenient from afar. But, when viewed up close, it seems the negatives might outweigh the positives for some avid readers. Understanding these reasons to avoid a new e-reader will help you make an informed decision that best aligns with your reading habits and preferences. Let’s review below.

Reasons To Avoid A New E-Reader Today
E-readers rely on a battery, which no physical book requires
Some e-readers cost more than $100
E-reader devices have limited storage space
It’s easy to get distracted while reading e-books on an e-reader
The potential negative effects of blue light could hurt your eyes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an e-reader?

An e-reader is a portable electronic device designed for reading digital books, also known as e-books. It typically features a screen that mimics the appearance of paper and allows users to download and store a large number of books for convenient reading on the go.

How do e-readers work?

E-readers use electronic ink (or e-ink) technology to display text and images on their screens. E-ink recreates a paper-like appearance, which replicates the feeling of reading a physical book while also reducing eye strain. The device connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular data to access online bookstores and download e-books directly to the device. Users can navigate through books using buttons or touchscreens, adjust font sizes, highlight text, and make annotations.

Can you read Kindle books on a Nook device?

Your ability to read e-books from one brand on a device of another depends on both the e-reader and the e-book file formats it supports. Many e-readers are compatible with common formats like EPUB and PDF, allowing you to read e-books from various sources. However, some e-readers may have limitations or proprietary formats that restrict compatibility with certain platforms or file types.

Do e-readers hurt your eyes?

E-readers with e-ink displays are designed to reduce eye strain compared to traditional screens. They mimic the appearance of ink on paper, making them more comfortable for extended reading sessions. However, reading on any electronic device for a prolonged period can nevertheless cause eye fatigue.

Can you get e-books from the library?

Yes, many e-readers offer the ability to download e-books from public libraries. Some popular library lending platforms include OverDrive, Libby, and Hoopla. These services allow you to borrow e-books and read them on your device for a specific borrowing period, much like you would with a traditional library book.

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