The World of E-Book Readers

The pandemic affected a lot of things in our day-to-day lives; from how we socialize to how we buy our groceries, everything changed. Even the way we read books changed. Libraries, used-book stores, and any other place where you normally buy books, closed. 

The way we approach recreational reading has been changing for quite some time. There is always some type of report at the end of the year about how people don’t read anymore, or don’t buy physical books, or don’t buy a newspaper. 

While these stats are true, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t book nerds out there willing to adjust to the times we live in and switch to e-book reading. Because while reading a physical book is enjoyable, it can also be very impractical. 

If you’re reading a book that is over 400 pages long, then carrying it around will become annoying. If you want to read before going to bed, then chances are you’re falling asleep with all the lights on most of the time. 

E-books have their perks. If you haven’t made the switch yet, it’s definitely time to at least consider it and explore the digital side of reading. 

A Brief History of E-books

Electronic reading is enjoying a rise in popularity right now. However, the idea of reading online was invented a long time ago. 

Believe it or not, the idea came to life in the 1930s. Even back then, there were talks about how reading in print was an outdated source and people needed something more, something faster and more efficient. 

Writer Bob Brown was one of the first pioneers of “reading on the screen” by suggesting that people should be able to read “at today’s speed.” At the time, only “talkies” (referring to movies with sound) were available. Brown wanted to see “readies” on the screen⸺meaning, he wanted to read books on a screen just like he could enjoy movies. 

Brown wanted to help readers read faster and come up with new ways of punctuation that could highlight the words and expressions much better on screen. Plus, it would be nice to no longer get paper cuts. 

Though the innovation of an e-reader did not come into fruition until much later, writers and readers like Brown were already thinking of ways to simplify the act of reading so that it could be more practical and, ultimately, more enjoyable. 

The Rise of E-reading

In recent years, there has been a spike in e-reading devices and e-book sales. That’s because we live in a society that is mobile, busy, and constantly commuting. 

Though there are still a lot of dedicated readers that go to the libraries and bookstores, a good percentage of the population has already made the switch to e-books simply because of commodity and practicality. 

E-reading doesn’t just apply to books. It also applies to magazines, newspapers, and any kind of written form that is out there.

As of 2019, 52% of adults own a reading device. That means that more than half of the population reads on a screen. 

Things like e-book clubs are more popular than ever since the pandemic started. Reading on screens is allowing everyone that loves to read a way to still communicate and partake in “social activities,” without risking their health while navigating the throes of COVID. 

Reading on devices has helped everyone feel less lonely and escape our realities for a few hours. 

What Is the Best Device to Read E-books?

Since Bob Brown first thought of the idea of reading a book on the screen, we have been witness to progressive technological changes and advancements that have made it possible to read on the screen. 

There are plenty of e-readers available out there. Here are the top ones.

  • Amazon Kindle:
    One of the main perks of purchasing an Amazon Kindle is the fact that it comes with a partial free membership to Kindle Unlimited. Though you won’t find any recent bestsellers as an option, you are likely to find some pretty splendid titles to read on your brand new e-reader.
    Another feature that makes the Amazon Kindle stand out among its competitors is the fact that it’s the most compatible e-reader for library check outs. With the help of OverDrive, you have access to thousands of titles available at the public library completely free.
    Besides all the logistics of the Amazon Kindle, the newer versions are also light, waterproof, and have capabilities to store thousands of books. Users of the Amazon Kindle can also access their books from any device by just logging into their Kindle account.
  • Kobo
    Another option that you might not have heard of is the Kobo Libra e-reader. Kobo is a fairly new device in the market, having just come out in 2019. Some perks of the Kobo are its design, accessibility, and lightness.
    Unlike the Amazon Kindle, with the Kobo, it is easier to read in either portrait or landscape, depending on your preference. It also features buttons to turn the page, instead of having to tap the screen like you normally would with a Kindle.
    The Kobo e-reader also offers a 7” glare-free screen and, like the Kindle, it is waterproof. Overall, both devices are similar in price, weight, and accessibility. It would really come down to preference. Either is an excellent choice.

There are multiple in-between options and versions of the two devices that are available for purchase depending on the budget and storage you might look for. 

The Amazon Kindle, because it has reigned the e-reader category for so long, is the most reliable e-reader in the sense that it will provide you with the most options for material to read and accessibility to it since it will be tied to your Amazon account. It’s just more convenient than having to worry about a separate device with different logins and accounts. 

What it always boils down to is to get the device that works best for you. With e-readers, since the choice is only between two, it’s easy to decide which one to go for. Whatever your choice, at least know that life as someone that enjoys reading will be a lot less complicated, a lot less heavy, and a lot more fun.