Are Ebook Readers Worth the Hype? Here’s What You Need to Know

Woman reading on tab

If you’re looking to pick up reading as a hobby or want to take that hobby to the next level, consider investing in an ebook reader. They’ve become extremely popular over the years for their convenience and ease of use, and make a great investment for any bookworm. Here’s everything you need to know about ebook readers, what they are, and what to look for when purchasing one for yourself.

What Is an Ebook Reader?

An ebook reader is an electronic device that is used to download and read books digitally. They’ve been around for quite some time, but their popularity has been increasing ever since their introduction. Something to note: unlike most modern electronic devices, ebook readers don’t usually feature a backlit screen. Instead, they tend to use a digital ink display which more closely resembles paper. This allows you to have an almost identical experience to reading a book, albeit with a few added advantages.

Advantages of Ebook Readers

Ebook readers

So, why should you purchase an ebook reader as opposed to a regular book? There are plenty of reasons why, but let’s go over a few of the most important ones.

  • Ebook readers save space. If you’re only purchasing regular books, you’ll have to find a place to put them. Over time, you’ll fill up your bookshelf and might even start cluttering the rest of your space. Ebook readers, however, are smaller than a single book, and have enough storage space to hold hundreds, even thousands of books.
  • Convenience. If you’re buying normal books, you’ll either have to wait for them to ship from an online store or go out of your way to buy them in person. With an ebook reader, this is a non-issue. Most ebook readers have built-in digital storefronts where you can look for new books to read. Once you’ve found something interesting, just purchase it, start the download, and you’ll have your new book in a few minutes!
  • Less eye strain. If you read ebooks for long periods of time on a smartphone or tablet, the blue light they emit may strain and damage your eyes. Because most ebook readers use a digital ink display instead of a backlit screen, this isn’t a problem. Just follow the same vision safety precautions you would with a normal book, like only reading in well-lit areas.
  • Greater variety. Publishing a book is an expensive and difficult process that many indie authors simply can’t afford to do. This means that you’re unlikely to ever see their works on a store shelf. The digital storefronts of ebook readers, however, make publishing much easier. Because there aren’t any costs for materials or distribution, many indie authors publish their works digitally, and with an ebook reader, you can access them all.

Simply put, a top-rated ebook reader beats almost all of the alternatives in terms of convenience, portability, and usability. Though the upfront cost is much higher than simply buying a book, your ebook reader will more than pay for itself in savings and ease of use.

How Expensive Are Ebook Readers?

man holding tablet and credit card

The price of an ebook reader depends on several factors: features offered, the quality and size of the display, file formats supported, and more. Generally, ebook readers that offer more features, have better displays, and support more file formats will be more expensive.

While something like display quality may not seem important for something as simple as reading a book, it absolutely is. Low-quality e-ink displays from cheap ebook readers may appear blurry or muddled, making them more difficult to read. 

In addition, they may be slower to change pages, forcing you to wait while the display shifts. While the wait isn’t usually any more than a half-second, having to wait through the same latency over and over will quickly become tiring. Thus, we recommend investing in an e-reader with a high-quality display. In addition, be aware of what features and file formats your new e-reader supports, as these will greatly affect the ways in which you can use it.

Can You Get Free Ebooks?

Ebook readers: man reading a ebook

If you want some new reading materials but don’t want to break the bank, don’t worry! If you own an e-reader, there are many ways for you to get access to free ebooks. Some of our favorites are:

  • Public libraries. Though not all public libraries offer ebook selections, the number of libraries that do is increasing by the day. Next time you’re at the library, just ask your librarian if there are any ebooks you can check out. You may be surprised to learn just how many are available!
  • Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg offers a selection of 60,000+ free books that you can download and keep forever. Most of the books Project Gutenberg offers are free because they’ve entered the public domain, so you may have trouble finding newer titles. If you’re more interested in reading through the classics, though, then this is the site for you.

Of course, these aren’t the only options out there. If you’re interested in finding more free ebooks, just do a bit of browsing and you’re sure to find something!

Looking for more great tips, tricks, and products to make your life a little bit more convenient? Feel free to visit our site at DirectNine today!

Back to Blog