Help and advice

E-readers for the bookworm

Even those stubbornly wedded to ink and paper can see that e-readers can offer a range of advantages over paper books, even if they maintain a sentimental attachment to their hard copies.
If you love the look of words on the printed page, you should consider an e-reader with a display feature called e-ink, which minimises glare and helps reduce eye strain. It’s also a great option for taking on holiday, as it’s easy to read outside.

For many readers, the sheer space-saving capacity of an e-reader is a deciding factor. For the hardened bibliophile, the number of books that fit on a device is particularly important. For saving your straining bookshelves, take a look at Amazon’s third generation Kindle, which is able to store up to 3,500 books.

Remaining with the hardcore readers, battery life will also be a concern. No one wants to face a long train journey with a dead device and nothing to read. While the spectacular claims of months-long battery lives are generally based on very light usage, the Elonex 621EB makes the biggest: three months, according to the manufacturers. Real world usage may be somewhat lower, but it should see you through long-haul flights and train journeys without a problem.

We’ve already touched on storage capacity, but if space is at a premium, the size of the device itself will also be a factor. Both the Kobo Mini and the Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 are only five inches across, making it as close to pocket-sized as an e-reader is likely to get.

On the other hand, if you like to zoom in as you read, a larger screen is handy. The Amazon DX was the largest device aimed at general readers, with a screen size of nearly ten inches, but it is no longer produced. However, the larger six inch screens are becoming standard, so there’s plenty of choice out there.

A lot of e-reader naysayers will say “but I can’t read that thing in the bath, can I?” However, the Kobo Aura H20, as the name suggests, is perfect for the bath-based reader, or just those who are careless around cups and glasses. This device is IP67-certified, which means it can be used in up to a metre of water for half an hour.

Many readers will also be concerned with price. Typically, e-readers are priced around the £100 mark, but there are options for those on a budget. The cheapest is the Bookeen Cyrus Opus, which currently costs about £70.

There are few limitations with this device, mainly that books have to be transferred manually, and the storage space is only one gigabyte. However, this can be augmented with a micro SD card, making the Cyrys Opus a credible option for the budget market.

It’s clear that there are plenty of options out there, regardless of whether you’re a committed tech lover or just looking to save a bit of space. Even analogue devotees can keep their favourite hardbacks at home and adopt a more portable option, making e-readers a great gadget for everyone.


© Axonn 2015