What Kind of e-book Reader Should I Get?

Almost everyone is asking this question at some point! Whether you are getting it for yourself of as a gift to someone, there you are, torn between Kindle, Nook, iPad or tablet as an e-reader. E-ink readers are smaller, lighter and cheaper with crisp displays and a back-lit version eliminates the need for a light source... but they come in a variety of sizes and screed types, battery life, functionality, speed and of course prices... Some bring additional functionality like email and video capabilities so... which one is best? Well, at least best for my needs.

Nook Simple /touch

Price wise, they start at $79 and the immediate winner is the Nook Simple Touch. The hardware is very similar, but the difference is made in the simple things. Both the Kindle and the Nook Simple Touch have same size 6 inch screens, Wi-Fi connectivity and 2GB of storage, but the Nook can increase the storage up to 32GB with microSD card slot if you want to store all your books. Kindle, on the other hand has sound.

Kindle Paperwhite

If you want an e-reader with backlit display, then the roles reverse. The better choice is Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite (that starts at $129) despite the slight bigger price compared to B&N's Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight at $119. That is due to the two software features that make it unique. The so called "X-Ray" that serves up character bios and allows you to quickly revisit part of the book at which they were first introduced. The second is called "Time to Read" and this feature tracks your reading speed and even calculates how much it will most likely take you to finish a chapter.

If you need to have on the go 3G, then there's the Kindle Paperwhite 3G at $189 with a charger and $209 for the ad-free version with charger.

The other considerations you may want to think of is the E-bookstore. Which one is better? Both claim to have over one million titles, most of them priced under $9.99 and magazines and newspapers. However, Amazon boasts the Kindle Exclusives and the Lending Library (through Amazon for a $79 per year Prime subscription program Who Has the Better E-bookstore?

The Lending Library may include a tone of unheard of names, for the most avid readers, but still is better than what B&N has to offer. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble will allow you to check out e-books from your local library. It feels like the winner in this category is Amazon.

Make sure you check the app availability, if you also plan to read books on your smartphone(s) and/or tablet(s) by making sure that apps are available for those devices. Both have designated apps for iPhone and Android systems as well as web-connected applications and desktop-applications. E-books automatically sync between Amazon's and B&N's e-readers and apps. That makes it nice when you leave off reading at page 30 on your e-reader and pick up directly there up on the same page on your smartphone along with your bookmarks or highlights and notes. Amazon's apps have a slight edge in functionality and are available to more platforms than any other so i am inclined to run in their favor. Other considerations may include the possibility to maintain a shared family library where B&N limits you to sync 6 devices but Amazon has no limit. From the design/looks perspective, look for cases available for these devices. It may be important...

Although it seems that Amazon has won this dispute, the advantages are rather minor over the Nook. I believe the book-buying patterns should be the most distinctive and decisive factor in acquiring an e-book reader. If you're already a frequent Amazon customer, it will be much easier to manage your e-book purchases in the same place. Alternatively, if you're a part of B&N's loyalty program and frequently stop in to one of its stores, you're likely to prefer that experience — plus, you can take advantage of in-store customer service. Hoping that I've cover almost everything, I can only hope that your decision will be followed by many enchanting hours of fun reading and gadget time!

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