Your native library or bookstore is not a enjoyable place to hang around and sip espresso whereas studying because of the coronavirus pandemic. However due to ebooks, you’ll be able to nonetheless get misplaced in something from traditional works of literature to the newest responsible pleasure thrillers with an on the spot obtain. Here is a professional tip, nevertheless: When you can learn on any cellphone or pill with the Nook, Apple Books, Kobo or Kindle app (to call just some reader app choices), investing in a devoted e-reader will ship a much more gratifying expertise. 

These devoted gadgets are free from social media, electronic mail, the web and different leisure choices that make studying on a cellphone an train in distraction. Even higher, since ebook readers use E Ink know-how, they’ve nice battery life and — not like tablets and smartphones — their shows do not get washed out in direct daylight, so that they’re nice for studying by the pool or on the seaside. Many more recent fashions are waterproof, too. Oh, and there are many free books out there to learn: Your local library may well offer free ebook downloads for its members. 

These are one of the best e-reader choices proper now, all of which have self-illuminated screens. The record is dominated by Amazon Kindle fashions together with Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis and Amazon Kindle as a result of we predict that is nonetheless one of the best digital “ecosystem” for studying. It presents loads of price range and subscription choices, too. And whereas Barnes & Noble nonetheless makes its Nook reader, we recommend anybody who needs to keep away from Amazon as an alternative go for a Kobo mannequin. 

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If you happen to’re searching for somebody who’s on the lookout for the newest Kindle e-reader, that is the Goldilocks in Amazon’s line and our present CNET Editors’ Selection within the class. Listed below are some issues we love concerning the Kindle Paperwhite:

  • It is 10% thinner and lighter than the earlier model.
  • It has a “flush-front” design with a again product of a softer, grippy materials as an alternative of arduous plastic. 
  • It is a absolutely waterproof Kindle, just like the high-end Kindle Oasis, and has a plastic display that Amazon says is shatter- and scratch-resistant.
  • It has built-in Bluetooth, so you’ll be able to obtain Amazon Audible audiobooks and hearken to them with wi-fi headphones.

Whereas the waterproof Kindle Paperwhite lists for $130, it recurrently will get discounted to $90 (and typically even $85), which is when you can purchase it. It is probably that Amazon will replace the Kindle Paperwhite in 2020, nevertheless it’s unclear when or how a lot of an improve it is going to be. As an example, USB-C charging could possibly be added and maybe the lighting scheme could possibly be up to date, however we would not count on any dramatic upgrades.

Read our Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review.

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Amazon’s top-of-the-line E Ink e-reader, was barely up to date in 2019 — however this system is mainly an identical to the previous Kindle Oasis aside from one key distinction: It has a brand new color-adjustable built-in gentle that permits you to customise the colour tone from cool to heat, relying on whether or not you are studying through the day or at evening. You can even schedule the display heat to replace robotically with dawn and sundown — not not like Night Shift mode on Apple gadgets.

At $250, the Oasis is pricey for an e-reader. Most individuals can be proud of the extra reasonably priced Paperwhite for his or her Kindle book studying and fundamental Kindle wants, however if you need one of the best of one of the best with an anti-glare display in your studying expertise — and do not thoughts paying a premium for it — the Oasis is arguably it in relation to a premium book system. The Kobo Forma, which additionally sells for $250, does have an even bigger 8-inch display dimension in comparison with the Oasis’ 7-incher.

Read our Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) review.

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The newest iteration of Amazon’s entry-level book reader, which Amazon merely calls the Kindle, now has a self-illuminated display and an upgraded design. At $90 this e book reader, does value $10 greater than the earlier mannequin, the Kindle 2016, however this one recurrently goes on sale for as little as $60. We desire the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, which has the high-resolution show (textual content and pictures seem a bit sharper), is waterproof and has a barely higher lighting scheme. However should you do not need to spend a lot for an e-reader, the usual Kindle is an effective possibility, particularly when it is discounted.

Read our Amazon Kindle (2019) review.


Rakuten makes a line of Kobo e-readers that aren’t solely powered by the Kobo retailer but in addition help 14 file and book codecs natively (EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ and CBR). In different phrases, should you get your ebooks — or some other digital paperwork — from anywhere in addition to Amazon, this system will in all probability learn them. In fact, Kobo has its personal ebook store with hundreds of books, too — and it has built-in help for testing ebooks from native libraries by way of the OverDrive service, too. (You may get library books onto Kindles via OverDrive’s Libby app, nevertheless it’s not as clean of a course of.)

The Kobo Libra H20, which retails for $170, sits in the midst of the road and, as its title implies, it is absolutely waterproof. It has a 7-inch HD (1,680×1,264 decision) E Ink show, a built-in gentle and no adverts (it’s a must to pay $20 to take away them from Kindle gadgets). 

Out there in black or white, you should use the Kobo Libra in portrait or panorama mode. Different Kobo choices embrace the Kobo Clara HD ($120) and the flagship Kobo Forma ($250), which has a bigger 8-inch high-resolution display. 

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David Carnoy