I love books. I love bookshops, buying books, the smell of books and how they look on my shelves in my living room. I own more books than anything else and if I didn’t put a limit on how many I can buy in a month, I would run out of space in my flat pretty soon.
I also love tech gadgets, but I’ve resisted buying an e-reader for years, mainly because I’ve never warmed to the idea of reading on a screen rather than having the weight of an actual book with actual pages in my hands as I lie on the beach or on the couch, lost in a story. But now I’ve changed my mind – e-readers are smaller and cheaper than ever and it makes so much sense to have one while travelling (which I do a lot of) rather than lugging around a suitcase half full of books. I’ll still always buy books, but now my Kindle Paperwhite goes everywhere with me.
Thinking of moving over to the digital side of reading? Here are the top four rated e-readers to buy.
1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
R3299 (3G), R2899 (WiFi)
This is the king of e-readers: sleek design, a fast processor, touch screen, a fully integrated dictionary, a vocabulary builder tool, new generation built-in light and a 28-hour battery life. The 3G version lets you download books wherever you are (there’s no monthly fee), while the Wi-Fi version is cheaper and relies on Wi-Fi connectivity for downloading.
2. Kobo Aura HD
Kobo Aura HD wins plaudits for its super crisp, sharp display (265 dpi resolution) and high-quality edge lighting. It’s bigger than most e-books, with a 6.8 inch display, but that also makes it heavier – it weighs 8.6% more than the average for an e-book. It does have a long battery life – of 30 hours – and a storage capacity for 3000 books.
3. Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight
R1262 (excluding shipping)
Barnes & Noble’s e-book offering is light (lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite) and has a a huge storage capacity of up to 2000 books. There’s built in Wi-Fi and you have access to over 3 million books to buy. The GlowLight illuminates the page evenly, although critics say that the frontlighting is not as good as competitors Kindle and Kobo.
4. Kobo Glo
If you’re looking for a small, lightweight e-reader and want an alternative to Amazon, the Kobo Glo is probably your best bet. It weighs less than all the other e-readers on this list, and also has an incredibly long battery life – of 70 hours (the longest of all e-readers). Its storage capacity is 2GB, or 1000 books.