Five reasons why an ebook reader trumps a paperback

An ebook reader is more convenient for many people

There’s something special about holding a well-read and dog-eared paperback. When you can tell – simply by looking at the cover – that it’s been read several times over.

Books that are well read develop a cover with a unique appearance. Like a badly plastered wall littered with a series of cracks. It lends a sense of appreciation and testifies to the fact that the book hasn’t just been sitting on a shelf for years on end.

Naturally, you won’t get the same feel from an ebook reader. But what you lose in feel, you gain in convenience and practicality. Here we present five reasons why an ebook reader is a good choice if you read a lot of books.

1. You can keep countless books in an ebook reader

One advantage we can’t emphasise enough is the fact that an ebook reader can hold hundreds or sometimes even thousands of books.

Regardless of how many ebooks you buy, they won’t take up any more space at home. You won’t need to visit the furniture store to pick up another bookcase when you order five new books. And nor do you risk breaking any hand luggage rules simply because you want to take more than one book on your flight.

If you’re planning a longer trip and know that you’re nearing the end of the first book in a series, no problem. Buy the next book in the series, download it to your ebook reader and continue enjoying the tale once you’ve finished the first book.

Here you’ll find ebook readers with at least 4 GB of storage.

2. An illuminated screen for reading in the dark

Many ebook readers have a screen with built-in lighting. This lets you read your books even in poor lighting – ideal when you can’t or don’t want to use a lamp.

With good ambient lighting, you can turn off the built-in lighting and spare the battery. Ebook readers use e-screens, which don’t need lighting to work.

Depending on the model, you can adjust the brightness, change the colour of the lighting or have the settings automatically adjust to the ambient lighting. There are even ebook readers that can change the colour temperature of the screen.

Keep in mind that not all ebook readers have built-in lighting. Be sure to check before buying.

Here you’ll find ebook readers with an illuminated screen.

Keep in mind: Just like mobile phones and tablets, ebook readers come in many different sizes. Most common is a screen size of six to eight inches. We recommend choosing an ebook reader with a screen with a pixel density of at least 300 dpi. Any lower than this increases the risk of the text not appearing sharp enough, which can spoil your reading experience.

Here you can see the difference in size between an iPad Pro 11, an Amazon Kindle Voyage (6-inch screen) and a regular paperback. © Daniel Haaf

3. Buy and rent new books directly from your ebook reader

There’s no longer any reason to head into town to buy or rent books. Or even to visit an online store to place an order. You can buy and rent all your books directly from your ebook reader.

With an ebook reader, it takes just a few minutes to find, buy and download books. Great when you’re in a rush, such as for an upcoming trip, or simply because you don’t want to wait for a book that isn’t in stock.

Of course, there is a downside to this, and that’s tying yourself to one bookseller, such as Amazon Kindle Store. If you can no longer access your account, you lose all your books too.

And not all ebook readers support rental books. Be sure to check exactly what applies to your book collection before deciding on an ebook reader.

4. Updates, word lookups and highlights

It’s not uncommon for errors to find their way into books. When you buy your books from an ebook reader, they’re automatically updated with corrections – just like the apps on your mobile phone. Easy and convenient, with no errata inserted into the cover of your new book.

Another advantage of ebooks is that they’re digital. This means that you can search for specific words, translate text and view definitions on, say, Wikipedia. Exactly what your ebook reader offers depends on the manufacturer and model.

Some ebook readers also allow you to bookmark pages and particular sections that you’d like to return to later. Or why not highlight a favourite quote from a book and share it on social media?

Unsplash © bady qb

5. No risk of wrinkled pages with a water-resistant ebook reader

Have you ever tried reading a book or magazine that’s been wet? It’s not a fun experience. The pages are often stuck together, curled up and discoloured. Worst case, you can hardly read the thing.

With a water-resistant ebook reader, there’s no risk of damaging your books should you have an accident. Whether you drop your ebook reader in the bath or spill a glass of water over it, all you need do is wipe it dry.

Not all ebook readers are water resistant, and among those that are, the amount of wetness they can withstand varies a great deal. If you want to be completely safe, look for an IPX8-rated ebook reader.

Here you’ll find water-resistant ebook readers.

Ebook readers offer many other advantages

Naturally, there are many more reasons why an ebook reader might be right for you.

If you want to both read and listen to your books, there are ebook readers that can play audiobooks, using either a built-in speaker or connected headphones.

Most models show how long it will take you to finish the current chapter or the entire book. Ebook readers work this out by learning how long you generally take to read a page.

Another neat function is the ability to display interesting quotes that other readers have highlighted in their ebook readers. If you want more background information about a character in a book, there are ebook readers that offer this function too, provided the ebook supports it.

Our advice is to read more about the different ebook readers on the market to see which one suits you best.

iStock.com / anyaberkut

Wait! I have a tablet – can’t I read ebooks on that?

Yes, of course you can. If you already have a tablet at home, you can save a lot of money by using that instead of getting an ebook reader.

Or complement your tablet if you prefer.

Both Amazon and Kobo have apps for Android and iOS, so you can buy books directly from your tablet and then sync them to your ebook reader.

A tablet can also handle many more ebook formats and even magazines – as well as do many other things an ebook reader can’t.