Whether you're a voracious reader running out of bookshelf space, a commuter who likes to read on the train, or even a beach bookworm who can't fit their hefty tomes in their luggage, an e-reader is a great investment. Not only does it save space, it could even save you money over time, given that ebooks are typically cheaper than physical copies.
It can be tricky to know which ebook reader is the one for you, so we've put together a list of our favourites that are on the market right now.
If you're looking for non-fiction recommendations, check out our pick of the best science books for 2022.
Kindle or Kobo?
The most well-known brand of e-reader is easily Amazon's Kindle. However, it's not the only quality brand out there, and many readers choose a Kobo instead.
Kindles and Kobos each have access to their own ebook stores. I have found that the Kobo store can feel a bit limited at times, especially if you venture off the bestseller list, but David Price from Tech Advisor reports no difference between the breadth of content on the Amazon and Kobo stores. Like Price, I have also found that there are few recommendations on the Kobo store – especially when browsing on a Kobo device – and so if you don't know what you want to read, you might struggle.
As well as the store, Kobo e-readers come built-in with access to Overdrive, an ebook library service. This handy software lets you borrow ebooks directly from your local library and download them straight onto your device. Not all libraries support Overdrive, but if not, you can still read library ebooks on your Kobo device – just with a few more steps. You can download ebooks onto your computer from your library's provider (for example, BorrowBox), and upload them to your Kobo using software such as Adobe Digital Editions.
Library ebooks often come in the EPUB file format. Currently, Kindles only support Amazon's proprietary Kindle File Format (with the file extension .azw). However, from late 2022, you'll be able to read EPUB files using the Send to Kindle functionality.
With a Kindle, you can link your Amazon account with someone else's to access the Family Library. This allows two people to share their entire ebook libraries with each other and read anything the other has purchased – perfect if you and a loved one have similar taste in books.
Both brands have models that allow you to listen to audiobooks, too, but you'll need Bluetooth headphones as they don't have speakers.
Best Amazon Kindle e-readers for 2022
The Amazon Kindle is undeniably a classic choice of e-reader, and this basic model is a solid choice on a budget.
This model is on the smaller side, with a 6-inch glare-free display with an adjustable front light, and weighs 174g.
It has 8GB of memory, which is more than enough if you're only using it for ebooks – particularly since Amazon allows you to store your purchased ebooks in the cloud, and only download the ones you want on your device. It also supports audiobooks through Audible, which will take up more of your storage space.
According to Amazon, the battery lasts four weeks at half an hour of reading per day, but again, using the audiobook function will reduce this significantly. The Kindle can be fully charged in four hours.
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The next step up is the Kindle Paperwhite. With a 6.8-inch screen and a weight of 205g, it's slightly larger than the basic model, and also provides 8GB of storage.
There are a few differences: the Paperwhite has a sharper screen and brighter front light, and you can adjust the shade of the front light if you prefer a warmer screen colour for that precious time reading in bed. Or, if you're more of a 'bubble bath and a book' reader, then you'll be pleased to know that the Paperwhite is waterproof to IPX8 standard, meaning that it can survive a dunk.
The battery is also larger, with Amazon claiming it will last for 10 weeks at half an hour a day.
If you're willing to fork out a bit more, then you can get 32GB of storage with the Paperwhite Signature Edition. This model also includes automatically adjusting light sensors and wireless charging.
Kindle Kids Edition
Some kids are such voracious readers that it can be difficult to keep them supplied with enough books. For these budding bookworms, the Kindle Kids Edition is a solid choice.
This bundle comes with a classic Kindle (the same model as above), a choice of a cover, and a year's subscription to Amazon Kids+, which includes unlimited access to kid-friendly books.
The Kids Edition includes Word Wise and Vocabulary Builder, tools to help younger readers understand challenging words and develop their reading skills.
Best Kobo e-readers for 2022
The basic model in the Kobo e-reader range is the Nia. With a 6-inch screen, 8GB of storage, adjustable screen brightness and a weight of 172g, it's comparable to the basic model of Kindle, though the Nia has a slightly higher-resolution display. Unlike the Kindle, the Kobo Nia doesn't support audiobooks.
Kobo Libra 2
The Libra 2 is a significant upgrade from the Nia, starting with 32GB of storage and a 7-inch, higher-resolution screen.
It's incredibly adaptable to how you want to read. You can turn the pages either by swiping the screen or with the page turn buttons, and the screen rotation lets you read from your device either way up or in landscape mode. An optional extra is the SleepCover, which protects the screen while you're not using it, and can fold up to stand the e-reader in any orientation while you're reading.
As well as adjustable screen brightness, the Libra 2 comes with adjustable colour temperature and dark mode, which shows white text on a black background. It has a weight of 215g, and has an IPX8 waterproof rating. Unlike the Nia, the Libra 2 supports Kobo audiobooks.
If you want to take notes on ebooks or PDFs, then you may want the Kobo Sage. With an 8-inch screen and compatibility with the Kobo Stylus (sold separately), it's designed to let you jot down your thoughts on what you're reading. You can even use it as a notebook, convert handwriting to text and save your files to Dropbox.
It's got 32GB of storage, waterproof to IPX8 standard, and can play Kobo audiobooks. The Sage weighs 240g, and also features page turn buttons.
As with other Kobo e-readers, you can buy a SleepCover. However, you can also buy a PowerCover for the Kobo Sage, which not only protects the screen but also recharges it on the go.
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