While Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets continue to do moderately well, Kindle e-reader sales have been declining for years. It seems that most people who want to get their reading done digitally are choosing to spend their money on full-fledged tablets rather than limited e-readers. The decline of e-reader sales starts after 2011, right when tablets and larger smartphones started to take off.
Still, don’t write off the e-reader entirely. There are still very valid reasons to buy one and that’s especially true for serious book lovers. Not only are they much cheaper than ever before — Amazon’s E-Ink Kindle line starts at just $79 — but they offer real advantages over using tablets and phones for reading.
When you buy an e-reader, pretty much the only type of content you have to store on the device is books. Amazon’s Kindle line, whether the regular model, Paperwhite or Voyage, all hold over 1,000 books. That’s almost certainly more than enough to hold your entire library of books — shelves upon shelves worth.
Plus, since the device is dedicated solely to reading, you don’t need to share your storage with anything else. On a phone or tablet, you have to share book storage with boatloads of music, photos, videos, documents, apps and more. All of those add up quickly compared to books. By the time you’re done loading all of that other media on, it’s doubtful you’d be able to store even hundreds of books, let alone thousands.
Plus, for the times you can’t use your Kindle or forget it, all Amazon Kindle purchases are stored in the cloud anyway so you can access them on other devices like your phone.
E-ink Display is Still Unsurpassed in Bright Sunlight
Reading outdoors is as legible as reading a physical book.
E-ink displays work much like regular books and objects do. The more sunlight you shine on them, the easier they are to see. LCD, OLED and AMOLED displays on tablets and smartphones work exactly the opposite. In brighter sunlight, they are significantly harder to see. That means you can say goodbye to getting any decent reading done at the beach, in your backyard, by the pool or in any other bright, sunny conditions.
The Amazon Kindle is made for this though. Reading outdoors is as legible as reading a physical book. Phones and tablets have gotten incrementally better with this over the years, but E-ink displays still blow them away.
…They’re Amazing at Night Too
Just as smartphone and tablet displays fail to get bright enough for outdoor conditions, they also don’t get dim enough for the night. I, like many people, use my phone in bed at night for a little while scrolling through Facebook and such. I can’t tell you how many times I wished I could turn my iPhone’s brightness lower than it allows because the backlight was blinding.
The regular Kindle sans Paperwhite backlight does require a dim lamp to be visible. But otherwise Amazon Kindles, especially the Kindle Paperwhite and up, don’t suffer from this problem. They emit a very natural light from behind the display so you can comfortably read at night without putting strain on your eyes.
Overall, E-ink displays are best friends with your eyeballs. And that’s important since reading an ebook requires extensive use of both.
Amazing Battery Life
Physical books don’t have to be recharged all the time, so it only makes sense the Kindle doesn’t constantly have a low battery either.
You probably charge your smartphone every night and your tablet every two to three days, right? In fact, your smartphone might not even make it through the day, dying at around 5 p.m. and forcing you to find a charger.
You likely won’t ever have this problem with the Amazon Kindle. Its battery lasts weeks, not hours or days. That means the vast majority of the time you can just toss it in a bag and not worry that it might die while you’re out. Physical books don’t have to be recharged all the time, so it only makes sense the Kindle doesn’t constantly have a low battery either.