Ereader analysis paralysis

The future of my reading?

Let me start this off by saying that I don’t love ereaders. I love READING. My very first paying job ever – at the tender age of 13yrs and 9mos old – was shelving books in our local library. Books hold a very special place in my heart. So why would I consider buying an ereader, and why would I even have angst over ereader vs tablet?

The short version of the long story is that I received a tablet to review (forthcoming!), and I used it as an ereader for the copy of Divergent that I got free when we bought tickets to the movie. I used it on a couple of trips, and while I won’t say that I got hooked on ereaders as a useful tool, I would say that they have some merit (the same way an iPod is far more convenient than walking around with a stack of CD’s). But the screen resolution on this particular tablet isn’t really optimal for reading, so I wanted to see what else is out there. Any device I consider WILL NOT completely replace reading paper books – but for free books, ones that I don’t intend to purchase in paper form, this could be helpful. It’s also nice not to have to carry a stack of books when I’m traveling, which I’m doing more frequently now.

What’s on the consideration list:

  • Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
  • Amazon Kindle Fire
  • iPad Mini
  • …{generic Android tablet}

Kindle Paperwhite reviews are fairly positive, and the e-ink display I saw at our local Best Buy was very easy to read. [SHOUT OUT to Best Buy for showrooming Amazon Kindles – it makes it a lot easier to decide when you can SEE a product in person!] Big pluses appear to be: backlighting, touchscreen, e-ink display (lower eyestrain), and reasonable price. You can spend a few extra $$ to get a version that doesn’t have any ads, which is totally worth the expense, in my mind. Minuses: screen size is really small by comparison to a tablet and there’s NO color. AT ALL. I realize it’s a silly thing to some, but the color on dust jackets and book covers DOES attract my attention to a new read; it’s hard for that magic to work when I can’t see the color.

Kindle Fire is a little more expensive than its e-ink cousin, but it has the benefit of having color (yeay!). Pluses are bigger screen size, color, and the ability to do other things besides just reading; after all, it’s a tablet! Minuses are potential for eyestrain or that annoying thing where the screen screws up your sleeping, as well as a higher price tag.

It would seem logical, as I type this on my MacBook Pro, with my iPhone sitting to my left, that the right choice would have to be an iPad Mini, right? Well, maybe. Big pluses here in terms of it being able to do plenty of other things and its connectivity to the things that make me ME in the Apple world. Minuses are pretty much the same as those for the Amazon Kindle Fire, in terms of potential eyestrain/circadian rhythm disruption, but the price tag is MUCH higher, and that’s really something that gives me pause. How did a simple “Hey, ereaders aren’t so bad!” turn into “Let’s spend $400 on a new Apple device!”?

And then we have {generic Android tablet}. I saw an Acer tablet, for example, that was priced comparably to the Kindles and it looked basically like a souped-up version of the tablet I received for review, with a nice crisp display and a lightweight, compact body. Pluses are similar to the iPad Mini, in that it can do other stuff; also, I’m now more used to the Kindle app than the native Kindle interface (which I actually found a bit overwhelming with all its “TAP HERE AND THINGS HAPPEN” action), so the learning curve is lower. On the other hand, I haven’t heard that Android devices get the updates and upgrades that iOS devices receive, which makes me wonder if {generic android tablet} is disposable technology.

So, I’m stumped. I really like the Kindle store – the variety of options and pricing fit me really well – but I’m not sure which direction I should take.

*waves cash in the air and waits for personal shopper to appear*

One thought on “Ereader analysis paralysis

  1. For what it’s worth, I got a mini-Ipad for $199 a few weeks ago on sale at Target. I also have an older Kindle Fire, which I like. I thought that the Paperwhite was the most “book like” of the 3, my aunt has all 3 and loves her Paperwhite for books.

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