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Is there any nice light-weight e-book reader which is easy on the eye?

Preferred specifications include:

  1. Display: Touch and (Something which is easy on the eye would be preferable)
  2. Decent battery life (I would be traveling a lot, so something which can run for weeks would be very good)
  3. Storage: Should be able to store at least 200 books at a time. (That's a threshold requirement. The more, the better)

As I am a traveler, a device which is sturdy and durable would be nice for some quick reads during travel.

Should support most e-book formats like epub, pdf, etc.

As I am an avid user of Goodreads, a Goodreads app or integration would also help.

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    Does “e-book reader” entail e-paper for you, or would something with a backlight fit the bill? (A backlight wouldn't count as “easy on the eye” to me, but I know there are people who don't mind.) Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 23:55
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    Does the display have to be in color, or is black-and-white okay?
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 0:09
  • @HDE226868 It isn't a big influencer. If asked for a choice, I would prefer the one which is easy on the pocket. So, maybe the black-and-white one?
    – Dawny33
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 3:04
  • What e-book formats the device supports and where these e-books can be purchased might be an important factor.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 11:05
  • If you "mostly buy them from Amazon" then where would seem to be an important factor. Since if you mostly buy from Amazon then a Kindle would seem to be the obvious choice IMO. (?) TBH, when I've chosen an e-book reader in the past, this was the #1 deciding factor. Although maybe that doesn't fit into the "hardware" side of the recommendation?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 12:21

3 Answers 3

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E-ink is a solution for your #1 and #2.

Personally, I can recommend Kindle. I've been using my ebook reader for 3 years and it made a big relief for my eyes.

In my case it's Kindle Keyboard but version with touchscreen display is also available on the market:

Kindle, 6" Glare-Free Touchscreen Display for £59.99

or

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6" with Built-in Light for £109.99

  1. You don't have to care that much about storage because popular formats like epub or mobi are really lightweight. 4 GB makes you able to hold thousands of books.

Battery life (from amazon):

A single charge lasts up to four weeks, based on half an hour of reading per day with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage

This description has much in common with reality. E-ink display consumes power only when the displayed pages change. This is the main difference in comparison to LCD display.

  1. Goodreads integration is possible (Amazon bought this company):

Goodreads on Kindle lets you connect with the Goodreads community, follow friends and see what they are reading, and share and rate books on your Kindle. You can also shop for Kindle books and purchase selected titles directly within Goodreads. Help for Kindle Voyage (7th Generation), Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation), Kindle (7th Generation), and Kindle Paperwhite (6th Generation).

Source: Amazon

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    I've owned both a Kindle PW and a Kindle Voyage. If cost isn't a big concern, I can personally recommend splurging for the Voyage for the PagePress sensors with haptic feedback. The lack of physical page turning buttons on the PW was an annoying experience for me.
    – JohnB
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 18:16
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During my search for the reader, I have come across Barnes and Noble's Nook; which deserves a mention here, just in case anyone is looking for a budget e-book reader.

About Nook, in the words of Barnes and Nobles:

Our highest resolution E Ink® device helps you find your next read faster and has a new GlowLight that more evenly illuminates the entire page.

Features:

  1. Memory: Holds a lot of books. So, memory isn't a problem. In fact, worrying about memory for any e-reader
  2. Weight: Lighter than the Kindle
  3. E-ink: Has Eink. And @belford has explained the advantages of an e-ink reader very nicely.
  4. Built in reading light: A wonderful feature for travellers. The reading light is gentle and perfectly aligns/blends with the pages, not making it too flashy.

About the back-light and the battery life:

With GlowLight on at the default brightness setting, a single charge will last over 1 month with wireless off based on ½ hour of daily reading and 1 page refresh per minute. A single charge lasts over 2 months with wireless off and GlowLight off based on ½ hour of daily reading time and 1 page refresh per minute. Battery life depends on device settings, usage, and many other factors.

Price: $99 and free shipping. So, it is cheaper than the Kindle.

There are a lot of reviews of Nook all over the internet, but as I trust Amazon Reviews, I am including the link.

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I can second Kindle as an option (I have used an older model and a paper white) - for reading novels and other easily rendered text-only fare, it is a great product. The ability to function in direct sunlight as well as darkness without destroying your eyes is a huge advantage over other options.

The Kindle app is available on other platforms too though (Android, iOS, desktop OS) and I have found it extremely useful to have a larger format, color capable reader for a couple of use cases:

  1. Graphic Novels - if you like the format, then you will need more than e-ink
  2. Technical reading - diagrams, code samples, text that reacts poorly to being broken up all benefit from the larger format option

I have also used Kindle on my phone (it syncs to the furthest read location on multiple devices) for those times that you forget your reader/tablet or are unexpectedly bored.

Hence my recommendation, if you can afford it, is a multi-device approach for maximum satisfaction. Whether you go with Kindle or not, make sure that your chosen app and format are usable with several types of devices (syncing is so useful too).

For travel, the phone is probably an easy choice (as long as your screen is reasonably sized). The tablet is a personal call - you can replace it with a laptop, but I find that awkward in restricted space (planes, trains) - decent tablets can also be loaded up with films/games etc. for the times your onboard entertainment options are poor. Personally, I leave the tablet at home for travel unless I know that I have a long flight where I need to do tech reading or I know the entertainment options are going to be horrible.

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