Why Not to Buy an Ereader

E-readers are undoubtedly the way of the future, but the current incarnations of them still have a while to go. Herein I will discuss the various reasons why not to buy an ereader.

ereader vs book

The biggest issue with ereaders is that they simply are not as comfortable or flexible as a book is. The advantages of a book are as follows:

  1. You can drop a book and it won’t break
  2. If the book gets ruined, chances are it won’t cost over $100 to fix or replace.
  3. You can write notes in a book.
  4. It never runs out of electricity.

The advantages books have over ereaders is more a matter of their robust nature. Books are tougher, can be stored, dropped, etc. dropping an ereader from a decent height will almost invariably smash the screen. Eventually this problem will be overcome, but for the current generation of ereaders it really is their critical failure. To add further, you can twist the pages of a book, fold them, and position the text so that it is more comfortable for you. The ereader is just its screen, it cannot bend or fold.

The second major advantage of books over ereaders is that they don’t have a limited battery life. The iPad in particular can be a bit of a pain in regards to battery life, should you happen to leave it on. The Kobo ereader is dramatically better in this regard, having a specific screen technology that means that it does not use much if any power when it is left on idly. However, battery life is still a problem for all portable electronic devices.

Advantages of an ereader

The advantage an ereader has over a book is cost. A book that costs $15 on Amazon for a print version will cost $8 for an electronic version. Furthermore, as time goes on and wireless Internet spreads it is entirely possible that people will be able to instantly order a novel from wherever they may be. This could be particularly useful for academics reading journal articles, which I personally read online almost exclusively.

The second advantage of ereaders is that they have other functions as well. The iPad specifically has a host of features such as games, weather reports, and the option to develop slide shows and presentations.

The third advantage of the ereader is that it can store a large amount of books on it. Having hundreds of information resources at your immediate disposal in an object can be hugely beneficial. Here the ereader has a major advantage for those that travel but whether the advantage would truly make it preferable over a laptop is debateable.

Ereader vs laptop

One of the major issues that ereaders face is that it may simply be superior to have a laptop instead. Given the relative small size of a very thin notebook style laptop, it may well be preferable to have a laptop. In the case of the kobo ereader, there is no way a laptop will be that small. However, the iPad is relatively close to the same size as a notebook and at roughly the same price it is hard to weigh in favor of the iPad.


The main reason not to buy an ereader is cost combined with the risk of breaking it. Ereaders like the iPad cost in the vicinity of $600, and as the screen is likely to break easily if it drops those without the budget for it will surely feel it. Furthermore, many of the ereaders are of comparable size to a notebook laptop, but with less features. Despite the shortcomings of the current generation of ereaders, the technology is definitely the future of reading.

Related posts: