kindle deviceOur friends at Book Riot have been on fire in the last week or so, posting a ton of great stuff. One of my favourite posts of the week was this participation-required roundup called ‘What Are You Reading On?’

At the time I myself took the poll, 49% of respondents had listed an e-ink Kindle amongst their stable of devices, which surprised me. I was anticipating that more people than not would have abandoned their Kindles for the world of the tablet. So…why haven’t they? Why are e-ink devices still holding their share in the marketplace?

I think that for many serious readers (and Book Riot caters more to that market than to the casual one or two book a year crowd) there is still a desire to have a separate device for reading. e-Ink Kindles have some software features that have not made it into the app version yet (such as the Vocabulary Builder and WordWise features). Others in the comments also cited the more eye-friendly screens, the smaller form factor and the longer battery charge as factors. I also find that I like to keep my personal reading separate; my iPad is primarily my work machine, which I take to school in lieu of a laptop. I don’t want to put my personal books on that, so having a dedicated reading machine is useful to me. I suspect other survey respondents might be in that same boat!

So what am I myself reading on right now? Well, we are a gadget house and currently have two iPads and a Kindle. I will shortly be upgrading to an iPad Air, and could myself get by with just that (for work and entertainment) and a Kindle (for curling up on the couch to read). But there are times it is helpful for us to have a second iPad (train rides with the kid members of the family, times when I have to work late and the Beloved is at home and needs to use FaceTime). And the Mini is so cheap now to buy new that its resale value as a used device isn’t fabulous. We’ll keep it since we have one, but I don’t think we would buy another now that the full-size iPads are so compact and lightweight.

What are you reading on these days? Could you see yourself going all-tablet someday soon, or do you like having a separate device just for reading?

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. I have a Kindle Fire & a Samsung tablet & I never use either for reading (too hard on the eyes imho.) At breakfast I use my old Sony PRS T1 and all else is done on my Paperwhite. So far I’ve read 300+ books on the Kindle so I do a fair amount of reading.

  2. I tried going all tablet for a while, but the Paperwhite brought me back. I like eInk, especially for reading outdoors, which I do during camping season. I also find eInk easier on my eyes when they are tired. (This coming from someone who used to swear that backlit tablet screens were no big deal.) With the lighting on the Paperwhite, I can read anywhere, anytime. Battery life is also an issue for me. We just sold our trailer and are going back to all tent camping. Some of the places we want to go have no power for tent sites, so eInk readers are more friendly for week-long trips. I’ll be very sad if eInk devices go away.

  3. I appreciate eInk … but I rarely use it. It comes out only for vacations or other long travel sessions where battery might be a concern.

    I have a Windows tablet that is great as a multi-purpose reader with fewer distractions than a traditional tablet. It works really well, battery life is fantastic, and the screen is great.

    For ePub, though, Play Books really takes the cake. Almost everything I want without all of the problems that plague other readers. I’m reading a footnote-heavy book right now and Google implemented footnotes as a working, useful feature! I’m shocked! Plus, you can easily zoom to get a closer look at figures and it synchronizes personal content.

    When you throw in ezPDF and AMOLED displays (great for night reading and extreme off-angle reading like lying in bed), I would have thought tablets would have a greater foothold, as well.

    However, I answered phone, computer, Android tablet, and eInk, but that’s the flaw in the survey. Kindle may be at 49%, but it may only account for 10% of the reading taking place. The Kindle may simply be the lowest common denominator for reading devices.

  4. I use an old iPod a friend gave me. Lightweight, backlit. Screen is small, but that doesn’t matter. I am so nearsighted that I read it (at the smallest font setting) with my glasses off, held two inches from my nose.

    I sideload via Dropbox.

  5. Still rocking a Sony Reader (Daily Edition), but may be tempted to try the Onyx Boox line sometime soon. Similar to what others have said, I prefer the eInk screen for extended reading sessions, and because e-books in general have fairly stable system requirements, I can get a lot of mileage out of one device!

  6. Kindle Fire HD 7. I’ve looked long and hard at the Voyage and bought it as a gift for a family member. It’s a great little device, but I still like my fire for the versatility. With the overdrive app I have access both to my local library ebook collection and to other epub/adobe ebook collections such as 3m and openlibrary. Add in the other things it can do – games/netflix/browsing/shopping, and I love it, especially at the purchase price.

  7. I’m agnostic about platform, but currently am reading on a Voyage.

    However, I am passionate about ink, including both real ink and e-ink, and will never give it up. I absolutely HATE reading backlit text for any amount of time. I have Kindle, Nook, and Kobo on my phone and tablet, but use them very little. My e-ink reader gets 2/3 of my purchases, but I still read a fair amount of paper material.

  8. I love my Paperwhite, and the case it lives in, but it has software issues, so I purchased a Voyage which is my favorite. However I hate the cases available – I find them very uncomfortable. Still, I love eink readers. Great for my arthritic hands that hurt when holding a book.

  9. I have a tablet (google nexus) and an ereader (kobo). When it comes to settling down with a book for a long read, I much prefer the Kobo, simply because staring at a backlit screen for an extended period of time gives me headaches. The eInk screen is so much nicer to look at when reading.

    And besides, when reading on the tablet, I keep getting the urge to check my email or play a game instead of reading.

  10. An e-reader, Kindle Paperwhite 1st gen.
    The main point is that the e-ink screen is best to my eyes. The second point is that I do not want a multi-function device to read, I want a reading device. I want no “you were poked”, you receive a mail, receive a call or whatever when I read.
    Ignoring a notification on a separate device is easy. Ignoring a notification on a device you are currently reading on is almost impossible.

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