Benefits and drawbacks to e-readers

E-readers have become very popular in recent years. Those who use them love them for their convenience and portability. Everybody doesn’t share their excitement, however. There are a number of things to take into consideration before you decide if an e-reader meets your needs.

What are the options?

There are plenty of choices out there in terms of e-readers: the Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader and Barnes & Noble’s Nook are among the most well-known choices. Some newer versions offer Internet capabilities, but the key purpose is to display e-books.

Tablet owners often use their tablets to read e-books as well. Most tablets, however, do much more than just display e-books, so that is not their main purpose.


  • E-readers are extremely portable, which is wonderful for anybody who likes to read while on vacation or a business trip
  • Another travel bonus – if you are in a foreign country, you may still download an e-book in the language you have chosen, instead of searching for an accommodating bookstore.
  • Books are typically more affordable than you will find in regular bookstores.
  • Privacy – you almost certainly don’t want everyone to know if you’re reading a self-help book. If you’re using an e-reader, they won’t be able to tell.
  • All of your books can be found in one place.


  • Depending on the style of e-reader or tablet, you might not be able to read in direct sunlight because of screen glare.
  • Cost – although you may pay less for books than you normally would, e-readers generally cost upwards of $140.
  • If you’re used to shopping in used bookstores, these books will cost much more than you’re used to spending.
  • Lending books isn’t always an option.
  • All of your books are in a single location – if you lose your e-reader, you’re losing all of your books unless you buy a replacement.

As with any technology, the choice between an e-reader and a book depends on personal preference. While some people want to be able to display their books on a bookshelf and share them with the world, others prefer the portable convenience that comes with an e-reader.

For more insight into the debate between e-readers and traditional books check out this article.