A few years ago, I doubted the usefulness of e-readers for me. I was within walking distance of a fabulous independent bookstore that sold new and gently used books and was “smell the books, smell the bookscamp. Still, I was intrigued by them as an avid reader who had started seeing them everywhere. So I asked my roommate how she liked hers. At the time, she had the Amazon Kindle basic, which she really liked. She especially liked the convenient size and the fact that the print didn’t hurt her eyes. She warmed me to the idea, but I still wasn’t completely sold on it.
Fast forward a few years to now, and most of the books I read these days are on some sort of e-reader. I’m not alone, as about 30% of Americans now read e-books. It makes sense. They offer portability, a potentially vast library of books at your fingertips, and their e-ink gives the eyes a break from tedious screens by providing a paper-like reading experience. On top of all that, there are now plenty of ways to get ebooks. There’s the Public Library with the glorious app that is Libby, and Book Riot even has a daily deals newsletter that will send you the best e-book deals every day.
Since I became totally sold on ebooks, and even acquired a few myself, I’d like to share with you the best e-readers 2022 has to offer. While any text display device could technically be an e-reader, I mainly focused on devices whose primary purpose is to display e-books, magazines, and newspapers. I also separated them by drive type, but then gave an overall better option for general-purpose drives. Read on to discover the best eReaders of 2022.
Best EReader for Library Books
Kobo Clara HD
Cut: 6″ HD E-ink touch screen; 5.9 ounces
Storage: 8 GB
What is supported: HTML, PDF, TXT, CBR, CBZ, EPUB, RTF
Advantages: This has the best library support with a built-in feature that lets you borrow libraries that use OverDrive software. It’s also small and light, and features ComfortLight PRO, which reduces blue light.
The inconvenients: It is not waterproof
best manga reader
Cut: 8″ E-ink touchscreen; 7 ounces
Storage: 8 GB or 32 GB
What is supported: comic files (CBZ and CBR), EPUB, EPUB3, MOBI, FilePub, PDF
Advantages: This reader’s larger size, landscape appearance, and page-turning buttons make manga reading more fun. It is also compatible with more formats so you can download the next volume of manga.
The inconvenients: While manga is mostly black and white, there are sometimes colored pages, but this reader only offers black and white. There’s also a bit of a lag sometimes when using the buttons, and it’s a little pricey.
Best e-reader for kids
Fire 7 kids tablet
Cut: 7-inch, 16-ounce touchscreen
Storage: 16 GB of storage
What is supported: Kindle reading app and over 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, audiobooks, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more
Advantages: This comes with an introductory Amazon Kids+ subscription for one year, after which it’s $2.99 per month. The selection of ebooks and audiobooks that come with the subscription allows for plenty of options, so some favorites are inevitable. Parents can also set up controls through the account. The protective bumper guards against uncertain little hands and comes with a two-year warranty against breakage. There’s also a small color selection that offers some nice options for light customization. Overall, it’s a good option for parents who want their kids to have a few options in one package.
The inconvenients: This tablet can become a bit of a distraction for kids with all the other features it has. Also, depending on what is downloaded, the storage may not be enough.
best affordable ereader
To light up
Cut: 6 inch E-ink touch screen; 6 ounces
Storage: 8 GB
What is supported: PDF, TXT, HTML, MOBI
Advantages: The 2019 Kindle is an upgrade from the original, and while it’s one of the more affordable options, especially with the occasional sale, it still offers a lot. Its integrated front light and anti-glare screen read like paper, even outdoors. And a full charge will leave the device charged for weeks. Additionally, Kindle Unlimited provides access to over 2 million titles through a device that functions the same as other more expensive Kindle models. If you associate audiobooks with your ebooks, you can seamlessly switch between listening and reading with an Audible account.
The inconvenients: It’s not waterproof and the resolution isn’t the sharpest.
Best eReader 2022: Overall
Cut: 6.8 inch E-ink touch screen; 7 ounces
Storage: 8 GB
What is supported: AZW, MOBI, PDF, TXT
Advantages: It’s a larger, water-resistant Kindle with a front light that can change color automatically, reducing eye strain. It also has excellent resolution. It will work best for reading books from public libraries as well as Amazon. A flat front design means there won’t be any buildup of debris in its crevices, making it the perfect e-reader to take to the beach. It also has up to 10 weeks of battery life, plus many basic Kindle features, like a paper-like reading screen.
The inconvenients: Although there is a bit of a price hike, there is no headphone jack, physical buttons or cellular option.
Best eReader 2022: finalists
Cut: 7″ E-ink touch screen, 7oz.
Storage: 32 GB
What is supported: HTML, MOBI, PDF, TXT
Advantages: It’s a waterproof device with an aluminum back panel, something you don’t see much in eReaders. It also protects against eye strain with its adjustable warm light. The addition of buttons makes some people feel like they’re reading a book, and the resolution and number of LED lights – the most of any eReader – results in a bright, crisp screen. All in all, it provides such a lush reading experience.
The inconvenients: So why isn’t it better overall? For one, it still doesn’t have a headphone jack – you can only connect via Bluetooth – and non-Amazon books are a bit of an afterthought. That’s to be expected to some extent, but at this price you’d expect everything to be seamless. This brings me to the final drawback: the price. For being so much more expensive than the Paperwhite, one would expect a few extra amenities.
Cut: 10.2″ touch screen, 1.1 lbs
Storage: 64 GB, 256 GB
What is supported: As a tablet, this supports various music, video and e-book formats including EPUB and PDF.
Advantages: The storage space, larger screen, and color viewing make reading e-books, especially manga and other colorful comics, so enjoyable. Being a tablet makes it a more economical all-in-one device that can even replace a laptop with the right accessories.
The inconvenients: As this is a tablet and therefore has no e-ink, the reading experience will not be like reading on paper. Reading over a long period of time can cause eye strain. And, unless you’re strict with your notifications, they can be distracting when trying to read.
The eReader you choose will ultimately depend on how often you read eBooks, the type of eBooks you read, and the type of reading experience you are looking for. Luckily, you have plenty of options! Don’t forget to accessorize your stylish new e-reader once you’ve made your choice.