Last updated: June 20, 2020

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As you may have noticed, we are now living in an increasingly digitalised world. Technology is constantly changing the way we go about our daily routines and habits. As can be expected, the digital revolution has also reached the world of books and print media. While in the past there was generally only space in your bag or drawer for one book or a few magazines, now thanks to the digital world you have thousands at the reach of your fingertips.

Since the appearance of the Amazon Kindle over a decade ago, the price of eBook readers and eReaders is so much more affordable. With all the benefits they provide in todays digital world, it is no wonder that their popularity has skyrocketed. One eBook reader is much lighter and more comfortable than traditional books, specially considering you can carry virtually hundreds of books in one device. Last but not least, they allow you huge versatility and help save paper and ink.

Key Facts

  • One eReader takes up much less space than it’s traditional counterpart, also being much lighter and versatile. eBook readers have consume very little energy, so their batteries can last for ages.
  • The use of digital books makes it possible to reduce the overall consumption of paper and ink. With that in mind, they help to reduce the number of trees needed considerably reducing environmental impact.
  • There are several different file formats compatible with these devices. The most popular formats are: MOBI, ePub, PDF and HTML. eBook prices have fallen considerably in recent years, making them much more affordable to the general public.

The best eBook readers available on the Canadian market

In the following section, we present to you a list of the five best eBook readers available on the Canadian market. Each one of them has been chosen because they stand out in some aspect. However the one common characteristic of all the products we have chosen, is that they all offer great value for your money. It is our hope that this list and the information in the sections below will help you choose the eReader that best suits your needs.

Kobo — Aura black

With the Kobo Aura Black, you can discover a simple and natural eReading experience. Get lost in your story on it’s 7.8” and 1872 x 1004 resolution screen. Moreover, it includes Carta E Ink HD touchscreen. This device is lightweight and comfortable to hold for hours on end. With a print-on-paper look, you can read in direct sunlight without any glare; and with the built-in, adjustable ComfortLight PRO system, you can read late into the night with minimal strain on the eyes.

This device has an internal memory capacity of 8 GB, without any SD card slots to increase it. The Kobo eBookstore gives you access to over 5 million eBooks and your Kobo Aura lets you store up to 3,000 eBooks so you’ll never be without a great read. Discovering new titles is easy with the store’s personalised recommendations — which are based on your reading habits — plus you can read ratings and reviews from other book lovers like yourself.

Kobo Clara HD

This Kobo device comes with a 4 GB on-board memory, which holds up to 3,000 eBooks. It has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and micro USB connectivity. Like other Kobo products, it comes with a built-in, fully adjustable ComfortLight system which is a colour temperature dimmable light that can be set manually or automatically. This superb eBook comes with a 6″ HD E Ink Letter touch screen, which offers a high resolution of 300 dpi.

This model is a super-light electronic book, that weighs in at under 170 grams. It is software compatible with the vast majority of existing formats, although not with Amazon’s eBook format. It also includes a series of practical applications such as “Read It Later”. This app allows you to send articles from the web to the eBook reader via your computer or mobile phone connection.

Kindle — Paperwhite

The thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet comes with a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. This device is now waterproof, so you’re free to read and relax at the beach, by the pool, or while having a bath. Enjoy twice the storage with 8 GB or choose a 32 GB memory to carry even more titles with you.
Its energy consumption is very efficient, a single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours.

The built-in adjustable light lets you read indoors and outdoors, day and night. Paperwhite is IPX8 rated to protect against accidental immersion in up to two meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes. You can also adjust the text size and boldness and read with Kindle-exclusive fonts, hand tuned to provide maximum readability. Like most eReaders, it can be connected via WiFi and Bluetooth and it doesn’t require a computer to download files on to it.

Kindle — Oasis eReaders


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Previous Generation Kindle Oasis E-reader – 7″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Waterproof, 8 GB, Wi-Fi (9th generation)

  • Our largest, highest resolution display— 7” and 300 ppi, reads like real paper without glare, even in bright sunlight.
  • The first waterproof (IPX8) Kindle so you are free to read and relax in even more places.
  • Thin and light ergonomic design with dedicated page turn buttons and adaptive front light so you can read even more comfortably for hours.
  • Keep reading—a single charge lasts weeks, not hours.
  • Enjoy twice the storage with 8 GB. Or choose 32 GB to carry even more titles with you.



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CDN$ 329.99

With Kindle’s largest, highest resolution display, 7″ and 300 ppi, it reads like printed paper, without glare, even out in bright sunlight. This is a waterproof (IPX8) Kindle so you are free to read and relax in by the pool, at the beach or even while taking a bath. This device is built with a thin and light ergonomic design, dedicated page-turn buttons and an adaptive front light so you can read comfortably for hours.

With the excellent battery life this product features you can forget about having to recharge half way through a story — one charge lasts weeks, not hours. Enjoy twice the storage of other previous models with 8 GB built in storage. Need more? Then maybe even choose a 32 GB to hold more magazines, comics and newspapers. If you are looking for the best eReaders available to Canadians, this is the eBook reader for you.

Fire HD — 8 Tablet

We have decided to include this tablet because its price as a tablet or as an eReaders is very reasonable. As far as negative reviews, it only speaks to its limited application and capabilities. So maybe it’s not the best choice for a tablet, however, as an eReader, it does the job and so much more. It comes with up to 10 hours of battery life, a vibrant 8″ HD display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and Dolby Audio. It has16 or 32 GB of internal storage and a microSD slot for up to 400 GB of expandable storage.

Enjoy millions of Kindle eBooks, games, and apps – including Prime Video, Netflix, Facebook, Prime Music, Spotify and more. Prime members get unlimited access to over one million songs, thousands of movies and TV episodes, and unlimited photo storage – at no additional cost. Watch downloaded videos anywhere with a Prime Video membership or Netflix plan. Enhance your entertainment experience and always be able to choose between all the multi-media.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about eBook readers

In order to buy an eBook reader, it is important that you take a few things into account as not all eBook readers are built the same. For this reason and to help you choose the one that will best suit your needs, in this section we address some important aspects concerning eReaders. With this information, we hope you’ll be able to make a confident choice at the time of purchase.

young handsome caucasian brown straight hair woman sitting in city dusk, holding tablet, looking downward screen, face illuminated by screen light - technology, social network, communication concept

The price of eReaders has gone down considerably in recent years. This has made them a lot more accessible to the general public.
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What is an eBook reader exactly?

The term eBook reader basically means it is an electronic device to read electronic versions of books. With this in mind, the term can refer both to the digital book itself and to the device that allows it to be read. The terms eReader, eBook reader, eBook or digital book are also often used to refer to these devices.

How do eBook readers work?

The vast majority of eBook readers on the Canadian market work by using E Ink or electronic ink. This type of electronic ink screen does not have a backlighting system within the device, so they require adequate lighting for best reading conditions, much like a traditional book. In addition, these types of devices only display in grayscale, so they can not show colours.

The main advantage of this technology is that they offer a similar feel to that of a traditional book. Thus, visual fatigue from staring at the screen is drastically reduced, allowing the reader to read for longer periods of time. Another bonus point of this system is that its energy consumption is very low, so the battery can literally last weeks or months.

Advantages
  • Space saving
  • Versatile use
  • Reduce paper consumption
  • Digital books are cheaper than printed books.
Disadvantages
  • Encourage the use of pirated books
  • Batteries run out
  • The magic world of reading a paper book is lost, such as their smell and the feel of their paper to the touch.

How to use an eBook reader?

One way to upload the digital books you want to ready onto the device, is to connect the eReader to your computer via its USB port. When an eBook reader is connected directly to the computer, it works just like any other storage device, such as a USB. This means, you can copy and paste any file of an appropriate format into the eBook reader’s memory quickly and easily.

Another alternative is to insert an SD card into the eBook reader (if it allows). If you opt to do it in this way, keep in mind that the SD card must remain in the eBook reader so that you can access the books. To choose the book you want to read, just navigate using the eBook reader’s interface. As far as charging the battery is concerned, this is usually done through the USB port.

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More recent devices also come with the capability of wirelessly uploading content onto the devices. Moreover, there are only stores that allow you to access and save millions of titles right on the device.

eBook-Reader

In recent years, more models that are water resistas have emmerged. The main advantage of this feature is that you will be able to use the by the pool or at the beach without a worry.
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What electronic file formats are there?

There are currently a few different types of file formats for eBook readers. The most popular format is ePub, this format is an unrestricted format, which means books acquired in this format work will work on pretty much all types of readers. PDF format is another format that is widely used for eBooks and given that its use is widespread in the computing world it makes things pretty simple for the transfer of eBooks.

Many of the books that are published in HTLM format are many of the books whose copyrights have already expired. The Microsoft Word .doc format is another alternative format for eBooks. Books in Rich Text Format (RTF) are also available, as well as in the simple TXT format. Last but not least, the MOBI format, which is the native format of the Kindle digital reader.

Format Characteristics
ePub It is a free format. It is used mainly by small publishers, but also by some larger ones such as Indigo and Kobo
MOBI This is the format that is used by the Amazon Kindle. It is not usually compatible by other types of eReaders.
TXT This is a very simple format. In general, you’ll have to convert it to another file format.
PDF This is a very common file format and it can also be used on computers. However, the Kindle does not support these files with this format.
HTML This is the most common format of the web. It is supported by most eBook readers. Many royalty-free books have been published in this format.

Who would benefit from the use of an eBook reader?

basically, anyone who likes to read. Especially those people who read regularly on public transportation or those lucky ones who travel frequently. With an eBook reader, they won’t have to carry many heavy paper books from one place to another or ever have to worry about running out of something to read. These devices are also recommended for those who don’t have much space at home.

An eBook reader might also be of interest to students, so they can avoid carrying heavy backpacks full of books to school or university. They can also be of interest to those who care about the environment, which should actually be everyone. Finally, these gadgets are a great option for people who want to read the latest news but who don’t have the time or money to buy the paper everyday.

What type of care does an eBook reader require?

In general, an eBook reader requires the usual care of any electronic device. They should not be exposed to water or extreme temperatures, especially extreme heat. Except in the case of waterproof devices, they can temporarily come into contact with water. In addition, it is advisable to avoid hard impacts such as dropping them from an elevated height.

Shopping Criteria

Nowadays, buying an eBook reader is quite affordable for most people. However, if you want to make a the best purchase, you should pay close attention to its most important features. The size of the screen or the page flip speed are key aspects you must consider. Nonetheless, there are more things to pay attention to at the time of purchase, and for your convenience we have listed them below with a brief overview of each one.

Intended use

When buying an eBook reader, it is important that you think about how you are going to use it. If you’re planning on using it during the night in low-light environments, it’s a good idea to have a device with built in lighting for example.

Moreover, if you plan to use it by the swimming pool or at the beach, it is obviously better to opt for a waterproof eBook reader. Furthermore, if you’re going to travel frequently with it, it’s best to buy a small, lightweight one. Consider all these things before buying.

Reading books makes you better

Without a doubt, the leading brand in eReaders is Amazon’s Kindle. However, there are other reputable brands out there like Sony and Kobo.
(Source: Bloomua: 25513923/ 123rf.com)

Screen: type and size

Much of the eBook readers’ success is based on their electronic ink-based displays. This technology has a fantastic advantage because they make it possible to read digital files in a grayscale. Because of this, it is possible and comfortable to read for longer periods of time without your eyes getting tired and straining your sight. The degree of sharpness that electronic ink provides to the text, is truly exceptional.

Other types of screens such as TFT are also used in modern models. These screens offer some pretty interesting advantages. They offer colour text and allow you to also use your eBook reader as a tablet. However in comparison to an electronic ink-based eBook reader, the TFT style is much more visually tiring.

Generally, most eBook readers have 6″ screens and this should be the minimum size you should consider to opt for. There are however also eBook readers with larger screens, up to 10″. The resolution has to be at least 800 x 600 pixels, which is the usual standard for 6″. In the larger ones it can be up to 1024 x 768 for proper resolution and minimum distortion in the content.

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The choice of screen type and size should depend on its intended use and your specific preferences.

Ink type

This is something you’ve probably never thought about. Which type of ink the eBook reader uses. The most advanced digital ink technology today is the E Ink Pearl. It is now used in the majority of the high-end devices. In any case, before choosing an eBook reader, you should check out this aspect. The right type of ink will allow you to read more comfortably for longer.

Screen refresh rate and page flip speed

Make sure the screen’s refresh rate is solid. Sometimes if the eBook reader displays an image on the screen for a long time, it ends up being marked in the background when you turn the page. This can be very annoying for the reader and this is an aspect that really determines the quality of an eReader experience.

The slow interface of some models can also be a real problem. If flipping the page is not smooth enough, the use of an eBook reader can be extremely irritating. If the eBook reader is slow, this will also affect the menu navigation and the opening of a new book. To prevent choosing a slow eBook reader, there is nothing better than testing it out before buying or researching product reviews from other customers.

Integrated and external memory capacity

You shouldn’t worry too much about the built in memory capacity of the device you’re buying. In general, e-book files take up very little space. If the eBook reader has a storage capacity of 2 or 4 GB it should be more than enough.

But if you end up needing more storage capacity, you can always use an SD card for a bit of extra room — if the device allows. In addition, most eBook readers come with the ability to store and synchronise files on the cloud. However, you should remember that in order to access these files you will need to be connected to the Internet.

Format

Currently, ePub is the most popular format and the format most eBook publishers use. However, it is important that the eBook reader you buy is also compatible with the other formats. You should try to find an eBook reader that is at least compatible with the following formats: Microsoft Word Docs, MOBI, PDF, HTML and TXT.

With this in mind, it is important to note that the Amazon Kindle is not compatible with the ePub format. One solution to this problem is to convert the files to MOBI format. To do this, there are a number of programs on the internet that make it super easy to do such conversions. One of the most popular eBook file format conversion programs is called Calibre.

Battery life

This is a very important aspect, but generally speaking, almost all eBook readers have a very good battery life. The energy consumption of eBook readers is so low that their battery can last for weeks. Only if the eBook reader has a colour screen should you worry about this aspect.

When it comes to charing the battery of an eBook reader, it would be of interest to find out whether or not the eBook reader has the possibility of fast-charging. Especially if you travel often with your eBook reader, fast charging can be a huge plus. Remember that the capacity of a battery is measured in milliamperes hour (mAh).

Marcel Prevost“French

“The fortunate discovery of a good book can change the destiny of a soul.”

Connectivity

There are several ways to transfer files to eBook readers. One of the most common is through SD cards. With SD cards you can copy the books from the PC and then read them in the eBook reader, super easy. The connection via USB is also very common and, without a doubt, very practical and fast.

Some advanced eBook readers also have a Wi-Fi connection. This makes it possible to buy books directly on the eBook reader device, via an online store, or copy files from the computer to the eBook reader via Wi-Fi. Finally, if the eBook reader allows for Bluetooth connections, for audio parts of an eBook reader you’ll be able to connect your device to your headphones without the need for cables.

Additional features

When buying an e-book, you must evaluate what other extra functions it offers you. Many eBook readers have a number of extra features that are noteworthy. One of the most common is the built in MP3 player, with which you can listen to music while you read or listen to audiobooks.

Others offer the possibility of surfing the Internet, reading news and even playing games. It’s important to also consider the font styles and sizes available for eBook readers.

Other interesting functions are the possibility of rotating the screen for horizontal reading and in-built dictionaries.

Another very good added feature is screen illumination. However, in order for it to work properly it must be directly proportional to the intensity of outdoor light. Backlighting should be equal throughout the entire screen.

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Remember that the more levels of lighting that the device offers, the better the control of the lighting will be.

Summary

eBook readers are a great and handy alternative to traditional books and a fantastic technological advancement. In addition, their price has dropped considerably in recent years. While at the same time, their popularity has continued to gown. To be able to have thousands of books in a device that can weigh as little as 200 grams is a temptation that is difficult to resist for any book worm.

However, not all eBook readers are created the same. So, if you’re thinking about buying one, it’s essential that you consider the differences between devices, both technical and in general. Some of the most important aspects to consider are price, brand, connectivity, screen type and compatibility with different file formats.

We hope that this eBook reader guide has been useful to you throughout your search. If you enjoyed it don’t hesitate to leave us a comment with your thoughts and share on your social networks.

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