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Books and Reading: e-Book Readers

Kobo DevicesAristotle loves to read. Although it is hard to get him interested in new books, once he gets into a story he likes, he devours the entire series. Now that he gets through his books so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. Yesterday, I bought him Enid Blyton’s Magic Folk Collection and today he’s done with the book. For some time now, I’ve been thinking about getting him an e-book reader so it is easier to cart all his books around without killing myself in the process.

Although our iPad can also function as an e-reader, there are a number of reasons why I have not been keen for Aristotle to use it in that manner because:

  • the back lighting causes considerable eye strain which I don’t like since he can be reading up to several hours at a time. I wanted was an e-reader that reads similarly to a physical book so we could limit his cumulative screen time.
  • an iPad offers the temptation to play games rather than read.
  • no matter how light an iPad might be, it can never compare to the weight of a basic e-reader (which will also be lighter than many of Aristotle’s individual novels).
  • the iPad battery life is much shorter than a good e-reader.

Whenever anyone mentions an e-reader, the first one on the lips of most mouths is Kindle. I think Kindle is almost synonymous with the term e-reader in much the same way that most people usually ask for a Panadol when they really mean paracetamol. Kindle does offer a good range of e-readers with a variety of features to meet individual needs – budget, built-in light, 3G, and other accessories to for easy wireless e-reading. The only reason I’ve decided not to even consider Kindle is for two reasons:

  • my country is restricted from purchasing kindle books which is my biggest gripe right now.
  • Kindle doesn’t read ePub – the format that most of my e-books are in. Although you can convert ePub books so you can read them on Kindle, I confess that I am too lazy to do it since my current e-library is already quite substantial.

Although there are a considerable number of e-readers on the market right now, there are only two that we have been considering based on features we want, price, and availability to us:

The main advantage of each is the longer battery life for the Sony and the Kobo’s ability to read “mobi” files. The Kobo is marginally cheaper but everything else – size, weight, ePub readability and memory capability is about the same. The Kobo’s main advantage at this point is the fact that I already have an existing Kobo account with books on it.

For us, the key features we really wanted in an e-reader were:

  • light weight
  • long battery life
  • no back light and reads like a regular book

Kobo touchSony PRS T2


We felt that most of the other features than come in the more fancy e-readers were unnecessary since we already have an iPad. If we really wanted a device that did those things, I would get an iPad rather than a fancy e-reader.

Probably the best thing about reading digital books is that there are a lot of sites available offering free e-books. Here are some sites that we found with free e-books (we’ve gotten out books from some of these sites, too):

For a more comprehensive listing of websites with free ebook downloads, check out:

For e-Book shopping, there are:

There are other sites that sell e-books as well but I’ve not bothered to include them here because this part of the world is restricted from purchasing – something I find truly annoying. If you know of other sites that sell e-books that can be purchased if you are from South-East Asia, please let me know.


Had to bring this site to your attention because it offers 225 classic e-books that have been recommended and used in notable homeschooling curricula, such as Amblesideonline:

Yesterday’s Classics

For $49.95, you can order the books for Kindle or in ePub format. The books cover a variety of subjects and there is something for every child from age 4-18. They are listed by author, title, genre and level so you can easily find the books that are appropriate for your child’s level and caters to his interest.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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