With the holidays rapidly approaching (or having already passed depending on your religious affiliations), I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about eReaders. Mostly, the talk has revolved around people wanting to know which one is the best.

Like with a computer or a car or a mattress, I don’t think there is one BEST e-reader. It all comes down to what you hope to gain from your e-reader.

As you may have picked up, I love my Kindle. I got it last year for Christmas and I have not once regretted asking for it. I also have some experience with the iPad. As you prepare your holiday wish lists, I thought, why not provide my opinion on these two devices as well as some feedback I’ve picked up regarding the Nook.

The Kindle

Again, I love my Kindle. To understand my love for it, though, you need to understand why I wanted it.

  1. I don’t want to have to take lots of books with me on travel, or lug a heavy book on my commute to work. The Kindle lets me store tons of books, meaning I only have to carry the relatively light-weight kindle. I save on space and I save my shoulder.
  2. My bookshelf is out of space. I tried to solve this problem by making myself go to the library. But let’s be honest. Sometimes I just don’t want to wait the 6+months it can take for a new release to become available. When I see that I’m #200+ on the wait list, I usually decide not to wait. The Kindle allows me to give into my impatience without overloading my already loaded bookshelf
  3. Sometimes you find yourself in a position where you are not happy with your book choice, be it over your lunch break, during your commute, or when you are away on vacation. Because I can store all of my books on the Kindle and I can buy new ones in seconds, this is no longer a problem.
  4. I don’t like reading on a computer screen. The technology the Kindle uses really does feel to my eyes like I’m reading paper.

The Kindle has answered all of the things on my list. I see the Kindle as a true e-reader. It doesn’t have tons of frills, but then again, neither does a newly purchased book from the bookstore. If you are looking for a solution to any of the problems I mentioned above, then this is the e-reader for you.

The iPad

When I think of the iPad, I do not think eReader. However, if you talk to my stepfather, he will try to convince you that reading books is one of the main selling points of the iPad. What do I think about the iPad as an eReader:

  1. The back light gives me a headache if I read too long.
  2. The back light also encourages skimming. Because it doesn’t feel like paper, I find myself reading how I would read a computer screen. I skip over sections and skim a LOT.
  3. The screen gets gucked up. Because you touch the screen, it becomes littered with fingermarks. I want a nice clean screen to read from.

And what do I think of the iPad as a whole:

  1. As an alternate laptop, the iPad is great. It is lightweight and small and can do more or less everything a laptop can do, unless you are looking for gaming capabilities (and by this I mean the old school massive games like World of Warcraft or the Sims) or have a fascination with Flash heavy websites
  2. The internet is a lot better than the Kindle’s internet capabilities
  3. If you get a portable keyboard, typing on the iPad is a cinch

To sum it up, if you are looking for an eReader, I say go for the Kindle. If you are looking for an alternate option for a portable computer, the iPad just might be your best friend. Of course, there are tons of other options out there, but I don’t feel qualified to comment on them.

What do you think of other eReaders you’ve checked out? Are you asking Santa for an eReader this year?