Are you REALLY using an eReader?

Just because your device enables you to read eBooks does NOT mean it is an eReader!Some reactions to my previous post – along with discussion with friends and family – have convinced me that there are a whole lot of people out there who don’t know what an eReader is!

This is understandable because the companies that make devices that enable you to read ebooks on them market them as eReaders.  Every year they publish lists of the best eReaders available – and these lists combine BOTH tablets and eReaders.

A Kindle Fire is NOT an eReader.  An iPAD is NOT an ereader.  Your mobile phone is NOT an eReader. These devices are essentially created to do things other than let you read books. They let you browse the internet, read your email, view your photographs, play games, create spreadsheets, etc. They are tablets that emit blue light and are not conducive to sleep – or your general health. “The use of portable blue light-emitting devices immediately before bedtime has biological effects that may perpetuate sleep deficiency and disrupt circadian rhythms, both of which can have adverse impacts on performance, health, and safety.”

Many devices we own, from the latest iPad to the Samsung Galaxy Note to Amazon’s Kindle Fire, has light-emitting diodes that give off blue wavelength light. And it’s that blue light that wreaks havoc on our body’s melatonin production.

Dedicated eReaders – devices that ONLY allow you to read eBooks (no internet capability, etc.) are the more healthy choice for the avid reader.

The Kindle Paperwhite (my device of choice); The Nook GlowLight; The Kobo Aura; The Kobo Clara are all readers that use eInk. These readers do not display in color – as of yet only black and white.

E-ink readers are not backlit but they are illuminated. These devices were only introduced in 2012. Rather than lighting the screen from behind, illuminated e-ink e-readers are “front-lit” and use small LEDs around the screen, pointing inward rather than outward, to cast a glow over it.  This makes easy reading possible in bright sunlight or a dark room without adjusting your brightness settings. (but you can if you want)

“Another advantage electronic ink has over traditional computer displays is its readability. It looks more like printed text, so it’s a lot easier on the eyes.”

As of yet, there is NO scientific evidence that states E-Ink readers are in any way detrimental to your health and well-being.  They are no more dangerous than reading a book which is printed on paper.

If you want to read further on this subject check out the following links:

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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38 Responses to Are you REALLY using an eReader?

  1. I have many devices, but prefer to read on my Kindle Oasis, unless absolutely desperate (an hour’s wait at the doctor and I forgot to pack my Kindle in my purse!). However, I’m a very visual person, so it isn’t unusual for me to use my Kindle app to peruse covers in full color, and then read said book on my actual Kindle. 🙂

    Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a Kobo Glo HD ereader which makes it possible to read in the sunlight and at night. I also read via the Kindle App on my ipad but I much prefer my ereader, it’s so much easier for the eyes :-).


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  4. Sammie says:

    I’ve noticed this, as well, and try to point that out! I work all day on the computer, so I made sure to get an e-ink eReader to reduce the strain on my eyes, because trying to read on my phone was causing a lot of strain. I’ve got a Kindle Touch, and I LOVE it. Feels a lot like reading a paperback, and I can read as long as I want without eye strain. 🙂


  5. Holly B / Dressedtoread says:

    I feel much more informed. Thanks for the info! Probably why I prefer my paperwhite. It is so much easier on my eyes, not to mention no glare. I was contemplating on buying an ipad, but maybe I don’t really need one (I also have the HD Kindle fire).

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says:

    This is a damn good point – THANK YOU for drawing attention to it!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have a nook glowlight and absolutely love it!! It lives on my bedside table instead of the bookshelf so that on nights when I have a hard time sleeping, I can pick it up and read instead of using my phone. I always find it so much easier to fall asleep after using the e-reader than when I tried to read on my phone!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Barb Saffer says:

    Very informative. Thank you. (I have an ereader.) 🙂


  10. I read on my kindle app that’s on my phone, which has the capacity to turn the blue light off, which I’m very happy about.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. shalini says:

    I use my kindle paperwhite but I find that before going to sleep, I prefer reading my book with a black background screen helps me sleep better. So I use the kindle app on phone

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bookishluna says:

    Great information, I was reading on my iPad for years and my head was hurting more. I picked up a paper white with no lights and it has made such a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very helpful article! I sent it to my sister who switched to an iPad when her Kindle croaked. She has such a hard time sleeping and usually reads at bedtime. Thanks for sharing this info!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Interesting, I read my eBooks on my old Kindle, so I guess I fit the eReader definition. I hadn’t given it much thought, but my guess is everyone will continue to call all devices eReaders, just like all tissues are Kleenex!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I just got a nook as a birthday gift and had to keep repeating “I only want it to be able to read ebooks” and my mom would say “but this one is a tablet too” Nooooo! Only ebooks! I am enjoying ebooks so much more now that I’m not reading them on a tablet!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. carhicks says:

    I have a kindle ereader, but do not use it. I use my tablet for reading, checking email, social media (goodreads, facebook) and use my laptop for reading adobe digital, and everything else. I usually go to bed and read a physical book for about half an hour before turning out the light. I will have to check out the article you posted about different types of light. I had no idea that was even a difference of an issue for us. Thanks for sharing this Lynne.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m so happy to see more posts on e-readers, to open the discussion past “e-readers are the woooooooorst, you are only reading if it’s a PHYSICAL book”!! I am a huge fan of my Kobo, and I take at least one of mine with me everywhere. Not only can I carry thousands of books with me at once, I can change the font and size to suit my eyes at the time, and can read 1-3 hours a day for 3-4 weeks without charging and without lugging several books around. I bought my first e-reader in May 2010 and the e-ink screen has always been incredibly comfortable for me to use, both with and without my glasses!

    I wasn’t sure about the whole “lit screen”, from either the front or the back, but I have been converted!! I usually have the lighting set at 0, but I can set it at 7-8% when I want to read before bed but don’t want to keep my puppy up, and it is fantastic- I’m glad I came around!

    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

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