Are you looking for an ereader for a child in your family or family friend?
Should features on ereaders be kid-friendly or should it even matter? Who has the largest selection of children ebooks?
How would you possibly know where to start with so many ereaders available with seemingly more ereading gadgets being released constantly.
My hope is that this how to guide is a resource to help you the shopper know what to look for in shopping for the best ereader for the child in your family.
Reading should be fun
Encouraging kids and teens to read can be as simple as introducing them to the latest gadget or ereader on the market.
Rather than traditional books, they have thousands of titles at their fingertips, ready to read. From young adult books, to children’s books, there are a few things parents should consider when they are choosing an e-reader for their children.
What should parents consider when choosing an ereader?
First and foremost, it is important to make sure that the ereader is going to be durable and be able to withstand the occasional drop. The ereader can be protected with a case if need be, but it is likely going to get a lot of use by the child, and if you are going to spend money on such an accessory, it should be made of durable materials not impede the usability of the device.
Also, parents may want to consider whether the child is going to be able to successfully operate the ereader as well as the availability of certain books and genres for the ereader. The controls should be easy to learn, and the child should be able to access titles that are going to encourage a lifelong love of reading.
Tablets vs eReaders
Tablets come with more features (and larger price tag too) so should you consider a tablet in your buying decision?
My answer is it depends.
Tablets provide a richer user experience with a color LCD screen and app ecosystems that will enhance your ability to enjoy it. However, ereaders have a black and white (or e-ink) screen which provides the ability to read in sunlight. Try doing that on a tablet. In addition, studies show that the e-ink ereader is easier on the eyes. Also, prices for ereaders are cheaper and their batteries last way longer as compared to 10 hours of battery life on the best tablet.
So, it really will come down to what your intentions are. Do you see your young reader reading books? Or will he or she want to download apps, read magazines and/or comic books?
When thinking about the best ereader for kids, there are two models that come to mind:
The Kobo Mini
Designed as the smallest ereader available on the market, the Kobo Mini gives kids access to the book store and parents can use gift cards to credit the account and control the spending as well as what books are purchased. The traditional e-ink appearance of the book is not going to be difficult to read and the settings can be adjusted based on the preferences of the child. The Nook from Barnes & Noble is worthy of mention but I think that the kid-friendly size and user-friendly nature of the Kobo, coupled with the solid operating system and bright colored designs make it a great choice for parents searching for an e-reader for their child.
The Amazon Kindle
The Kindle is a great choice for kids as an e-reader, to give the full size experience. It does what it is supposed to do and provides a basic, reading experience without the bells and whistles that can distract, as in the case where kids are reading on an iPad. The Kindle is lightweight and allows them easily to carry it with them, search for the books, purchase books to read and makes it easy to access reading anywhere.
In addition to being a stable ereader and really the market leader, the Kindle also surpasses other models with the increased battery life. This is going to allow kids to read for longer, without charging—a sure win in the eyes of any parent.
An Alternate – the VTech Animated E-Reader
A third alternate consideration if you have very young aspiring readers is the VTech Animated E-Book System. VTech makes a fanstastic ereader for young readers from age 3 to 7. This colorful e-reader comes in a kid friendly design, a 3.5″ touch screen, and plays fully animated stories with narration. A great way to start you child out reading at an early age.
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