Well, it’s August again. That means it is definitely time to get things ready for the upcoming school year for all those parents out there. Normally, this is where I would come right out and say “Hey, buy them a Kindle and save money in the long run!” We’ll consider that a given for all the usual reasons like pricing and saving on precious and increasingly overused bag space and move on to why this year provides some interesting factors to take into consideration. It’s also a great way to encourage a little bit more reading in kids who are otherwise bombarded with far too many other attention draws to consider it time well spent without something extra to make it appealing.
The pricing on eReaders has gotten to the point where, pretty much across the board, they are affordable as replacements for the sort of fiction that usually comes up in schools. When you are used to paying $7.99 per book for something you can get on a Kindle for a dollar or even for free, the device pays for itself pretty quick. The same is true of the competition as well, naturally. Right now, as far as school use goes, I would consider both the Nook Simple Touch and any of the Kindles as ideal for the purpose.
The most important factor, aside from text pricing and availability which are fairly universal as relates to what might be required in these circumstances, is durability. Ideally, you don’t want to have to replace whatever you go for any time soon since it can take the better part of a year for the savings to offset the purchase price unless your child is a big reader. The new touchscreen Kobo isn’t bad, but it feels a bit flimsy by comparison with others. Both the Kindle and Nook at this point are pretty equally rugged and have a large variety of cases available for protection and personalization. Do not skip getting a case, if you can help it. These are generally solid devices, but even an inexpensive case like those in the Marware Eco-Vue line is enough to save from most wear and tear taken in transit and even buffer against short falls that would otherwise destroy the screens.
If neither eReader option is quite what you are hoping for, it might be a better choice to hold off on a purchase entirely, for once. Amazon has two new Kindles on the way, according to seemingly accurate reports. While they will not be making it in before the beginning of this Fall Semester, being October releases, there promises to be an introduction of touchscreen technology and possibly even a price drop even beyond what has been happening recently with the Kindle in general. We may even see the first in the new line of Kindle Tablets, making possible all sorts of new uses including the replacement of textbooks. That latter point, of course, won’t apply to most pre-college students, but it might be important for kids who are near to graduating and moving on.