You'd be surprised at how often I'm asked which Kindle people should buy for their loved ones. The answer is simple: the Paperwhite (without ads).
Why the Paperwhite?
- The only thing that really matters is the screen, and the Paperwhite has the same screen as found in the two pricier Kindles (the Voyage and the Oasis).
- The screen lights up. Any reader will love this feature.
- It feels sturdy and good in your hand, which is important for a device you're going to be holding for awhile.
But what if I'm a big spender and I want to impress my loved one?
If you're looking to splurge I'd say the Oasis is your best bet. The screen is just like the Paperwhite and the Voyage, but this thing is super light. I mean, like crazy light (especially without the battery cover). It lasts forever, and the cover is fun to click on and off.
All that's great, but the biggest reason to get the Oasis over the Voyager has a big impact on the reading experience: page turn buttons. The Voyage has areas that are kind of like buttons. You squeeze them and the page turns. They're better than not having any buttons but the Oasis' actual buttons are far superior.
What if my loved one hates Amazon but loves ePubs?
Then the Kindle is right out, isn't it? This seems like an edge case, but if that's the edge your loved one lives on get them a Kobo aura H20.
I like many of Kobo's interface touches more than what you'll find on any Kindle (shocking, I know), and being able to take a bath with your ereader without putting it in a plastic bag is pretty great.
Why don't I recommend a Kobo over the Kindle if I love it so much? Getting books on the darn thing isn't hard, exactly, but it is much harder than the process on the Kindle.
Should I get someone a nook?
I had high hopes for the nook line, and I actually quite like the Nook Glowlight Plus, but I can't recommend them as gifts. Why? Because I get the feeling that Barnes and Noble isn't going to be keeping them around for much longer. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't want to saddle anyone with an eReader without a store.