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Published on February 3, 2021

5 Best Kindle Alternatives For Active Readers

5 Best Kindle Alternatives For Active Readers

Since the inception of ebook tablets, reading on-the-go has been embraced now more than ever. Anyone who is an active reader knows these things exist and should consider them as they’re not distracting and easier on the eyes, among a host of other benefits. However, many are only aware of Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader. But there are other Kindle alternatives.

We don’t blame you as Kindle dominates the market since it was the flagship product that started this whole demand. However, as the years have gone by, there are several Kindle alternatives that you may want to consider.

Even though the Amazon Kindle is a good option, businesses have since developed their own ebook tablets and can stand up against Kindle. With that in mind, we’re looking at some of the best Kindle alternatives you can find and what they have to offer to readers.

Why Consider E-Readers in General?

The creation of Amazon’s Kindle revealed some of the many benefits and reasons to consider these products for the future. It’s been a huge debate among book readers as many would argue that digital textbooks don’t have the same feel as paperback books. The experience of turning a page feels different too. But these are small gripes in comparison to why it’s smarter to go for these e-readers.

We mentioned above that e-readers aren’t distracting and are gentler on the eyes. But they also have several other perks.

  • Ebooks are significantly cheaper than paperback since you’re cutting out the middleman, the printing, and shipping of the physical book.
  • They’re capable of storing several books so you’ll never lose books. You can also gain quick access to them via the tablet without hunting for that specific copy.
  • E-readers are incredibly lightweight, making them great for portability and reading.
  • E-readers have books in different languages, allowing you to quickly read and learn different languages rather than hunting down a foreign language copy.
  • E-readers also have several books that you can get for free, making it a good budget option.
  • E-readers also save a lot of space. Forget about piling up books on several bookshelves. You can now store all your books into a small tablet for easier use.

What Makes for the Best Kindle Alternative?

When finding the best Kindle alternatives, we look at the following criteria:

  • Connectivity. Regardless of the e-reader, you’ll need to download books wirelessly. This means connecting to a network and the internet. Having good connectivity will make this process much easier.
  • Touchscreen. Even though touchscreens are on every piece of tech these days, it’s oddly not been a manufacturing consideration until recently. The touch screen on these Kindle alternatives will be a step up from older e-readers.
  • Memory. The average e-reader will have between 4 GB and 8GB of memory. That’s enough memory to store thousands of ebooks and what you’ll find at entry-level smartphones in terms of memory. The Kindle alternatives we’re looking at are within this range.
  • Screen. From the sizes on the tablet to how sharp images and text appear on the screen itself, this is where quality really matters. These alternatives have high standards for their screens.
  • Battery. Having a long battery life means being able to go on long trips or be away from chargers for long periods of time. It can also factor in how much charge time is needed for the e-reader to be fully charged.
  • Weight. Weight is everything to these devices. The average e-reader is about half as light as traditional tablets which means you won’t be straining yourself if you’re holding onto the tablet. You can also read in bed quite comfortably as it’s lighter than most softcover books.

5 Best Kindle Alternatives

Here are the top 5 picks for Kindle alternatives.

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1. Our Pick: Kobo Aura Edition 2

    If you’re looking for the best Kindle alternative around, we recommend the Kobo Aura Edition 2. Kobo—an anagram of “book”—is a worthy competitor for Kindle and one that shouldn’t be excluded. It’s a wonderful budget option in general and offers great quality.

    With the Kobo Aura specifically, you’ll get a 212 PPI display and a 4 GB internal storage that can hold over 3000 ebooks. Other features include:

    • It has ComfortLight backlight. This allows the light to be adjusted based on lighting conditions automatically.
    • Access to 14 different file formats including image files and PDFs
    • Supports English, French, Japanese, and Turkish languages
    • Boasts 11 different style fonts—a huge step up from the one font that Amazon Kindle offers
    • Battery life that can last for weeks

    Despite these great features, there are some flaws to it that you otherwise wouldn’t deal with on Kindle. These include:

    • This Kobo product doesn’t have access to cellular data. This means the Kobo app on your phone won’t be able to sync with this at all.
    • It is Wi-Fi compatible. However, it’s a requirement to have access to books and downloading. And even so, the loading can be relatively slow.
    • The touchscreen supports touch only for turning pages rather than “touch and swipe” like the Kindle.

    Get our top pick, the Kobo Aura Edition 2, here.

    2. Runner Up: Nook GlowLight 3

      Nook is the underdog in the e-reader market, though it’s part of the literary giant, Barnes & Noble. That level of clout makes it capable of standing up against Kindle as well as Kobo.

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      Overall, Nook delivers cheaper purchase prices for their e-readers while still offering value-for-money compared to the other brands. You start to see this already with the Nook Tablet. It’s more of a Kindle alternative to the Kindle Fire if you’re looking to compare.

      Some of the perks of this tablet are:

      • A 6-inch IPS display with 1024 x 600 resolution—the same resolution as the 1st and 2nd generation of Kindle Fire.
      • Supports over 18 different file formats
      • It offers a ton of memory—16 GB onboard and offers cloud storage of up to 128GB.
      • Because it’s connected to Android, it has access to Google Play and other Android features.

      But it also comes with some downsides that can hinder how much value it offers.

      • Because it’s connected to Android and powered by Android, it also comes with some of the issues with the operating system, such as a significantly shorter battery life compared to others.
      • The screen is also very reflective, making the display’s readability tougher for some people.

      Pick up the runner up, the Nook GlowLight 3, here.

      3. Another Kobo Option: Kobo Clara HD

        If some of the cons of our top picks didn’t sit well with you but you love the Kobo brand, one solid option to consider is the Kobo Clara HD. It offers a robust, entry-level e-reader that offers good features at a reasonable price.

        Some of the perks include:

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        • A 6-inch, 300 PPI screen—easily matching the visual reading qualities of the higher end e-readers on the market to date.
        • Front-lit display, making it good for reading even outside
        • ComfortLight PRO technology makes it automatically adjust lighting based on location and time zone
        • 8 GB of memory
        • Smooth navigation and strong UI with the library menu
        • Customizable display and easy to use sliders that offers you flexibility in fonts, margins, and line spaces
        • Solid battery life of 2 to 4 weeks

        Though it’s not without its downsides, which could take some getting used to.

        • Because the Kobo Clara focuses a lot on touch, there aren’t any buttons to balance it. So, if you’re looking to make adjustments, it’s a multi-step process compared to other brands that offer a simple button.
        • You’re restricted to one library account at a time and if you need to switch libraries, you’ll need to log out and search for the other library. Clara also doesn’t offer previous search history making this process harder if you have multiple accounts.

        Purchase our kobo alternative suggestion, Kobo Clara HD, here.

        4. Non-Amazon Alternative: Sony DPT-RP1/B

          For those looking for something truly unique, take a look at Sony’s e-reader. Like many of the big tech companies out there, they’ve tried their hand at e-reader technology. Apple and Windows have their tablets, and Sony does as well and has also drifted towards e-readers in particular. Hence, the DPT-RPI/B.

          Despite the unusual name, it still offers a lot to e-readers.

          • The screen is the largest we’ve seen with models offering 10-inch and 13-inch screens.
          • It has a strong battery life—lasting about a week per charge, which is impressive considering the sheer size.
          • It can transfer files via Wi-Fi, USB, and Bluetooth.
          • It comes with a magnetic stylus that allows you to draw on the documents, scroll, or take notes. No other e-reader offers this.
          • And it’s easy to read if you’re the type to read legal briefs, textbooks, manga, or comic books.

          However, like Sony’s tablets, there are some big flaws that you’ll have to keep in mind.

          • It’s a budget option, but considering the size of it, it’s not ideal for those who read nothing but ebooks.
          • It lacks a web browser, so there is no online store for which you can retrieve any ebooks. Every time you want to read something, you’ll have to use one of the three methods above, which can be a bit tiresome in certain circumstances.
          • The e-reader can only display PDF formats. There are many apps available for you to convert files to PDFs and this e-reader can display them with good quality, but that extra step can be annoying for some.

          Pick up Sony’s e-reader here.

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          5. Last Consideration: Kobo Forma

            The final consideration we have on our list is the Kobo Forma. Out of the ones we’ve shown thus far, it’s on the larger screen size than others—though still smaller than Sony’s tablet. It offers an 8-inch display, which makes it just the right size for large print ebooks or those who want to be reading manga or comics.

            Some other perks with the tablet are:

            • Despite the larger screen, it’s still lightweight at seven ounces.
            • It’s one of the few e-readers that’s IPX9 certified waterproof
            • It offers an OverDrive feature, which means you can connect to public libraries to search and borrow ebooks. You keep the book until its due date which is displayed in an easy to spot location.
            • Has 8GB or 32GB of storage
            • High-quality battery life

            Though, there are some downsides to the Forma you’ll need to know in advance.

            • The larger screen means that portability can be a slight issue, especially if your previous e-reader was much smaller.
            • The tilt sensors can also be challenging as well as the device can easily switch to landscape mode and could be locked in automatically.

            Purchase our last option, the Kobo Forma, here.

            Final Thoughts

            Every e-reader has its flaws, but as you can tell, there are several Kindle alternatives out there on the market. If you can overcome some of the few downsides of these e-readers, these Kindle alternatives can offer a lot in many ways that Kindle can’t.

            We strongly encourage you to consider these e-readers as these are great selections for those who are buying one for the first time or looking for an upgrade from their previous one.

            Featured photo credit: Perfecto Capucine via unsplash.com

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            Published on March 1, 2021

            How To Find a Mentor And Make The Relationship Work

            How To Find a Mentor And Make The Relationship Work

            One of the fastest shortcuts to success in anything is to learn from someone who’s already done it. No matter what your goals are—from starting a business to inventing a new technology, from becoming a better public speaker to getting a promotion—there’s someone out there who’s done some variation of it. They’ve already faced the trials and tribulations of that journey. They have the connections. They’ve gained experience and wisdom. They know the pitfalls and challenges, and they know the shortcuts. If you want a higher chance of success, find a mentor.

            Pick up a biography of any successful person, and you’ll quickly learn that there’s one thing they all have in common: they’ve all had mentors—people who came before who taught and championed and supported them, people who helped shortcut their path to success in their given field.

            Mentorship Isn’t Exactly New

            The recorded history of mentorship dates back to at least Ancient Greece.[1] In the Middle Ages, most skills and crafts were learned through apprenticeship.[2] And since the 1970s, mentorship has become a critical part of many businesses and enterprises.[3]

            But it’s not just an enduring legacy—research backs its benefits up. People with mentors are more likely to get promotions, be more engaged, and even feel more satisfied at work.[4][5] In fact, a study at Sun Microsystems found that 25% of employees who took part in mentorship got a pay raise and were five times more likely to get a promotion.[6]

            So, how do you take advantage of all of these benefits and find yourself a mentor? The good news is there are more opportunities today than ever before—from free to paid, from formal to informal.

            How to Find a Mentor

            Here are five ways to find a mentor and make the relationship work.

            1. Start With Your Human Resources Department

            If you work in a corporate setting, start with the HR department. They’ll be able to connect you with any company-sponsored mentorship programs or, at least, point you in the right direction.

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            Even if you haven’t heard of a company mentorship program, it’s worth checking in because you might be surprised—71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs, but only 37% of professionals actively have a mentor.[7]

            If your company doesn’t have a formal mentorship program, HR may be able to recommend aligned organizations or affinity groups, or even help you set up an informal meeting with a potential mentor in the organization.

            2. Join a Club, Organization, or Affinity Group

            You don’t need to work in a corporate setting to join a like-minded group or club. If there’s an area you’re passionate about or if you’re looking for a mentor with similar background and interests, there are several non-profits, organizations, and groups that can help you meet a potential mentor.

            Join a club or group in your area of interest and start networking. There are groups related to everything from skills like public speaking to fields like entrepreneurship or art, to celebrating and supporting your culture, background, sexual orientation, or identity.

            If you start with your passions and values, you’re more likely to find a mentor who’s aligned.

            3. Sign Up for a Networking App or Service

            In the 21st century, networking can be as simple as a swipe on the phone or a click on the computer. There are plenty of networking and mentorship groups already in place, from SCORE, which helps small businesses connect with mentors for free, to Meetup.com, which helps people with similar interests to meet up, to even Shapr, which is known as the “Tinder for business” and helps you connect with other professionals in your area.

            The ultimate social networking tool for business, of course, LinkedIn, can be a powerful asset in helping you to find a mentor or be introduced to one through a mutual contact if there’s a specific person in your field that you’d like to meet.

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            Most of these services are free or low-cost, so do some research and join the service that makes the most sense to help you meet a mentor.

            4. Pay for a Mentorship Program or Mastermind Group

            In addition to the numerous free resources, you can also pay to be connected to a mentor or a mentorship community. Some high-level leaders actually sell formal mentorship programs. There are also paid groups, organizations, and masterminds that span every industry and area of interest.

            If you’re interested in a paid program, do some online research on potential mentors, and ask people in your field if there are any mentors or programs that they’ve hired themselves or heard about. Though a paid relationship does change the dynamics of a classic mentorship, it can be extremely beneficial if you’re looking for specific structure and results or access to a very prominent person or group of people.

            5. Reach Out Directly to People Who Inspire You

            You can try to reach out directly to people who inspire you or potential mentors. Do your research and find people who inspire you or who have achieved success in your area of interest, and then contact them directly to ask for mentorship.

            Of course, if you have the opportunity to be introduced to them through mutual contact (check LinkedIn first to see if you have any in common), you may have a greater chance of a positive response. But many prominent mentorships started with just an audacious e-mail asking for mentorship. So, don’t shy away from reaching out directly if there’s someone you really want to connect with.

            Get the Most Out of the Mentorship

            A mentor-mentee relationship is different than almost any other relationship you’ll ever have. It’s not exactly a friendship, but it’s not exactly a boss-employee dynamic, either (unless your mentor is your boss). So, it’s important to set up the right structure to make sure you both get the most out of the mentorship.

            Here are five ways to get the most out of mentorship.

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            1. Get Clear on Your Goals

            Before establishing a mentorship, get clear on why you want a mentor. What are you hoping to get out of the relationship? What skills do you want to learn? Where do you hope this relationship will help you get in the next six months or a year? How much time do you want to dedicate to this mentorship? How will you know if the mentorship is a success?

            Once you’re clear on your goals, you’ll be able to better assess who is the right fit for you, where to find this person, and how to communicate so you’re both on the same page.

            2. Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries

            Any good mentorship starts with clear communication and upfront expectations and boundaries. Right away, clearly decide how and how often you’ll meet, what your goals and expectations of each other are, and what boundaries you have around the relationship.

            For example, some mentorships meet monthly but text in between meetings. Others only meet quarterly and check-in via e-mail a few times in between. Others still have no correspondence in between meetings. A little work upfront to be clear on things like where you’ll meet, how often, what communication is acceptable, and what issues are within the bounds of the mentorship can go a long way to making sure it’s a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship.

            3. Keep It Consistent

            Once you’ve ironed out the details, keep them consistent. Try to schedule out meetings at least 3 to 6 months in advance so that there are no misunderstandings. For example, you may choose to meet on the first Friday of every month, unless otherwise discussed.

            Try not to cancel meetings unless something truly unavoidable comes up and, if e-mail is customary, be sure to consistently check in via e-mail in between. The biggest threat to mentorship is the lack of consistency. Over time, saying, “I’ll e-mail you when I’m free next month,” withers away into two or three months without any communication, and then a failed mentorship.

            We all get busy, and things are bound to come up, so if the mentorship isn’t on your calendar and prioritized, it may fall apart after a certain point. Make a point to keep it consistent!

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            4. Be Open to New Ways of Thinking and Trying New Things

            The mentorship will challenge you and may ask you to try new things. You don’t necessarily have to agree with and resonate with everything your mentor says, but try your best to keep an open mind and try new things on for size—you might be surprised.

            Your mentor likely has a lot of experience in your interest area, and they may have new ways of thinking about things from all of that experience. It doesn’t mean you have to accept their advice long-term, but being open to trying their advice shows your mentor you appreciate their wisdom and also opens you up to new possibilities.

            If something isn’t a fit after you’ve tried it, talk to your mentor about that, and you can work together to find the right fit. But show up, do your homework, listen, and be open to new ideas and approaches. That’s the whole point of the mentorship, and it shows your mentor that you take the relationship seriously!

            5. Be Grateful and Give as well

            Jumping off that last point, be grateful. Especially if it is an unpaid relationship, your mentor is donating time to support you. Express gratitude and appreciation whenever you can, and take the advice and homework as seriously as possible. And don’t feel like it’s only a one-sided relationship. Your mentor gets so much out of the relationship, from appreciation to celebrating your successes to even the future networking and connections you can share with your mentor.

            So, don’t forget to celebrate your wins and recognize that this is a mutually beneficial relationship. The better you feel about the relationship, the better it’s going to go.

            The Bottom Line

            Mentorship is an amazing and invaluable asset that can accelerate your growth, success, and even fulfillment. Finding the right mentor and getting the most out of the relationship can mean the difference between wasted time and connection, wisdom, and a shortcut to your goals.

            So dive on in and reap the same benefits that successful leaders have been accessing for the past 3,000 years. Find yourself a mentor.

            More Tips on How to Find a Mentor

            Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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