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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 May 11, 2021

            20 Best Books on Personal Development

            20 Best Books on Personal Development

            Let’s face it—transformation isn’t always easy. Getting from where you are to where you want to be in life requires a lot of personal growth and development. It can require everything from letting go of old beliefs to speaking up for yourself and setting boundaries to even recognizing your own unmet needs. These aren’t exactly skills we’re taught in school, so it can be incredibly overwhelming to even know where to start.

            A few decades ago, most personal development information was locked behind thousand-dollar seminars and coaching programs. Fortunately, the industry has absolutely exploded in the last decade, and a large part of that is driven by books. For under $15 or with a library card, we now have access to priceless wisdom from some of the most brilliant minds and best books on personal development.

            By reading the words of experts in the field, we literally can think their thoughts and benefit from decades of experience to improve our own lives. So, how do you get started?

            Here are the 20 best books on personal development that can completely transform your life.

            (Links are listed for accessibility, but remember to check your local library to see if these books are available for free. And don’t forget to support your local bookstore, if possible.)

            1. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

              Celebrated by everyone from Martin Scorsese to Elizabeth Gilbert, The Artist’s Way has been one of the most important books for artists and non-artists alike for decades. It guides you through a 12-week process of morning journaling and self-dates to unlock all of your blocks to creativity and intuition and live a life that feels like you.

              Whether you are an artist or not, this is an insightful book that will bring so much clarity to what you really want out of life and why you’ve been holding yourself back.

              Get the book here!

              2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

                Researcher and storyteller Brené Brown has been a leader in studying vulnerability. In The Gifts of Imperfection, she shares research and encouragement that helps you release the definition of who you think you’re supposed to be to become who you actually already are.

                Brené encourages you to let go of shame, open up to vulnerability, and live a more authentic life. This is an inspiring and important book for anyone struggling with the shame of being radically yourself.

                Get the book here!

                3. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

                  In Start with Why, author and TED speaker Simon Sinek shares the secret that united Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers—they all started with “why.” They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the “why” behind it.

                  While this book is primarily focused on work or business, Start with Why makes a compelling case for the power behind a strong motivation that people can get behind and how it can inspire more innovation and support.

                  Get the book here!

                  4. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

                    For decades, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has famously studied the concept of “flow”—the highly-focused psychological state that Olympic athletes, great artists, and brilliant scientists all find themselves in at moments of groundbreaking success.

                    By breaking down decades of research into bite-sized actions, Flow reveals the process to create this state for yourself and get “in the zone” to achieve your optimal potential.

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                    Get the book here!

                    5. The HeartMath Solution: The Institute of HeartMath’s Revolutionary Program for Engaging the Power of the Heart’s Intelligence by Doc Lew Childre and Howard Martin

                      Touted by Deepak Chopra as the book that “saves you years of therapy,” The HeartMath Solution pulls together decades of Institute of HeartMath research on how to be less stressed and make better decisions, making it one of the best books on personal development.

                      This practical, easy read will change the way you view the relationship between your head and heart. The techniques in the book are incredibly simple and can help you calm down from some of the stressful moments in a matter of seconds to tap back into your best decision-making.

                      Get the book here!

                      6. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

                        If you’re overwhelmed by too many things to do and never seem to accomplish the stuff that really matters to you, then this is an invaluable book. The ONE Thing argues that until your most important task is completed, everything else is a distraction that diffuses your energy and makes you frantic.

                        This book helps you focus on what you really care about and want to accomplish and then, organize your life around accomplishing the “one thing” before moving on to something else. This is one of the best books for personal development, especially for anyone who’s struggling with overwhelm and productivity.

                        Get the book here!

                        7. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

                          Codependent No More has been an international bestseller for more than 30 years, and the reason is that we all struggle with codependency somewhere in our lives.

                          Whether it looks like addiction, people-pleasing, taking care of everyone around you, or just not giving yourself enough self-care, this book unpacks the roots of codependency and helps you break free once-and-for-all.

                          This is an important book for anyone having challenges in friendships or relationships or struggling with people-pleasing or addiction.

                          Get the book here!

                          8. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

                            Presenting ancient Stoic wisdom to a modern audience, The Obstacle Is the Way shows you how to turn your obstacles and challenges into massive opportunities.

                            Ryan Holiday draws from the same ancient philosophy that empowered John D. Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart, and Steve Jobs to succeed and breaks down the essential formula for not running away from obstacles but actually running toward them.

                            This is a really empowering book for anyone struggling with obstacles to get what they want.

                            Get the book here!

                            9. Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement by Ayodeji Awosika

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                              Real Help isn’t your usual self-help book. Wildly popular Medium writer Ayodeji Awosika takes a no-BS, tough-love approach to developing mental toughness, finding clarity, and taking action to transform your life.

                              This is a great book if you’ve read dozens of self-help or personal development books but haven’t taken action to change your life. Real Help gets right to the point and gives you actionable steps to start implementing change right away.

                              Get the book here!

                              10. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

                                Year of Yes is a deeply personal and honest account of how the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal Shonda Rhimes started saying yes to everything that scared her.

                                This inspiring and raw memoir makes you reflect on what you’ve been avoiding or making excuses for out of fear and what would really happen if you started saying yes to all the stuff that terrifies you. It’s a relatable, casual, easy read, and is great for anyone who needs a little inspiration to start saying yes to life.

                                Get the book here!

                                11. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks

                                  Psychologist Gay Hendricks unpacks why we all seem to self-sabotage when we’re so close to success and what it will take to leap to a life where you’re in your “Zone of Genius.”

                                  In this highly motivating book on personal development, you’ll walk step by step on how to “go beyond your internal limits, release outdated fears, and learn a whole new set of powerful skills and habits to liberate your authentic greatness.”

                                  Get the book here!

                                  12. Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior (5.2.1985) by David R. Hawkins

                                    Hailed by Mother Teresa, Lee Iacocca, and Sam Walton, Power vs. Force combines spirituality and cutting-edge research to help you understand your emotions and level of consciousness.

                                    In this seminal work, David Hawkins explains how to get a yes or no answer to any question you ask and how to understand what you’re feeling and why so that you can begin to change your life and the world around you.

                                    While it’s not exactly a light beach read, this book is really eye-opening for those wanting to explore spirituality as part of their personal development.

                                    Get the book here!

                                    13. What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

                                      Personal development as we know it would not be the same without Oprah Winfrey. For 14 years, Oprah shared her greatest wisdom in a monthly column for O, The Oprah Magazine called “What I Know for Sure.” This book collects all of those essays—a lifetime of Oprah’s greatest experiences and lessons—into a comprehensive work.

                                      What I Know for Sure is honest, thoughtful, and deeply inspiring. This is a powerful book for devout Oprah Winfrey fans and soon-to-be fans alike.

                                      Get the book here!

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                                      14. Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

                                        In this memoir, Navy SEAL David Goggins recounts his own life story from poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse to becoming one of the world’s top endurance athletes and military icon through pure will.

                                        Can’t Hurt Me will inspire you to stretch and persevere to defy even the most improbably odds and realize that when you think you’re completely tapped out, you’ve only tapped into 40% of your capabilities—and there’s still so much more you can do.

                                        It’s an inspiring, tough love book that will motivate you to take action toward your dreams.

                                        Get the book here!

                                        15. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

                                          In The Happiness Project, writer Gretchen Rubin documents her entire year of testing out research, classical philosophy, and common wisdom to find out what makes her truly happy.

                                          This casual and accessibly written book inspires you to design your own happiness project to transform each area of your life as you follow Gretchen’s journey and contemplate research on happiness.

                                          If you’re looking for an inspiring structure to change every aspect of your life, The Happiness Project is an easy read that can inspire you to experiment with what makes you happy.

                                          Get the book here!

                                          16. Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement by Tony Robbins

                                            The name Tony Robbins has been synonymous with personal development. In Unlimited Power, he reveals the exact techniques he has used to help Olympic athletes, movie stars, and heads of state to harness their own untapped power.

                                            This book breaks down complicated neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques into simple visualizations that anyone can learn in literally minutes to start to change the way your mind processes information. If you’re looking to change your thinking or step into more confidence, this is an important book to not overlook.

                                            Get the book here!

                                            17. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

                                              In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor flips conventional wisdom on its head. It’s not that we’ll be happy when we’re successful. It’s that we’ll actually be successful when we’re happy.

                                              Shawn presents research that shows us how to rewire our brains for positivity and optimism to be happier in our lives, our careers, and even our health. He also breaks down actionable strategies to retrain our brains, build a solid support network, and spread positive change to the people around us.

                                              If you’re looking to retrain your brain for happiness and success, this is definitely a worthwhile book to consider.

                                              Get the book here!

                                              18. Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core by Bruce D. Schneider

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                                                Renowned coach Bruce D. Schneider doesn’t just tell you what energy leadership is—he shows you. In Energy Leadership, Bruce recounts the story of how he helped a client to transform his failing business by systematically changing the energy of the business.

                                                At each new level, there are specific emotions, actions, and predictable arguments. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to identify exactly which level of energy leadership every relationship, job, and friendship in your life is at and how to begin transforming it for the better.

                                                It’s an eye-opening look at why we’re stuck where we are and how we can shift ourselves and those around us to get extraordinary results.

                                                Get the book here!

                                                19. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

                                                  Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert digs into her own creative process in Big Magic to unpack the mysterious and spiritual nature of inspiration. She discusses the habits needed to cultivate creativity, go after our deepest desires, and confront our fears.

                                                  With a casual, poetic tone and lots of encouragement, Big Magic inspires you to find the magic inside—whether that’s to create art, start a new business, or bring more mindfulness and passion to our everyday lives.

                                                  If you’re looking for more inspiration and creativity, this is an important book to reignite that fire within.

                                                  Get the book here!

                                                  20. Enough Already: Create Success on Your Own Terms by Mike Iamele

                                                    I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my own book on this list.

                                                    Enough Already is a battle cry for the success seekers who are fed up trying to achieve someone else’s definition of success. Broken up into 12 steps, the book follows a journey through the 12 aspects of creating success on your own terms with homework and challenges at the end of each chapter to implement the work into your life immediately.

                                                    By the end of the book, you’ll have a completed strategic plan to step up into the world and go after even some of your biggest dreams knowing that you are enough already.

                                                    Get the book here!

                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    You only need one good idea to change your life, and there’s so much important wisdom and inspiration in the 20 best books on personal development listed above. You don’t have to read all of them. You just have to start.

                                                    Personal development is about taking action to develop yourself personally. So, scan this list, find a book that resonates with you, and then start reading.

                                                    You don’t need to measure the magnitude—just the direction. If you take one tiny step toward the life you want, every day for a year, you’ll be 365 times closer to your dreams a year from today. But you just have to start.

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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