Paper plates and cheap Kindles

I’m a bit bummed that the tech world is predicting a slow death of the inexpensive e-reader. Barnes & Noble is giving away Nook Simple Touches for free if you buy a higher end Nook HD+, and dedicated e-reader sales are expected to drop in 2013.

Like, seriously? I was hoping that these things would become so ubiquitous we’d start seeing them in the grocery store checkout isles next to the $5 calculators.

Yes the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Galaxy tablets are great tools. My Google Nexus 7 is my primary device at home and whenever I’m away from my desk at work for meetings, etc.

But, there is something to the simplicity of an economy e-book reader when it comes to reading a long form book, when you’re planning on sitting down for an hour or more and getting engrossed in 50 Shades of whatever.

“But I LOVE my iPad!” you say.

Yes, you do. But your iPad is expensive, a bit on the heavy side, you better not drop it because you spent so much on it, is basically unusable in direct sunlight, and has a battery that needs charging more than once a month. And it has all those pesky apps, and games, and email, and IM messages that are all just a swipe away, too convenient to resist. The basic Kindle, thankfully, has none of that fun, and for me, that’s the whole point. You can focus on the task at hand: reading.

I couldn’t imagine taking an $800 iPad to the beach, but if you get some sand or Cheese Doodle residue on a $69 Kindle… oh well. Treat it like any other book or magazine. Throw it on the table, jam it in your backpack, etc. because it’s a tough little bugger. And if it does break or get stolen, you’re out a whole lot less than you would be with a more full-featured tablet.

There’s a reason people bring paper plates to the beach and not their fine china. Save the cheap e-reader!