Which E Reader to Buy in South Africa

If you read books, then you should definitely buy an e-reader. It will transform the way in which you interact with your favorite writers. You may think that we are exaggerating. After all, you can read any book either as a book or on a computer or tablet. Paper books are okay, other than the fact that they can be bulky. Reading on a computer or tablet, on the other hand, tends to be a pain in the eye. E-ink readers are the way to go, which is probably why so many South Africans have been looking to get one. But which e reader should you buy in South Africa?

Popular Ereaders in South Africa

There are many popular e reader brands, not only in South Africa, but around the world. Choosing between them can be a challenge. There are several factors that you need to put into consideration. These include backlighting, storage, availability of books, battery life and ruggedness. The following are the most popular e readers in South Africa;

Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite is popular in South Africa

The Kindle Paperwhite is a truly amazing device. It’s a device that we have used extensively over the past few years. So, you can be sure that we know what we are talking about here.

One of the greatest things about the Paperwhite is that it comes with backlighting, meaning you are able to read your books even in the dark. We do have to mention that this has become standard across the board. But if you buy an older e reader in South Africa or elsewhere, you won’t get backlighting.

The latest Paperwhite is waterproof. That’s another thing that makes this device great. You can take it out in the rain without having to worry too much about dire consequences. Of course, you have to do things within reason.

Storage on the Kindle Paperwhite is more than enough. Newer version Paperwhites come with storage of 8 and 32GB. That’s more than enough to store thousands of books. We have an older version whose storage is 4GB. We have thousands of books on there and we still haven’t exhausted the storage space.

The one thing that makes the Kindle Paperwhite an appealing ereader for South Africans is the fact that the device is so rugged. We have already noted that it’s waterproof. That’s not all. The e-ink screen is rugged enough that you don’t need to slap a screen protector on there.

Kobo Clara

Kobo is another popular brand in the country

Kobo is another popular brand as far as e readers in South Africa are concerned. In fact, we have come across lots of people asking where they can buy Kobo ereaders in the country.

Kobo has a number of popular ereaders, including the Aura and the Clara. The original Aura had a 7.8 e-ink screen, which is bigger than the Paperwhite’s 7 inches.

Ereaders bearing the Kobo brand come with all the specs that one has come to expect from ereaders. You get backlighting and, on some models, waterproofing. Storage is great. Remember you only need maybe 4GB in storage. Beyond that, don’t let this become a buying point.

The Nook Glowlight

This is another great option for those looking for an ereader in South Africa. The Nook Glowlight is a direct competitor to the Kindle Paperwhite. One thing to note here is that ereaders are not just about the gadget. They are also about the books ecosystem. After buying your reader, where will you get the books?

Most books are offered exclusively by the biggest retailers. That’s where Kindle tends to have an advantage. However, Nook is no slouch in this matter. It’s a product from Barnes and Nobble, the company with the largest number of physical bookstores in the U.S.

So, when you buy a Nook, you know that you will be getting a huge, well established books ecosystem. Not only that, but you can also add books from anywhere to your e-reader.

Onyx BOOX Max

Are there ereaders for students? If you are a student at a university in South Africa, the ereaders that we have reviewed so far probably will not make the cut.

For one thing, the Kindle and the Kobo are terrible when it comes to PDF and graphics. Yes, you can reader PDF books on them, but rendering is not that great.

On top of that, there are size issues. Students will be looking for screens that are a bit bigger than 7 inches. So, these entry level ereaders will not work in this regard.

Another thing to consider is the ability to be used to take notes. Let’s say you are in a lecture theatre. What you want is an ereader that allows you to write notes as if you are writing on real paper.

That’s where the Onyx BOOX Max comes into play. This is a 13.3 inch e reader. So, you have nothing to worry about in terms of real estate.

This e reader also comes with Android which is the most popular Operating System in South Africa. It meaning you will be able to install a lot of apps on there.

The battery is also huge, and you will be able to go for days without having to worry about recharging. Remember we noted that battery life is a major consideration when choosing an e reader in South Africa.


In this article, we tried to point you in the right direction as far as buying an e reader in South Africa is concerned. We noted that people who like reading books need to get ereaders. They make it easy to carry thousands of books on one device.

It was also noted that there are several popular ebook brands available in the country. These include Kindle, Kobo and Oxy. As far as buying an ereader is concerned, they can be found in most of the popular retailers in the country.

If you have comments, leave them in the section below. Tell us what e reader you have and whether or not it is good. If you have questions, post them to our SA Broadband forum. Our experts will be glad to point you in the right direction.

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