Best e-book reader for mom

May 6, 2010 3:55:21 AM PDT
Mother's Day is coming and you might be wondering if an e-book reader would make a nice gift. You've heard of the Kindle, the Nook, and what about the pricey new iPad? And there are other electronic-book readers out there, from companies like Sony and iRex. Consumer Reports just looked at nine different e-book readers to find the best ones for bookworms - moms included.

Kate Lombardi will be adding fewer books to these shelves, but she's reading more books than ever now that she has a Kindle.

It's made me look at books in a different way, and buy them in a different way," she said. "So I'm buying more."

Consumer Reports testers just looked at e-book readers, in case you're looking to buy one for yourself or as a gift. And, of course, there's the iPad, a tablet computer with a color screen that you can also use to read e-books. And the iPad is also backlit, so even in the dark you can easily keep on reading. But it weighs twice as much as most e-book readers. And in bright sunlight it can be hard to read.

"This iPad's very versatile and it does most things pretty well," Consumer Reports' Paul Reynolds said. "But it's not the best choice just for reading e-books."

So for simple book reading, should you go for the Kindle or a different e-book reader?

The Nook is heavily advertised by Barnes and Noble, but testers had some issues with it.

"One of the problems with the Nook is its interface," tester Rich Fisco said. "This little screen is all you get for navigating around, picking books, moving though pages, and typing in titles for searches and such."

In the end, Consumer Reports says opt for Kate's choice, the 6-inch Kindle. It's easy to use, loads quickly and costs about $260 at

For the time being, the wireless Kindle also has the added bonus of an extensive library of e-books, available at Bestsellers typically range from $10 to $15, and the download is free.