If you’re an avid reader, you probably want easy access to an engaging book at all times, and with a good tablet, you can always have one (or many more) at the tip of your fingers, no matter if you’re lounging in bed, commuting, or on vacation. The best tablets for reading books have glare-free screens with a crisp resolution that makes it easy to read text both day and night, and they make downloading books from your favorite store or library a breeze. Plus, some give you access to audiobooks, so you can listen to — instead of read — your new favorite novel, too.
Since the best e-readers are designed with bookworms in mind, most use easy-to-read electronic ink that closely resembles words on paper, for an experience that feels similar to the real thing. Along with that, they use glare-free displays with a resolution close to 300 pixels per inch (ppi) for crisp, clear text, and the majority also offer adjustable font sizes and lighting, so you can increase the brightness for nighttime reading. And if you're looking to do your reading poolside or in the bath, you can opt for a water-resistant tablet, so you don't have to worry about splashes. Last, if you want to surf the internet and stream movies (as well as read), you can opt for a versatile tablet that handles all those activities with ease.
Other than that, you’ll want to consider whether or not you want access to audiobooks, as well as which book retailer is your go-to. Different e-readers are compatible with different booksellers — if Amazon is where you buy books, opt for a Kindle or Fire tablet, but if you’re a Barnes & Noble shopper, you’ll probably want a Nook. On the other hand, if you prefer to use your local library, opt for an e-reader with the OverDrive app built in for a simple and streamlined book-borrowing process.
With that in mind, these are the best tablets for reading books that’ll keep your favorite page-turners within reach.
1. The Overall Best For Reading
Designed with avid readers in mind, the Kindle Paperwhite tablet is an excellent choice if you want to spend hours devouring novels. It features a 6-inch, 300 ppi display with a flush front that’s glare-free, even when you’re reading in the sun. And because it has an IPX8 water-resistance rating, it can withstand rain, splashing, and accidental submersion in water up to 3 feet in depth (although it's probably best to retrieve the tablet ASAP if it falls in). For maximum readability, you also have the option of adjusting text size, boldness, and font, and the brightness can be increased for late-night reading. The tablet also supports Audible, so you can listen to audiobooks with Bluetooth-enabled headphones if you’re a member, but keep in mind that there's no audio jack for corded headphones.
There are two storage sizes available — 8GB and 32GB — and both provide room for thousands of books. It’s available in black, plum, sage, and twilight blue, and you can choose between a cheaper, ad-supported Kindle that displays sponsored screensavers on the lock screen or— for a little more money — an ad-free version.
According to a fan: “My first kindle ever and I’m impressed! I love the no glare screen and that you are able to adjust the brightness and size of print. So far, the battery life is incredible!"
2. The Best Budget Reader
If you want to spend a little less on your e-reader, the basic Kindle tablet also features a 6-inch glare-free display with adjustable font and text size — but the resolution is lower at 167 ppi, so it’s not as crisp and easy on the eyes as the Paperwhite version. It offers 8GB of storage — the same as the most affordable version of the Paperwhite — and it also has Audible, so you can listen to audiobooks with a membership. (Note that it only works with Bluetooth earbuds, as there's no headphone jack.) However, this option is not water-resistant, so you you'll have to treat it with a bit more care, and it only comes in black and white color options. You can choose from a cheaper ad-supported version or a more expensive ad-free tablet.
According to a fan: “I am not a big time reader and this has helped me try to read more and i am loving it. I am able to read at night before bed without hurting my eyes too!”
3. The Best For Reading Library Books
Library devotees love the Kobo Clara tablet because of the integrated OverDrive app, a reading platform that allows you to borrow e-books and audiobooks from many local libraries directly from your device in the most streamlined way possible. (You can also borrow library books with a Kindle, but the process is a bit more complicated and requires you to access your library's digital collection before transferring it to Amazon and finally — to your Kindle.) It features a 6-inch 300 ppi screen, and you can adjust the font style and size, and even sharpness settings. And although glare-resistance isn't listed, reviewers report that it's easy to read in full sun. The tablet has 8GB of storage with room for thousands of books. However, it’s not water-resistant, and you can't listen to audiobooks with this device.
According to a fan: “I love this little Kobo, and I love that I can use Overdrive to get books from my library so easily.”
4. The Best For Barnes & Noble Books
If Barnes & Noble is your go-to bookseller, the Nook GlowLight 3 e-reader may be the right tablet for you. It features a 6-inch 300 ppi screen that’s glare-free, and the GlowLight technology offers evenly dispersed light for all-day reading. Night Mode, which can be set to auto or manual control, shifts to warmer light for comfortable nighttime reading, and the font is size- and style-adjustable, so it's easy to prevent eye strain. The Nook is the only option on the list that uses page-turning buttons instead of a touchscreen, so you can flip through your book with a click — a feature that some readers prefer.
The storage capacity is 8GB, but it’s not water-resistant, there's no audio option, and borrowing from the library is a somewhat involved process — you’ll need to use Adobe Digital Editions software on your computer and then transfer to the Nook.
According to a fan: “It's great, the screen is fantastic, battery life exceeded my expectations.”
5. A Versatile Tablet You Can Use For Reading, Web Surfing & TV
While the other tablets on this list are all about reading, the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet is a great choice if you also want to browse the web and watch videos on your device. The display has a resolution of 224 ppi, so it’s a little lower than most e-readers, but it has a larger and more colorful 10-inch screen — a plus if you like reading manga and graphic novels with vibrant artwork. If you're a member, you have access to Audible, and you can listen via Bluetooth earbuds or with corded headphones. Plus, you can also download the OverDrive app to the tablet for library borrowing. Keep in mind, though, that the reflective screen might make it difficult to read in bright sunlight, and you won’t get certain reader-focused features like easy-to-read fonts or comfortable backlighting that more closely resembles a book. (You can, however, turn on the "Blue Shade" feature to reduce blue light.)
Other features include a 2.0 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM for speedy performance and streaming, front- and rear-facing cameras, dual-band Wi-Fi, and compatibility with Alexa. It’s available with 32 GB or 64 GB storage, and you can choose from four colors: black, plum, twilight blue, and white. There are also versions with and without lock screen ads.
According to a fan: “I like that I can use to surf internet and download books and play games.”