When Nook announced that its Simple Touch ebook reader was slashed in price by £50 to just £29, many people picked up their credit card and grabbed themselves a deal. It was a steal. But the headline price of an ebook reader isn’t the whole story.
While it’s important to get a good ebook reader at a good price, it’s also important to consider the store you are signing up to. Like the Android and Apple divide on a phone or tablet, the ebook reader you buy also comes with a store where you’ll spend most of your time and – more importantly – your money.
Ebook reader reviews – the Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo Glo and other readers rated
Kindle vs Nook vs Kobo vs Sony
We went shopping for this summer’s bestsellers to find out which ebook store had the best price. We used a Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, Sony Reader PRS-T2 and Kobo Glo to log on and find out which store offered the best prices on ebooks. You can see the full results below.
(All shopping carried out on 16 May, unless *starred, where shopping was carried out on 17 June.)
The overall difference between Amazon’s Kindle store, the cheapest, and Barnes and Noble’s store for the Nook, the most expensive, is nearly £20 for just 10 books. That’s enough money to pick up an extra couple of titles. What if you’ve got an appetite for a read? If you get through a book a week, the difference in price between the stores will soon stack up.
Neither the Sony or Nook stores look like great deals, you only need to look at the extra pounds you’ll need to spend on The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.
Where did we get the numbers?
Our research was carried out using an independent bestseller list. We shopped across two days using an ebook reader from the same store – so we shopped at Sony using a Sony ebook reader.
This is not an exhaustive piece of research into ebook pricing. Retailers change prices and the price from one day to another may not be the same. But it is indicative of what many of us suspect, that Amazon gives you the best value deal on most ebooks.
Is Kindle always the best place for cheap ebooks?
No, sometimes the Kobo store is cheaper. And if you’re a Kindle user you can’t go shopping at the Kobo store – or any other store. Kindles are locked to the Amazon store, so even if you do find the ebook you want cheaper elsewhere, you can’t use it on your Kindle.
That’s what makes the Sony, Nook and the Kobo, in particular, attractive. You can shop around for cheap ebooks. Unlike the Kindle, you can also use libraries and their ePub format for ebooks for free.
The bottom line is that most of the time the Kindle is going to give you the best ebook price via the Amazon store. For the majority of consumers that’s probably enough. But if making sure you get the cheapest price every time is important to you, it might be worth considering a Kobo, Nook or Sony and shopping round.