Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Bibliophile's Guide to Studying Abroad: eReader or Tablet?

We bibliophiles are lucky to be living in the age of the eReader. Thousands of books can be stored on a device that weighs as much as a paperback.  I love my print books, but it would be really hard to convince myself that they are worth the weight in my luggage if I had to bring paper copies of everything. Fifty pounds is not that much, people!

No matter how much you love paper copies of books, it's obvious that ebooks are much more convenient for traveling.

While preparing for my study abroad semester in London, England, a big question was: Do I bring my Kindle or iPad Mini?

As I'm also bringing my laptop for schoolwork, it seemed like a waste of space to bring both entertainment devices. But which one is better for my trip?

Though I only have experience with my iPad mini and Kindle Paperwhite, many of the benefits can apply to other eReaders or tablets.


  • Holds a lot of books without worry about exceeding the space limit
  • No back light or screen glare
  • Very long battery life 
  • Doesn't support magazines or video
If you are someone who can read exclusively while traveling, I would definitely recommend bringing an eReader. The long battery life and practically unlimited reading options make it great for people who can get through multiple books during one trip.


  • Holds both books and magazines
  • Allows for TV and movies
  • Holds music
  • Can use an internet browser or social media apps with wifi
  • Much shorter battery life.
  • The backlit screen and glare may make it hard to read in some situations
  • The storage space fills up pretty fast with everything downloaded 
If you are like me, and need forms of entertainment other than books while you travel, then the tablet is the way to go. With it, I have various ways to occupy my time while traveling. I like options.

Ultimately, the pros of the iPad mini outweigh those of the Kindle. Though I love that I don't have to worry about charging my Kindle, I also love my magazines and the seasons of Sex and the City I've downloaded on my iPad. And my Kindle will be waiting for me when I get back, perhaps ready for its turn on my next adventure!

Winner: Tablet!

Until next time.

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