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8 reasons you don’t need a case cover for your e-reader

Do I need an e-reader case cover - list
Reading ebooks on an e-reader / Photo: Freepik

In this provoking list, I discuss whether case covers are still a must-have e-reader accessory.

Almost anyone who buys a new e-reader starts looking for a relevant case cover. Many add cases to the same shopping basket. You can’t leave your shiny new e-reader unprotected for even a few seconds, right?

The problem with e-readers is that they are less popular than tablets. As a result, there are much fewer case designs on the market. 

There are many times less case covers for the Kindle than for the iPad. And there are many times less case covers for other e-reader brands than for the Kindle.

Do you own a Kobo or Nook e-reader and have a hard time finding a compatible case cover because the original one doesn’t meet your needs? Are you a happy owner of the newest Kindle, and can’t decide which color of the case to choose?

Maybe you are asking yourself the wrong questions. Maybe all you need is not a case cover. Maybe alternative e-reader accessories fit your needs much better.

Reasons not to buy a case for your next e-reader

Reading is one of the safest activities

Reading books is one of the safest and calmest daily activities. You find a cozy and quiet place, and turn the page or tap the screen once in a while. 

Compare it to using your smartphone hundreds of times a day, in most unexpected situations. Even tablets are prone to damage much more often. We use tablets as cookbooks or drone monitors, we play games for hours, and use them in extreme weather conditions. And that’s just us. Imagine what can happen when your tablet lands in your kids’ room.

The fact is that the probability of accidentally dropping an e-reader is much lower than in the case of a smartphone or tablet.

The biggest threat is water. No damage is done if your e-reader is waterproof, but if it’s not, the case won’t help.

The only main benefit that’s left is protecting against dust and scratches. Oh, and there is also auto sleep & wake support like there was no power button.

Case covers are annoyingly expensive

The prices of e-readers are going down constantly. You can’t say that about prices of case covers.

During Black Friday or Prime Day shopping events on Amazon, you can buy the basic Kindle for about $50. Original Amazon case covers cost between $30 and $50. Fifty dollars – for that price you could get another e-reader for your family member.

A dedicated cover can serve only one e-reader model

It’s the biggest problem I have with e-reader case covers. There is a low probability of damage done to e-readers, so the benefits of case covers are limited – but their prices are not.

And every time you buy a new e-reader, you will have to buy a new case cover, because the old one won’t probably fit.

I know, looking for a cover for your e-reader that’s about to arrive in a few days can give a lot of pleasure. But in the end, you will pay even twice as much as the e-reader itself.

There are not enough dedicated covers for most e-reader models

There are many e-reader models on the market, not only Kindle Paperwhite. Unfortunately, it’s not reflected in a range of compatible case covers.

You can find hundreds of dedicated Kindle covers online, but there are only a dozen for Kobo or Nook models, not to mention less popular e-reader brands.

In fact, if you buy any e-reader that’s not a Kindle, you will have to rely on original cases from the e-reader producer. And that usually means you can choose from a few color options of one case design.

Yes, you can always try to find a “universal e-reader cover.” However, if you have ever searched for such products on Amazon, you know how ugly they could be.

No cover will make an e-reader feel like a print book

When ebooks were on the rise, and many book lovers were still hesitating about them, it was case covers that turned e-readers into objects that resembled real print books.

A book-like design, with a front cover opening to the left, as well as materials resembling leather-bound books, were a way to embrace digital reading.

Currently, I have noticed there are less and less book-style covers on the market. Readers just don’t need the link to print books any longer. E-readers are useful devices that you can adjust to your needs, and they don’t have to pretend to be something else.

The fact is that, no matter what you do to make a case cover look like a real book, it will never make reading ebooks feel like reading print books.

If you want to read a print book, buy one or go to the library.

A cover doesn’t increase the comfort of reading

Case covers offer protection against dust and support for auto sleep & wake. What other benefits could you name? 

Some cases can be turned into vertical stands. Some cases come with a comfortable hand strap. These advanced case covers are rather rare, and they are available only for most popular e-reader models.

There are alternatives that can solve similar problems

If you are looking for ways to improve reading experience and protection, you can always find an alternative to a case cover.

And in most cases, these alternatives can be used with more than one e-reader model.

Here are a few examples:

If you are looking for protection – choose a sleeve. Because most accidents happen not when you are reading on your e-reading, but when you are carrying it.

If you want to securely hold the e-reader – choose a detachable hand strap. Such handles can be detached and attached, and you can adjust their angle and position.

If you want to bring the e-reader to an eye level – choose a stand. There are many stands on the market, and you can find the ones that will raise the e-reader to a level that will prevent pain in the back.

If you want to comfortably read in bed – choose a pillow stand. Pillow stands are cozy and you can use them on uneven surfaces. Advanced designs let you adjust the angle and come with flexible holders.

A case cover is a limitation

I had a few e-readers before, and was always determined to give them “necessary” protection by buying a case cover.

Then I realized I have never dropped an e-reader. I damaged a few smartphones, my kids made one tablet unusable, but all the e-readers at the time I was replacing them with a newer model, were in almost perfect condition.

So I decided to refresh my mind and stop thinking about the case cover as a must-have accessory. And I have found a perfect protection for my new Kindle e-reader. Interestingly, it’s not even intended for electronic devices.

Do yourself a favor and try to free yourself from being a case cover slave. Case covers can be a huge limitation.

E-reader case cover – pros and cons

To summarize, here are the pros and cons of e-reader case cover. Maybe it’s time to try another solution the next time you buy an e-reader?

AdvantagesDisadvantages
• Suited perfectly for a single e-reader model
• Tailored cutouts for a power button and charging port
• Supports auto sleep/wake function
• The front cover folds back entirely, allowing for a one-handed use
• Few colors and designs to choose from
• You will need to replace the case every time you replace your e-reader
• Cases are usually more expensive than sleeves
• A case doesn’t fully protect against drops
• Most cases, besides flip stands, won’t let you read hands-free
• Usually, there is no pocket for cables and other small accessories
• Some designs are too heavy for long reading sessions

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Check out these innovative and clever accessories that you may need for your e-reader more than a case cover:

Most functional e-reader accessories

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Hands-free pillow stand

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