But if you must shop today, Farhad Manjoo has some advice:
The cheapest Kindle sells for $69, and you can pick up the entry-level Nook this week for $49 (it usually sells for $99). But I’d advise against getting either one of these cheapies. That’s because we’ve recently seen a revolutionary feature in more advanced e-readers: Illuminated screens that allow you to read your device in the dark. You can see the light in the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight or the Kindle Paperwhite, which both sell for $119. (You’re not likely to find any Black Friday discounts on these.)
Why am I telling you to pay $70 more for a small lamp inside your reader? Because I think illumination makes e-readers perfect.
For years, my main beef with these devices was that I couldn’t read them in the dark. I’ve heard the same complaint from readers. Sure, you can always use a book light, but I’ve noticed they create a distracting glare around the e-reader’s display—defeating the main feature of these devices’ E-Ink screens, the fact that they’re easy on the eyes. The illuminated Nook and Kindle provide a beautiful, glare-free, even light that appears to emanate from within the page. The light is just bright enough to allow you to read, without being so bright as to cause eyestrain (as LCD screens do).
If you can’t shell out $119, you can always wait—illuminated e-readers are sure to be cheaper next year. But if you buy a cheap, unlit e-reader to save a buck, you’re sure to find yourself in the dark.