E-readers — What size is the best for PDFs?

Cato Minor
8 min readJun 4, 2023

I am a researcher. That means I have to read academic papers and books. Unfortunately, I don’t really have room for them, and even when I print out academic articles, I tend to lose them along with my notes. To be honest, I am not the best at self-organization. So it has long made sense for me to read as much as possible digitally. But that has its own problems.

Perhaps the biggest problem with regular computer or tablet screens is that they cause eye strain and eye fatigue. My very lay understanding is that there is more than one cause for this: Partially technology (blue light, flickering), partially software (low contrast between the text), partially our behaviour (viewing distance) seems to be at fault. E-ink is supposed to reduce eye strain and provide a more paper-like experience than LCDs. I have found some evidence for this but more importantly, my personal experience confirms it. I just find it more pleasant to read on e-ink devices.

Comparison of sizes of different e-readers
Some of e-readers in my collection

For this reason, I have been using various e-readers (and e-ink tablets) for a long time. Frankly, I am a bit of an e-reader hoarder. In this short article I would like to share my experiences with you and maybe help you with the big decision when buying an e-reader for studying or research: What is the right size for PDFs?