Do you use a case to protect your e-reader?


Protecting your e-reader against the rigors of the world have never been easier to attain. No matter what brand of e-reader that you have, there is no shortage of first party cases to choose from. Amazon has a number of cases from a base model to ones made of rustic leather. Kobo has a myriad of sleep cover cases, sleeves and even a case with an internal battery that charges the Sage. Onyx Boox, Pocketbook, Remarkable, Sony all have a wide array of cases to choose from, when buying an e-reader for the first time or buying one at a later date. There are also plenty of options for 3rd party cases on sites such as Etsy.  The same, cannot be said about screen protectors, hardly anyone makes 1st party screen protectors anymore, none of the major brands even care about these ultra low margin accessories, cases on the other hand, have a hefty profit margin. Do you use a case for your e-reader?

E-Reader cases have been available from the very first e-readers, such as the Sony, Kindle, Nook and Kobo. Every time one of these brands come out with a new model, they release a series of cases, that only work with that particular model. The 11th Generation Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite Signature edition have gel covers, fabric covers, covers made of cork, leather covers and these are just the ones Amazon made, there is no shortage of 3rd party cases from brands such as CCOO, MoKo and others. However, what if you wanted a screen protector or a matte screen protector? Amazon doesn’t make any, and there only a few listings available.

Kobo is the second largest e-reader company in the world. They have five models that they are currently selling on their website, in addition to a massive cadre of retail distribution partners. They have two different cases for each of their  products and most are available in 3-4 different colors. These are traditionally generic cases and cases with magnetic attachments and act as sleep cover cases, so when you close it, it puts your e-reader to sleep, which helps conserve battery life. When you open the case,  it wakes it up and ready to use. The Sage and Elipsa case have stylus holders built right into them, so you will not lose your stylus and replacement ones are fairly expensive. Kobo tends not to offer premium cases, such as ones made of leather, instead they are made of rubber/plastic.

Barnes and Noble is really bullish about cases for the Nook Glowlight, Nook Glowlight Plus and their line of tablets. Unlike Amazon and Kobo, Nook cases are oozing excellent design choices. Instead of a black case, they have all sorts of cool imagery. They have pictures of cats, books, and interesting hues such as apricot, harbor blue, cinnamon and lots more. Most of their tablet cases have stands built into them, so you can prop it up to watch movies or just casually flip through the pages of an ebook.

Remarkable has always been one of the market leaders for cases. It is easer for this company to develop them, because unlike their competition, they only have have one model that they are currently selling. They always mention what the cases are made of, right in the title or description, so customers can find a material that they like. Cases can be added during the purchase of a Remarkable, or can be made individually. They have the standard grey folio case, made of polymer weave. However, they really seem to like Book Folio, which open and close like a book. They have a black and brown case made of genuine leather and a cheaper option made of polymer.

There is no shortage of cases that either come for free with purchase or can be bought individually. Onyx Boox, Boyue, iReader, iFlytek, Hisense, Dasung and plenty of other brands have a default option and a premium one. Smaller companies normally only have one or two options available, since they do not have deep pockets to make lots of different options, so they have to pick their battles on colors, material or if they want generic covers or ones with sleep functionality.

The vast majority of the best cases you can buy are made from the company you bought your e-reader from. Amazon, B&N and Kobo tend to have the widest number of options and sell them directly. They not only picked the materials, colors and functionality, but also designed them. When you buy cases from third parties, your experience can vary. However, there is growing movement on social media networks, such as Reditt, where people are showing off really cool custom cases that they bought on Etsy or other websites. Services such as Decal Girl make removable full color skins, that you can attach to your e-reader, such as the Kindle. These are designs, that customize your e-reader, but are not cases.

With so many choices for cases, do people actually use them? There is precious little data when it comes to this sort of them. There is lots of market research being done on how the e-reader market is growing. It is easy to find statistical analysis of audiobook and ebook sales on a quarterly basis, but nobody really does any viable reporting on accessory sales. I suppose most of the largest companies involved in e-readers, wouldn’t put such an emphasis on their line of cases, if nobody was buying them. So there is only question that remains, do you use a case for your e-reader?

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