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The best subscriptions for e-books

by drbyos

Dhe public life in Germany stands still. Bars, cinemas and museums are closed. Time to read a good book. But the bookstores remain closed these days. E-books, digital books that can be read on special e-readers, on computers, smartphones or tablets, provide a remedy. Maintaining an overview is not easy.

Anna Steiner

Devices are now available from many manufacturers. The best-selling e-reader is Kindle, a product of the American online retailer Amazon. The manufacturer promises a sense of reading like a real book. This is made possible by a special display, which at the same time represents the biggest difference between a tablet and an e-reader. An e-reader does not need a backlight, which is gentler on the eyes than looking at a cell phone or tablet. The look resembles an expression. The batteries of e-readers last for weeks on all devices, regardless of which manufacturer.

Amazon sells its Kindle range in different versions: the simplest costs 80 euros, a luxury variant called Oasis with reading light and adjustable color temperature costs 260 euros. A separate version for children is also available. With Kobo as technology partner, the leading German bookstores also offer their own e-readers. This is called Tolino. Behind it are Hugendubel, Thalia, Weltbild, the Mayersche Buchhandlung, Osiander and Libri. The cheapest model is available from 60 euros online or in one of the cooperating bookstores. The third major provider on the local market is the Swiss company Pocketbook. The devices are independent of book publishers or Amazon. The unique selling point is navigation via haptic buttons in combination with a touchscreen. A pocketbook is available from 70 euros.

All offer free trial periods

An e-reader is useful for many readers. Buying a device is not necessary. An app is sufficient, especially for testers who are not yet sure which offer they want to use. This is compatible with cell phones, tablets and laptops. However, there are clear differences here in terms of the cost and scope of the book selection. First of all, the good news: All e-book providers offer a free trial period of up to 30 days. This way, bookworms have enough time to browse the fictional bookshelves and choose the subscription that best suits their needs. What all providers have in common is the option to cancel monthly, which is a great advantage for consumers.


The cheapest offer comes from Readfy. 130,000 e-books can be read here – either directly in the browser on the computer or via app on the smartphone or tablet – and all for free. Current titles or bestsellers are usually not found here. A short search for the books that are currently at the top of the popular bestseller lists did not result in any hits. Instead, you will find countless love and fantasy novels here, the releases of which were some time ago. Readfy also offers its subscribers biographies, fiction and specialist literature, as well as foreign language literature. Unlike other providers, the books are only available in online mode. If you want to have a book without network access, you have to rent it for a small amount and then have access to it for 30 days.

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