Best Gifts for Readers in 2022: Kindle, iPad Mini, Kobo and More

This story is part of Gift Guideour year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

Buy someone a book as a gift, and they have… one book. Buy someone a book-reading device, and they have access to almost any book ever published. I especially appreciate how E Ink readers have remained mostly single-function devices, focusing on reading (and occasionally note-taking), rather than branching out into games, video chats or work apps.

The most famous digital book reader is Amazon’s Kindle line, which uses E Ink displays and supports Amazon’s ebook storefront. Current models offer self-illuminated touchscreens, eliminating the need for an external book light. But beyond Kindle’s hardware, the Kindle app works on smartphones, iPads and other devices.

Other alternatives exist if you don’t want to buy through Amazon. For instance, Rakuten’s Kobo ebook readers work with most third-party vendors using the ePub book standard. And both Kobo and Kindle let you freely read loaner books from your local library.

We’ve also rounded up even more ebook readers hereand tested several big-screen multifunction E Ink devices that are more tablet-like and add stylus support.

My biggest overall shopping tip is that most Kindle devices are frequently on sale, and sometimes offer stacking trade-in deals on top of that, so you can often expect to pay less than the official retail price.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Yes, Amazon’s top-end Kindle is too expensive for what it is, but when I upgraded from a Kindle Paperwhite to the Oasis a few years ago, I was knocked out by how much better the Oasis is in terms of book readability and responsiveness.

It’s got a bigger screen, and I find the physical page-turn buttons are so much better than swiping. The latest version can adjust the color temperature of the (monochromatic) screen, for better nighttime reading.

Amazon runs a lot of deals on this, and also watch out for trade-in bonuses on older Kindles to get it for a reasonable price.

Read our Kindle Oasis review.

Read our Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) review.

You’re receiving price alerts for Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019)

David Carnoy/CNET

The Paperwhite is Amazon’s middle-of-the-road Kindle, between the base model and the Oasis. Last year, it received a big upgrade in the form of a larger 6.8-inch screen and better battery life, which makes it my go-to choice, as it’s almost as good as the fancier Oasis now.

While the Paperwhite is waterproof and can adjust its display color temperature, it lacks the Oasis’ physical page-turn buttons.

There’s also an upgraded model, the Signature Edition ($190), with 32GB of storage (versus 8GB) and an auto-adjusting front light. More importantly, it also works with the same wireless charging Qi pads as your phone. Again, hold out for a sale or a good trade-in deal on these.

Read our Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The base model Kindle has finally gotten some attention in 2022. A new update features a 300-dpi 6-inch screen (the same dpi as the Paperwhite or Oasis), a smaller body and more storage (now 16GB, double what the base Paperwhite includes).

This basic Kindle is still not as good as the Paperwhite or Oasis overall, but it’s also a great impulse purchase gift for a casual reader or book lover getting into ebooks. Recent models have a built-in light, and that makes this much more usable, but I’d still wait for a decent discount from the usual $99 price.

Read our Amazon Kindle (2019) review.

You’re receiving price alerts for Amazon Kindle (Black, 2019)

Scott Stein/CNET

The iPad Mini received a great makeover last year, with a bigger, better screen (now 8.3 inches), new processor, optional 5G and a thinner, lighter design. It’s the perfect size for ebooks, and the color screen makes it a great choice for reading digital comics (ahem, graphic novels). At $500, it’s more expensive than the fanciest Kindle reader, but you get a full-fledged iPadOS device that can serve as a streaming video player or game machine as well.

Read our iPad Mini (2021) review.

You’re receiving price alerts for Apple iPad Mini 2021 (space gray, 64GB)

David Carnoy/CNET

Amazon has long (until this year) ignored the need for bigger e-ink screens, leaving the doors open for brands like Kobo. This 10.3-inch display has stylus support for note-taking and includes 32GB of storage, a resolution of 227 dpi and a front light for nighttime reading.

No, it doesn’t officially support Amazon’s Kindle book format, but it does read key formats like PDF, ePub, MOBI and CBR, and it works with OverDrive, which is the ebook lending service most libraries use.

We’ve also rounded up a few more big-screen E Ink readers here.

You’re receiving price alerts for Kobo Ellipsa


Amazon’s latest E Ink reader isn’t on sale yet, but it’s preorderable for an expected Nov. 30 launches. I’m very interested in the Scribe because it’s the first big-screen Kindle since the discontinued Kindle DX. It also adds stylus support and has a 10.2-inch display at 300 dpi (which is the same dpi as on the other Kindles).

It’s a hefty $329 to start, or up to $419 with an upgraded premium stylus and larger storage options. That’s a lot for a product we haven’t tested or reviewed yet, but it’s also — on paper — the bigger-screen Kindle I’ve been hoping for years.

Read more about the Kindle Scribe.

You’re receiving price alerts for Kindle Scribe

And once you have an ebook reader, why not fill it up with some books written by CNET authors? Here’s a few to get started:

Find The Perfect Gift

AllUnder $10Under $20Under $50Under $100Under $250


107 results