Amazon's latest reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, is something of a paradox: an e-book reader for "real book" enthusiasts. The stripped-down pad offers a great reading experience by surrounding the text with minimal and minimalist features. As the name suggests, the display is almost as white as paper, providing excellent contrast so that reading in daylight is effortless. For times when everything is not illuminated, the adjustable backlight allows readers to continue turning pages. With an estimated eight weeks of battery life, the reader will outlast anything short of 'Infinite Jest.'

If the 2013 edition sounds a lot like last year's Kindle Paperwhite, that's because it is. But that's not a bad thing: The 2012 edition was excellent. And, though the new offering doesn't add anything major, the improved backlight is a difference maker and improvements under the hood (both hardware and software) make flicking through, adding notes, and generally enjoying your chosen tome considerably easier. Always stuck for something to read? The new Paperwhite can help with that as well. Integration with book discovery site goodreads.com means you'll never be stuck deciding what to read next. If you bought the 2012 edition, you'll probably need to carefully weigh the benefits of upgrading to this year's model – but if you're planning to be on the road in 2014, this is the e-reader for you. [$119; amazon.com]