My family didn't get any dedicated e-readers until recent years, unless you count the Franklin portable KJV Bible thingy (with word game cartridge)
we've had for well over a decade (
present). I heard about ereaders 2000-ish from the Rivenguild fan group, based on the Myst & Riven adventure games whose magical portals were moving images inside old books.
The Sony press release for the upcoming e-readers caught the group's imagination, and we could all see the potential. In fact, that was the same time period in which I was introduced to the Gutenberg Project, with lots of lovely old ebook classics I hadn't read in awhile, and many more totally new to me. Loved the idea, but the price tag meant I was destined to drool from a distance.
I did my e-reading on computers until the last few years. DH is a reader too, and was having more trouble with the fonts in our beloved pbooks, so we prioritized getting him an ereader with big font choices. We went with Kobo first for him and my Mom. Mom's unit worked fine, but DH got a series of lemons Despite the issues, I could tell that being able to have plenty of books on tap was a winning idea for us, and my family gave me a Nook last Christmas which has become my constant companion. Now my kids are enjoying the same experience thanks to those cheap PanDigital Novels available.
I do enjoy my stacks of solid books, but they take up a lot of space and are getting pricier even 2ndhand, so being able to download old happy freebies is an awesome choice.
There is a library here, but not everyone in the system has been all that trustworthy. The new check-out system creates plenty of proof when you take out a book, but virtually none when you've returned the materials. Very glad to have an alternative!
Besides, they hardly have any classics.