It's made to do more then just use as an e-reader, which is why it costs so much. If you are looking for just a basic e-reader, stick with the basic Kindle. Make sure it has e-ink. You could even get older models that work just fine and not have to pay as much. I have the the first gen. I bought it when they FIRST came out and paid the heafty price tag that came with it. It's been several years and mine does what I need it to (ability to read books) with no problems to this day.
I think it would be cool if they had some way to have the backlight for apps and e-ink for reading, but they just don't.