E Readers. How useful are they?

I like the idea and feel of paper corporeal books. I will admit that their is a certain panache these days to the i-pad and its ilk, but how useful are they, really? Most of today's books are available, either in book stores or local libraries, not to mention half.com and Paperback Swap, etc. I can't imagine taking an E-reader to the "porcelain reading room" confused
What happens if you accidentally drop it in the bowl? Good bye E-reader. Drop a paperback, no big loss.
Can I read my electronic "book"at the beach, in bright sunlight? Only with a filter or under a beach umbrella.
I purchased one of these "must have" devices for my wife for Christmas. She found it too hard to use and ended up giving it away.It was one of the highly recommended brands.(Kindle Fire)
Now, to their usefulness. If you want to read out-of-print books or technical journals, I think they shine in these categories, although you can often find these very same things online, using your present equipment. A few years ago (through our local library) I was able to "borrow" a copy of a Zane Grey western that has been out of print for many years. Library privileges are free in most locales, just for signing up.
Many of my contemporaries are using and loving their E-readers, but I don;t see one in my near future, unless they ban the productions of paper books.