For a project I need to read and write ESRI shapefiles. It should be very easy, as I don't need advanced features. Is something out there?
GeoTools supports shapefiles via a plugin. GIS is a complicated area and I think what you will find is that there are very few "simple" libraries out there. Any library powerful enough to do general GIS will unfortunately have a learning curve. That said, Shapefiles aren't that complicated and there's a lot of code out there for references purposes.