E-readers have been around a long, long time. Even so, there’s still heated debate among book lovers about whether digital can really match the tactile experience of a printed book.
Amazon was one of the first to release a mass-market e-reader in 2007; it sold out in about 5 hours, and readers have been soaking up digital books ever since.
What’s the e-reader allure?
When I first heard about the Kindle, I didn’t get it. I mean, I got it. It’s an eReader that can store a bunch of eBooks and that lightened your load and all that stuff. But I didn’t get why you’d want to get a Kindle when you could just download the Kindle app on, in my case, an iPad.
Then a Kindle fell into my hands. And I saw the light.
After reading two books, here are 5 reasons why I’m a Kindle Convert.
1. It’s a good size.
It’s small and light and fits in a beach bag or back pocket easily and it feels great in my hand. I imagine reading “War & Peace” is a lot more enjoyable when you’re not burning out your wrist and forearm doing that one-handed hold-it-open move.
2. Readable in broad daylight.
I long ago gave up trying to read off my iPad outdoors on a sunny day. The glare and the strain on the eyes is the worst. With Kindle’s magic freakin’ electonic ink thing, no such problem exists. You can monkey with the brightness to find a setting that pleases you.
It works by guiding light in the device towards the surface of the display with its built-in front light. Tablets are back-lit. This makes it easier to read comfortably for hours without eyestrain.
The Kindle Paperwhite has twice as many pixels as the previous generation, a 300 ppi display, for you spec geeks out there, for crisp, laser quality text. It really is clear and easy to read.
3. Buying eBooks is even easier, and it was already really easy.
It used to be that Amazon.com would save you a trip to the book store. Now, Kindle saves you trips to Amazon.com. Sort of. Just search for a book and if it’s available, download it! Then read it.
4. It’s not an iPad.
Have you ever lost yourself in a good book only to have an email notification, Twitter DM or a text disrupt your pleasant read? The Kindle is just a reader, so there’s no distracting apps running in the background to pull you from your peaceful reading session.
The battery on the Kindle paperwhite lasts practically forever. A single charge will keep you reading for weeks, not hours. Amazon says a single charge can last up to six weeks (based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless turned off and the light setting at ten). Added bonus; reading off the Kindle gives you time to recharge those depleted batteries on your other devices.
5. Easier to lose.
The Kindle doesn’t cost as much as an iPad, so if you lose it, it doesn’t suck so bad. I don’t mean this to devalue the Kindle. It’s worth every penny even at the top price tier. But with Kindle’s starting at $139, if some sketchy chap working at the all-inclusive resort is going to snag one of your devices, you’d probably rather it not be the big ticket one.
Here’s a look at the specs of the Kindle Paperwhite:
- Now available in black or white
- Higher resolution display (300 ppi) – with twice as many pixels as the basic Kindle
- Built-in adjustable light – read day and night
- No screen glare, even in bright sunlight, unlike tablets
- A single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours
Kindle Paperwhite also has some other new features built in. Something called ‘Bookerly’ provides more readable fonts for book lovers. “Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books, but is hand-crafted for great readability at any font size, according to Amazon’s website, “The typesetting engine lays out words just as the author intended for beautiful rendering of pages. With improved character spacing and the addition of hyphenation, justification, kerning, ligatures, and drop cap support, our best-in-class typography helps you read faster with less eyestrain.”
The Bookerly engine also makes it easy to switch to a larger font size. Page layout and margins automatically adapt to work well at even the largest font sizes. The typography and layout improvements are available on over half a million books, including many best sellers, with thousands more being added every week.
Overall Review of Kindle Paperwhite
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the e-reader experience. The Kindle Paperwhite is very easy to set up, it works great, and the long battery life and lack of distractions makes reading more enjoyable, and yes, may even hearken back to the old paper book good ‘ol days!
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite sells for $139CAD or $119USD.