Though I am a lover of bookstores, physical pages, and libraries, I cannot deny that I love my Kindle. Yet when the first Kindle came out, I looked down my nose at it unhappily. Why, I thought, would anyone want to read on a screen when they could have the page?
My parents bought me a Kindle in 2015 (ish), when I was about 14, for Christmas. I did use it occasionally, but it mostly gathered dust in the corner of my room. I did enjoy being able to read documents on it, and bought many classics and free books from Amazon to one day consume (spoiler alert: I never did…). Mostly, though, I forgot about it.
Then, in 2020, I bought a Kindle Paperwhite, and I have read more books on it since 2020 than I ever did in those 5 years with my previous Kindle! I have absolutely loved having my Paperwhite – but if you’re reading this article, you may be wondering, is it worth it? Let’s talk about it below…
There is no questioning how accessible a Paperwhite is. As someone who has fibromyalgia, sometimes it hurts my back to sit up, my arms to hold things, my neck to lean forward…but with an incredible light eReader, it’s not so much of an issue anymore. Not only that, but you can make the font bigger, and there’s so many other features. I think the accessibility of an ereader is one of the biggest selling points for me. That and the…
The backlight has changed the game for me! My bedroom light is placed rather inconveniently, and I am opposite the window rather than under it, meaning that my bed has limited light. Even with a side light on, it can be pretty dark, but having a backlight is so helpful! The great thing about the Paperwhite as well is that it doesn’t emit blue-light – the thing in phones that can contribute to keeping you awake.
The availability of books
I do have a Kindle, which means I use Amazon to download my books. I also have Amazon Prime, and Kindle Unlimited, so I can download tonnes of books for free, like a library. Speaking of libraries, you can sometimes download eBooks from the library you have. I can also have Audible on my Kindle, meaning there’s audiobooks too. And, as a book reviewer, it’s important to be accessible and flexible, as many publishers send eARCs – all of which I can download and read on my Kindle! *Phew* – that’s a lot of books I couldn’t otherwise read if I only stuck to paperbacks!
It’s affordable – and may work out cheaper than paperbacks!
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is currently available for around £120. Considering the average book is £8-20, it will work out overtime, especially if you make use of the fact that eBooks are most often cheaper than physical books, and you can frequently find free books or ones for 99p! If I only ever bought books for £7.99 (though I often buy ones that are £9-10, or even up to £20), purchasing one Paperwhite would be the equivalent of just 15 books! Some people read that many in a month – imagine how many more eBooks you could consume!
Faster reading speeds
Why is it that I can read faster on a Kindle? Well, I don’t really know. Whether it’s comfort, the ease of it, the fact you can see the percentage and a “time left” gauge at the bottom… well, whatever it is, I read so much faster on my Kindle than I do with paperbacks (most often). Obviously this isn’t always the case, but I do think that if there’s a book I want to race through, I’d rather get it on Kindle!
I have started highlighting and annotating my physical books, but I don’t always have a pen with me, or sticky notes, or whatever it is I need to actually physically annotate something. With the Paperwhite, it’s so much easier. Mine is touch screen, so I can just point at the words I want to be highlighted, and even type notes with the QWERTY touch-screen keyboard. It’s just so easy, and these highlights are easy to find and look up after.
I’ve saved one of the best for last. The dictionary function is simply amazing. Highlight a word, select “look up”, and it’ll tell you what it means! Though I’m an English teacher, I don’t know ever word in the OED, so it’s really helpful to have this function. It can also translate, so if I ever come across a word in another language, I can translate it without using a phone or laptop to look it up.
Obviously, there are plenty of other options for eReading than the Kindle. The Kindle is the one that I purchased due to price, availability of books, and the other accessible features. Many use a Kobo, Nook, Sony readers, or even their phones and tablets which have apps. I do sometimes read on my phone, but I do get very easily distracted by social media, so I do like to have my Kindle too!
A Kindle definitely does not stop me purchasing and loving physical books – it simply adds to the enjoyment of being a bookworm!
Do you have a Kindle or other reader? I’d love to know in the comments!
Until next time,