Yes, this post is about the e-reader Amazon Kindle. I have been using the Kindle devices from 5 years. I have used both the Paperwhite and the Vanilla kindle as well.
I was always fond of reading from a physical book. The feel of a real page turn, the smell of a new book, the faded colour of pages of an old book! You obviously can only imagine such things if you read exclusively on an e reader and remember with nostalgia, your old memories.
So, why did I buy my first Kindle?
The problem was with space. I had too many books at home,including my academic books, and there was not enough space to keep them all. So, I bought a kindle with some trepidation.
The experience of using a kindle for the first time was exciting and a little disappointing. The excitement was because I could store almost unlimited number of books in a small device. I could read any book anywhere I liked.
The disappointment was mainly because of the resolution and ghosting of letters. The old generation Kindle used to not refresh a page completely I think, so on every page turn, I would find ghost images of letters and words. The resolution was not great too.
However, once you get into a story really, the medium from which you are reading does not matter. The resolution is not even thought of. You forget the feel and smell of a real book.
In the long run, an e-reader is more economical and space saving than buying physical books. It is also environment friendly, with all the trees you would be saving by not using paper. I almost exclusively read ebooks now and mostly on Kindle.
Why can’t you just read from a reading app on a phone/tablet ?
Because you are looking at a backlit screen and a phone/tablet has all the distractions capable of distracting you from reading. Reading on a backlit screen for long hours is not advisable because of the strain on the eyes.
The e readers, even the self lit Paperwhite screens, are designed differently. The sole purpose of them is reading. The Kindles have an anti glare screen and illumination on the Paperwhite is at an angle. So the light does not hit your eye directly. The resolution on the newer Kindle paperwhites is 300 PPI. So, pixellation or compromised quality of reading is not an issue at all. The paper white which I have does not have the ghosting issue which I described earlier.
The battery life of a Kindle is much greater than a phone or tab’s.
People who have to wear reading glasses may just increase the font size on the Kindle and read without glasses.
I must admit that I have read more ebooks than physical books by now. It is mostly about the convenience factor. You can carry a small device and carry your entire library with you. You finished a book in a series? You just need to download the next book in the series, which is almost instantaneous. I have finished several book series this way. There usually are great discounts on ebooks too.
Do you really need the more expensive Kindles?
Depends a lot on your budget allocation for an ereader. Kindle Voyage is thinner, shorter and less wide than a paperwhite. So it can be held more easily in one hand. It also has an adaptive front light. I do not see this as too much of an advantage as the paperwhite allows you to manually adjust light. Should you be spending 5500 more to get these features? I don’t think so.
The Kindles with 3g are also not really a necessity. You can always switch on the mobile hotspot on your phone and use it to download books if it is an emergency.
The Kindle family is a great addition to any bibliophile’s collection. My love for physical books remains even though I almost exclusively read on Kindle. It is all about practicality and convenience at the end of the day.