At Paper Bard Media, we don’t normally do reviews on products but we recently got our hands on a new Kindle Paperwhite.
Paper Bard co-founder and author R.A. Headley received a Kindle Paperwhite as an early Christmas present in November of 2014 and wanted to share the experience with it.
There are currently three models listed here by price and features; the Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite, and the Kindle Voyage. I won’t go into all the technical details of these devices as there is so much information out there about them if you want that. I will say the model I own, the Kindle Paperwhite, runs from $119US to $209US, when not on sale, depending on how you configure it. My model is the touch screen Wi-Fi only without the special offers. The special offers mean your device will receive ads from Amazon when you’re not reading on it. It also has a built-in brightness adjustable light for reading in the dark. If you want anything more technical than that, go to www.amazon.com and search for Kindle Paperwhite or use your favorite search engine.
What prompted me to write this review wasn’t really about the technical abilities of this device; it’s more for what it has brought to me as a reader. I’ve been an avid reader all of my life for entertainment, learning, or just for the enjoyment of the printed page. Over those years between my youth and where I am today, which doesn’t feel that much older, my physical book collection has grown considerably while my time to read them has shrunk. I found myself missing the relationship between me and the printed word.
Along came the Kindle Paperwhite. I charged it up Thanksgiving Day and then downloaded a few books directly to the device from the Kindle store. When I crawled into bed that night, I picked it up from my nightstand and began to read. It wasn’t until the TV timer caused the room to go dark, that I realized I’d been reading for well over an hour. It’s been a while since I’ve read that long in bed.
Let me say again, I love books and reading books of all kinds but it had become inconvenient at times to carry them around. This was especially true when reading multiple books or books that were thick and heavy. Page counts don’t matter to the Kindle as the bits and bytes don’t add up to any weight. The Kindle always weighs about as much as a thick paperback. It slips easily into a backpack, briefcase, purse, or even inside a jacket pocket. This thing actually holds hundreds or thousands of books in its 4GB of on-board storage. You can even categorize your books on the Kindle which is very helpful.
I’m sure many of you, including myself, have used different types of Apple and Android tablets. I own and use one of each for different things but reading books was never very enjoyable for various reasons. Reading for any length of time on a smartphone with these 40+ eyes was out of the question. The e-ink screen on the Kindle is almost paper-like in appearance. In fact, without going to deep into the technology, when a page is displayed it stays there. There isn’t the constant subtle flickering found on a nice color tablet. If you leave the Kindle on a page and come back to it later, it will still be on that page. You can, of course, set bookmarks as you read to come back to later if you’re reading multiple books.
One last thing before I wanted to mention before closing is how great the battery life is. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you know how long the thing runs before needing a charge is usually measure in hours. One exception is my iPad mini that, depending on how it is used, will go one, two, or maybe three days before needing a charge. I mentioned earlier that I first charged it on Thanksgiving Day and started reading with it that night. I used the Kindle Paperwhite every single day varying from 30 minutes to 2 hours with the Wi-Fi on and the internal light at about 50% for 31 days straight. I was amazed! Amazon touts up to 8 weeks under optimal conditions but the fact I didn’t have to worry about charging it for about 5 weeks shocked me. I charged it back up, I think it took 4 hours or so, and I’ve been using since then. It’s nice not to have to worry about the battery. You could load the thing up with a bunch of books, charge it up, go on vacation for a week, and not have to worry about packing a bunch of cords. I give Amazon props for this as that helps convey a much more book-like experience.
In closing, what I really want to get across is that while I’ve always been and will be a reader of the physical book, the convenience and ease of use of the Kindle has fanned a reading spark back into a steady flame.
Happy reading everyone! All of us at Paper Bard Media thank you for your support!