Thanks to Pixabay for the image!
I have always loved reading thanks to the love of reading my mom instilled in me when I was just a little boy (thanks Aaie!) I was a regular at my school library and was a proud owner of a subscription to excellent children’s magazines Champak, Tinkle and Disney Adventures. Every time we went on a train or bus trip, I would make puppy eyes at my mom to buy me a new book or magazine. I succeeded most of the time.
When I was well nearing the end of my 12th grade, I was collecting many books- novels, encyclopedias, non-fiction books and some select school textbooks that I loved enough to preserve them post-school days. By this time, my shelf was overloaded. I had two choices- get a bigger shelf or buy an e-reader. Like so many readers, I was skeptical about ereaders, citing the absense of the book smell and physical, tactile ‘feel’ of actual books. But I had also ogled over the videos on kindle and the thousands of positive reviews by readers who said they love it. So I pestered my dad to buy one and he agreed (thanks baba!) We ordered the Kindle Paperwhite Wifi+3G (since the Paperwhite Wifi had gone out of stock and I feared the same fate for this one). It was priced at 13,999 (which is very expensive). I reassured myself that with the price of free and cheap ebooks, I would recover the cost of Kindle in a year. And I was right.
- Long term review
I am writing this review after five years of usage. Five years! I don’t remember a single modern gadget that has lasted this long and still going strong. Hence, I would go as far as saying this is a complete and thorough review (unlike so many reviews online that the reviewers use for a short period of time)
- Ebooks are cheap and free
So many ebooks are priced cheap on the kindle store. And the Kindle store is very well stocked with almost any book you would want. All ebooks on Kindle are at least a 100Rs cheaper than their paperback counterparts. On sales, you can get excellent books at even 80-90% off. I once bought a book for 98% off! All the classics are available for free. Besides, there are services like ereaderiq that track when books are going on sale and which ones are free for a limited time.
Portability is a big deal if you want to read more. This model of kindle fits in my jeans’ hip pocket snugly and can be held in one hand to read comfortably even while standing on long train rides. Lugging around a paperback (or God forbid, hardbacks!) can be a huge pain and you risk damaging books that way.
- Night light
The night light is a nice feature that will help you read in the dark. Especially if you share your room with someone else (my younger brother) you won’t want to keep the room light on while reading a particularly exciting book. A good feature, but is it worth it? (more on this in the section on Basic Kindle)
- Same as paper
As all skeptics, my worries were blown away when I saw just how closely the screen resembles real paper. Almost no glare and the letters are crisp and clear.
- Preserving paperbacks
The problem with travelling with paperbacks is: the pages can get dirt and sweat from your hands and they cannot he held in one hand. Larger books take a lot of space. And the ability to carry hundreds of books (if not thousands) is exceptional. I still buy paperbacks and hardcovers but keep them at home for indoor reading to preserve them. My kindle accompanies me almost everywhere.
- Highlighting and notes
I got into reading non-fiction self-help books after getting a Kindle. The highlighting feature is amazing and allows you to write notes onto specific passages. These highlights can be later sent to your email ID.
- Browser sucks (mostly)
The browser on the kindle is called “experimental browser” and for good reason. The Only websites I successfully navigate without the browser crashing are wikipedia and i.reddit.com . Even then it does crash sometimes. That being said, reading Reddit on kindle is much better than on a phone, PC or tablet.
- Personal documents
As a law student, I am required to get pdfs of statutes from government websites to read and the kindle does a bad job here. Reading pdfs is definitely not recommended as it is slow and can crash. However, if the pdf is well-made with a good font, it can be converted to kindle book format by emailing it to your kindle email with subject ‘convert’. Excellent! Did I mention you can highlight and add notes? That includes pdfs too!
While reading long form articles online, I can send the article (nicely formatted with images) directly on kindle to read later at leisure. Several third-party websites and apps perform this brilliantly and are free.
- Battery life
This Kindle has an AMAZING battery life. Literally goes for weeks on a full charge.
- Consider cheaper Kindle
I should state that the new improved Kindle was released only a few months after I bought this one for half the price with no light. I have checked out that model online, read reviews and experienced it first hand from a friend. I would blindly recommend anyone to buy the cheaper version if you can live without the light and 3G which is honestly not that big a deal. Just get a bedside night lamp and read in the dark. No need to spend twice just for light. I would have gotten the cheaper version if it was available back then.
Check out the models by clicking on the images below.
What do you think of this review? Do you plan on getting one soon? Do you have any more questions? Leave a comment below!
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