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The Bookworm's Musings

Adult Themes are discussed and linked to in this Journal - Read Responsibly!

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Review of the Kindle Paperwhite

I received a Kindle Paperwhite as a gift about a month ago, and it has changed my life! Yes, that’s a dramatic statement, but it’s true. I love my Kindle. The screen is incredibly comfortable to read in any light – far more comfortable than my computer screen. In fact, I push everything over about 500 words to my Kindle for reading. With the Kindle, the only headaches I get are from staying in one position for too long – no eyestrain headaches anymore.

The screen is amazing: I have read in full sun with the light shining directly on the screen, and it is as crisp and clear as it is indoors. It’s also comfortable to read in the dark, unlike a regular computer screen.

The kindle’s portability is also a big plus: it fits neatly into my purse, so I can take it anywhere. Let me tell you, it is awesome to have something to do on mountain tops once I’ve finished helping Dad. Because the Kindle can hold a variety of reading materials as well as some nice games, I never get bored. A big step up from bringing a bag full of physical books and getting bored half-way through.

The battery life is also very good. Because I use it far more than an hour every day, it doesn’t last anywhere near two weeks, which is the estimate Kindle offers. I use it as much as six to eight hours a day, depending on the day, and it lasts about two days per charge with that kind of use.  But that’s okay: I just plug it in before I go to bed every night.

Now that I’ve sung the Kindle’s praises, time for a few drawbacks:

  • Tapping the screen to advance is alright, but it can cause muscle pain if you don’t switch it up often. One tiny physical button to advance would be awesome.
  • Holding the Kindle in a reading position can also cause muscle pain after a while, especially if holding it up enough to avoid neck pain from stooping/bending. I’ve got to figure out some tool/pillow/stand to do this for me.

And on to some features I would love to see:

  • Ask before opening the browser and loading a link when reading a book/personal document. I can’t tell you how often I have accidently clicked on a hyperlink only to have to return to the book. Annoying. I love the browser, but it’s too easy to accidentally invoke it.
  • Ability to turn airplane mode on/off from ANY screen, quickly.
  • Ability to delete a document/book from any page in the document/book, instead of having to return to the list screen. Often, I read an article, and then I want to delete it. Going back to the main screen, bringing up the context menu (a real pain – 25% of the time, the document reopens before the menu appears and I have to repeat the whole process), and finally choosing delete/remove is cumbersome.  Having delete and open next would be awesome.
  • Ability to select multiple documents/books at once to be deleted or moved.
  • Ability to view only unread documents/books.
  • Better zoom for PDF files.
  • Support for ePub. If not on the device, at least support automatic conversion when emailed to device.
  • Finer font size control. Now, there’s a sudden jump from large to SUPER large.

I have the ad-supported, wifi-only version of the Kindle. Wifi-only works just fine for me. As for the ads, after changing a few settings so only a small banner is displayed in Library view, I do not find them at all obtrusive. In fact, it’s interesting to see a different book everyday. I do wish I could opt-out of non-book-related ads, though. But even so, the ads are no trouble.

In conclusion, the Kindle Paperwhite is an awesome eReader. If you are looking for a dedicated reading device, this is what you want.

P.S. Get the Amazon Kindle case for the Paperwhite: yes, it’s expensive, but it’s worth it. Beautiful, durable, fits perfectly, and allows for quick on/off.

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The lack of ePub support is the biggest thing keeping me from Kindles. Nearly all my books are public domain, and I greatly dislike being locked into a format--especially one where Amazon may have added permissions and controls.

Just use Calibre to convert them to MOBI, which is supported by Kindle. That's what I do. And since Kindle doesn't interact with the original ePub docs, no need to worry about added DRM.

Is there an eyestrain issue? I love the eInk set up on my Nook because my eyes don't handle glare at all well anymore.

No, in fact the eInk of the Kindle Paperwhite has almost eliminated eyestrain headaches for me. I used to read on my computer and I would get headaches all the time. Now that I read on the Kindle, no headaches! I would go so far as to say that the Kindle paperwhite screen is more comfortable to read than a physical book: the lighting is always correct (or easily adjustable) and the font size can be set to whatever you need. No glare at all with my Kindle, even in a dark room or in direct sun.

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