When e-books first became a thing I couldn’t really wrap my head around the idea of storing all of your books on one electronic device rather than reading from an actual, physical book. Sure, I get it – you can fit so much more on an e-reader than you can from carrying around three or four books – I should know. When I go away anywhere I sometimes finding myself packing up to three books at a time because I tend to be halfway through one book or near enough the end of it so that it won’t last the journey there and then a further two just in case I find the time to fit in reading time – ‘cos I read fast.
I’m from the generation of children who had whole film collections on VHS and for those to be dumped for DVD disks, whole bookcases were suddenly defunct for slimmer, smaller DVDs and all the videotape copies went to the charity shops. When’s the last time you found a VHS player available to buy in a shop? A long time, let me tell you. Buying books in electric format just makes me think about all of those abandoned videos and all those Disney films I used to love watching over and over and am trying to replace in disk format as an adult.
So what made me cave and buy an e-reader if I was so against them? Well, I started downloading review copies from Netgalley and because they come in protected pdf format it’s quite difficult to read a novel on my laptop alone without getting headaches.
I’d had my eye on the Kindle e-reader for a long time and being as I work in retail it was really easy for me to pick one up when it was on sale. Looking at the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite on a face-to-face level it does seem that the only real difference is a backlight. It may not seem worth spending quite a bit extra for a light on the screen but trust me, if you’re buying an e-reader for travelling then you need to consider this model.
Mine took about ten minutes to set-up after updates were downloaded and I had it lain out the way I wanted. Downloading books is pretty easy and the Kindle library itself focuses around having an Amazon account to keep everything in one place. You can add your Kindle to your account and do all sorts of cool things too like share your book library with someone else if you want to ‘lend’ them a book. It takes a bit of faffing to get all of your collections the way you like them but the customisation is key on this e-reader. You can chance the font type and size to match your reading requirements as well as add note and bookmarks if you’re studying a text. There’s so much more than meets the eye on this device and I kind of wish I’d had one when I was studying because it would make textbooks so much more interesting because you can mark them in any which way you want.
The only thing that annoyed me about this was that the Amazon adverts were automatically turned on and I needed to raise this with customer services to have it removed. You can buy two versions of the Kindle Paperwhite via Amazon, and the one with advertisements being a little cheaper. As I brought mine through a high street chain there was no option to buy the advert-less model as Amazons ships them out as standard. It annoyed me that I’d spent the same money on something and it was still trying to advertise to me outside of the built-in store so I soon Googled how to get it turned off and it only took a few minutes.
The battery is the hand-down winner for me with this product because it lasts for weeks and even when being used in full it still stands up. The display is really easy to read from and I can actually read this in bed without wearing my glasses which is like some sort of miracle. There’s a lot of great features about this e-reader and the more I use it, the more of them I discover.
So, have I decided to ditch all of my IRL books for this space-saving hero? Hmm, nope. I still love to read a book from start to finish but reading on my Kindle can also be a treat because I tend to save some books on there for when I’m going to be travelling – and taking this instead of my standard three books is so much easier – and lighter.
A little steep for just over £100 but an ideal gift for someone who likes reading, I would recommend a Kindle to anyone who wanted to stop their shoulders from aching with being laden down. Personally, I’ve come to love mine even if I was a little reluctant to ditch my paper books because it’s my perfect travel companion.
Have you got a Kindle or e-reader? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments.