Stuff We Like: the Kindle Paperwhite

Stuff We Like: the Kindle Paperwhite

Welcome back to our recurring series, “Stuff We Like”. In it, we talk about things – be it gadgets, software, or even tools – that we heartily recommend to folks. They may not be the newest, but they’ve found a place in our knapsacks. Today’s pick? It’s the venerable Kindle Paperwhite.

Now, I’ll admit – my Kindle Paperwhite is no spring chicken. I’ve had it for almost four years now, and I’ve read a LOT on it. Prior to getting this, I’d just have to have a paperback in my work bag to read on the train as I commuted to and from work. Getting the Kindle Paperwhite into the mix drastically slimmed down what I needed to carry, as well as gave me a lot of flexibility for when I travelled.

Before I got the Kindle Paperwhite, I wasn’t sure if I would like reading on the device. Fortunately, my local library had a few that you could check out, so I did just that – checked one out and read a Jack Ryan book on it. After that experience, I was sold. The main thing I thought I would be bothered by was the page turn/refresh, but I quickly got used to that.

The other big selling point for me with the Kindle Paperwhite was the addition of a backlight. I was coming to it from a Nook Color, so I was used to the backlit screen (though the battery life at the end of the Nook Color’s service was certainly not great). This is great for reading no matter what lighting conditions, inside or out.

Once I started using the Kindle Paperwhite, I rapidly noticed that my reading habits definitely ramped up – I was reading a lot more. It was just so simple to get books onto it – either via the Amazon Kindle store, or even via checkout from my library via Overdrive. That’s another recommendation – if you have an e-reader and a library card, check out if you can check out ebooks. You would be surprised at the amount you can find out there, and just be able to read for no additional cost (other than your property taxes). And if you find your books from other sources? That’s where something like Calibre comes in quite handy.

Even though my particular Kindle Paperwhite is four years old at this point, it’s a constant companion for travel, or even just reading out on the porch or to the kids at night. And frankly, battery life is still pretty amazing on it as well. If you’re looking to pick one up yourself, the 8 GB version (with ads) is just $99 and the 32 GB version is $129 (going without ads, or removing it later, is just $20). And this more recent version is actually water resistant, so no worries if you’re out reading at get caught in a drizzle. Additionally, the newer version can support Audible readings via bluetooth headphones, so it can even be your audiobook “reader”. In short, I would definitely recommend it if you’re an avid reader, as it’s a great, very portable device that allows you to always have books with you. amazon.com

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