I used to read a lot, a few years back. However, I had lost touch with my reading habits from the past couple of years. Parenthood and a full-time busy job kept me extremely occupied despite the lockdown and I could not catch up with all those books that I wanted to read. I did keep buying paperbacks that I liked, in the hope of reading them someday but just could not find enough time to read them. It was more like I needed to find that trigger that would ignite that reading curiosity in me again but I was not being able to.
Amazon Kindle did just that! I saw some Amazon and Youtube reviews and was amazed to see that there very few reviews were negative. Readers around the globe have poured in some much praise for this tiny e-reader that I could not resist buying one. The cherry on the cake was that I bought it for an effective price of just Indian Rs. 1,800 (~ $25 approximately) because of Amazon’s sale coupled with reward points and credit card offers.
I figured that even if I assume that an average e-book on Amazon is around Rs. 100 less than its paperback version, I will recover even the peanuts that I spent in less than a year, which makes it effectively free (zero risk!).
Even if one is not able to score a good deal on Kindle, it’s still worth investing if you are an avid reader. In fact, I discovered the sale after making my decision to purchase it.
Following are the reasons because of which I considered it a worthy investment -
- No strain on eyes — The e-ink display is an altogether different technology that resembles an actual book without straining your eyes, compared to a phone or a tablet etc., which emit blue rays that strain the eyes. I did try the Kindle app on my phone before but reading at length would cause eye-strain even with the blue light and dark modes switched on.
- Holds literally thousands of book at a time — Even the 8Gb basic version that I purchased is sufficient to hold several e-books and pdfs. The advantage is I can read multiple e-books in parallel and keep switching between e-books depending on my preference or mood to read some specific content at any time.
- No physical space — This is an obvious advantage but a huge one. My desk and cupboard need not be occupied by several books all the time. All that space can be put to better use. People fond of mini-libraries may disagree but that’s a personal choice!
- No distractions — While reading on Kindle, you just read. There are no notification banners or prompts on the top of the page that tempt the reader to check them and be distracted. The advantage is you get so engrossed in reading that you end up covering larger amounts of your e-book in the same time compared to reading on phone. Consequently, I have read 4 books on Kindle in a month since I purchased it. In the past 2 years combined, I did not read 4 books!
- Font customizations and highlights — You can change the size and type of fonts on Kindle compatible e-books. Although the font doesn’t really matter to me, changing the size is a plus. Added to it, the option to highlight text is a great advantage that lets you see all the the highlighted text in a separate document without wasting time on scrolling pages to see that text.
- Pdf files — You can just email any pdf to your Kindle email ID (you get it on registering your kindle) and it appears on Kindle almost magically.
Here are the not-so-good things:
- Touch — Given that it’s an e-ink display meant for just reading and with minimal capabilities, it’s understandable that touch is not really the priority. However, I think that the touch could be a tad smoother and more responsive. The refresh rate is quite slow and the response is a bit laggy. However, given that most of the time is spent in reading and negligible time in given inputs, it is workable.
- Battery — My expectation from battery on seeing the adverts and reviews was that it lasts for weeks. My experience, on the other hand, is that I have to charge once or twice a week with Wi-Fi on all the time and with about an hour of reading everyday and 3-hours each day on weekends. It takes around 2 hours for a single charge, which is okay considering I get around 10–15 hours of back up with Wi-Fi and sync on always. If the flight mode is switched on, battery consumption is significantly reduced.
Overall, I think I love the features and the form-factor. Despite being a 6-inch device, it never feels like it’s small compared to an actual book and very well imitates the feel of actual book since it’s a bit wide and not that tall, making it easier to hold. I am in love with reading books again and look forward to complete 4 books a month in 2021.
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