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Like having a library at your fingertips.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Member Name: AsystoleUK
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Advantages: Massive capacity, small space consumption! Fantastic backlight!
Disadvantages: Doesn't come boxed with a wall charger.
I remember first mentioning in passing, to my fiancée, that I really wanted a Kindle. I did a fair bit of reading, but found that I was often discouraged for two reasons, which I think will probably make me sound like a little bit of a freak.
The first reason is my incredibly strange phobia of touching anything dry, like cardboard or the pages of a book when my hands haven't been moisturised. The feeling rips right through me! The second reason is that I just can't get comfortable with a book. I mostly read in bed, but trying to find a comfortable position whilst holding open a book is downright impossible, I find.
The Kindle Paperwhite solved both of these issues, whilst also bringing much more to the table.
Now, I didn't know a great deal about the Kindle machines before I got my (dry) hands on one, but I was very impressed by the miniature library and instantly set about buying numerous books that I had been waiting to buy. This is one of my favourite points about owning a Kindle. There were a number of titles that I wanted to read, but I kept forgetting about some of them - not any more. Now, if I see a book that I'm dying to read, I can just add it to my Amazon wish list, as the Kindle is tied directly to your Amazon account once you've linked it. Not only does this mean that you can have a catalogue of books ready to purchase once the one you're reading has been finished, but it also means that instead of running to the book store, all you need to do is hit 1 button and the book is instantly purchased and downloaded to your Kindle.
This is where the next point comes in. I understand that there are a couple of different versions of the Kindle Paperwhite. You can either have a 3G version, which means that you can connect to the internet much like a smartphone in order to download your books, or you can have a WiFi version, which just allows you to connect to WiFi hotspots in or outside of your home. The latter type is the one that I have, but it's just fine. You will generally pay more for the 3G version and never have I found myself out in the middle of nowhere with no WiFi connection in sight and suddenly thought to myself 'Oh man, if only I had 3G so I could download a book right now'. When you are connected, though I can't speak specifically for the speed of 3G, your book is downloaded and ready to read within a matter of seconds after hitting the purchase button. So if you've finished a book, but you're not quite ready to drop off to sleep, you can just grab the sequel!
This brings me onto my next point about reading in bed. It's fantastic. No more keeping the partner awake with a side lamp or having to stop reading because they want to go to sleep. The Kindle Paperwhite's inbuilt light is incredible and has a surprising scale between very dim and glaringly bright. At its lowest setting, you can still easily read, but it casts no glare so that anyone in the same room would still easily be able to drop off to sleep. Unfortunately this does mean that you can easily lose all track of time and read into the small hours of the morning, suddenly realising it's 3am and you have to work in 5 hours.
Part of this is also down to how easy it is to get into a comfortable stupor whilst reading on the Kindle. I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm reading a traditional book, I can't lie on my back, because having both arms elevated to keep the book open gets painful very quickly. I prefer lying on my side to read, but keeping the pages open again is a fine and painful balancing act after more than a few minutes. However, with the Paperwhite, you can easily support its small frame with one hand and whether you're lay on your back or on your side, it's very easy to find a comfortable position. It helps that the Kindle is very light and generally ligher than most paperback novels, despite its incredible storage capacity.
The Kindle Paperwhite can hold thousands of books. So far, I've only downloaded around 10, but taking into consideration the fact that these books are not forming a steady fort beside my bed, I find it much more convenient than owning the physical paperback copies. Another great advantage to this is that, although you might decide to have a spring clean of your Kindle library eventually and delete your back catalogue, you can easily share your Kindle with a partner or housemate so that they can read all of the same books. Plus, if you're a total neat freak, you don't have to worry about them folding over one of the pages as a bookmark (HOW DARE YOU).
The battery life is extremely impressive. It lasts an enormous amount of time between charges. Keep in mind if you do buy one, that it will take a few full charges to see the machine's optimum battery life, as it has to Index the books you've purchased. Generally, whether using it often or not (I had exams and whatnot whilst owning mine at first), you will find that the battery lasts weeks between charges.
The e-ink technology that the Kindle Paperwhite uses is very impressive and really makes for a very crisp and clear reading experience. The font on screen can be adjusted in size or even style to best suit the reader, a very useful tool for those who have less than perfect eyesight. The Paperwhite even has an inbuilt dictionary, so that unknown words can be highlighted for a definition. This is very useful, as even though I consider myself to have a decent vocabulary, I'm constantly finding new words, which is very useful as somebody who writes novels in their spare time.
I find it very hard to think of anything negative to say about this Kindle. The one thing that comes to mind is that the charger must be connected to a computer when the battery needs charging. It doesn't come boxed with a wall adapter, so you only have the option of USB charging to begin with. However, I believe that you can couple this cable with an iPhone charger or something similar to wall-charge the Kindle, but it's something I would recommend reading into to make sure that you don't damage this wonderful piece of hardware.
All in all, I love the concept of e-readers. I'm currently writing my first novel and have numerous other ideas in the pipeline, so I don't want the traditional publishing industry to succumb to e-publishing any time soon, as I'm a huge fan of traditional publishing too. However, for me, as a reader, the Kindle makes it far easier to enjoy this hobby.
Summary: If you're a prolific reader, this is definitely worth considering.
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