Ten Things I Love About my Kindle Paperwhite

I love books old and new.
Last Christmas, I asked Santa for a Kindle Paperwhite. He must have been sitting on the top of the chimney listening, because guess what turned up on Christmas morning? Now that I've been using it for about half a year I've realised that I'm ridiculously attached to it. I love it more than any other gadget in my possession and that includes my smartphone - which I love too, just not quite so much.

Kindle Paperwhite. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1 It began when I opened the box on Christmas Day. I love the design. The whole thing is just so beautiful: sleek, light, intuitive, easy. Light weight is important to me. I get carpel tunnel syndrome from time to time. Big, spiky hardbacks leave me literally in pain. I have to rest them on a cushion if I want to read in bed. If I want to snuggle up with a good book, my Kindle beats everything else for comfort and convenience.

2 I love the cover. With my previous Kindle, I had bought an inexpensive cover elsewhere. It was nice enough but a little clumsy, a bit heavy. But this one came with a dedicated Kindle cover in fuchsia pink. It too is sleek, light and beautiful. When you open it, it wakes the Kindle up. When you close it, it shuts the Kindle down. It slides into my handbag unobtrusively. I carry it on just about every journey. I can read in places not normally reached by books.

3 The lighting. I don't know how they do it, but it isn't backlit like this PC is backlit. It's a soft light, very easy on the eye, and you can adjust it instantly to whatever the background lighting in the room is like. This means that if you wake up in the middle of the night (I'm sporadically insomniac) you can set the lighting to precisely the level that is easiest for you, and read a few chapters without disturbing your partner, without switching on the bedside lamp at all. Children and young people should note that a Kindle allows blissful midnight reading when you are supposed to be asleep.

4 The touch screen. This means I have the ability to change the font including size and spacing with ease. Especially useful for - ahem -  older people.  If I wake up and want to read in the middle of the night, I don't even have to fumble around for my specs. Everything pops up when you want it, and quietly goes away when you don't.

5 The way in which it opens any book I've been reading at the page where I left off reading, even if I'm reading two or three books at the same time - and I often am. The way in which if I happen to fall asleep in the middle of a chapter, it will quietly switch itself off, and as quietly switch itself on again whenever I want to resume.

6  The Cloud. If anything goes wrong, the books are still there. And so far, I've been deeply impressed by the speed of Amazon's customer service. I haven't had anything like this from any other company. Not once. Not ever.

7 The battery life. Very, very long. So long that when the little message pops up saying 'your battery is getting low' it comes as something of a surprise. Then you realise it's been weeks.

8 The speed of download. If I find a book I want to read, I can be reading it within seconds. As a writer, I love the idea of the impulse buy, because I know how very often as a reader, I have thought 'that looks like a good book' but haven't been able to find the time to travel the ten miles to the nearest bookshop, and then I couldn't find a parking space and when I did, it wasn't in stock and then I meant to buy it but life intervened and I forgot. Also, I can find books I didn't even know existed, but typed a few random search terms into Amazon. This is especially true of non-fiction books. Because I do a lot of research for my own fiction, this facility is vital. Invariably, it's a pleasure to use.

9 The ability to 'sideload' other documents, including my own work, onto the Kindle by means of a simple email attachment. For a writer, this facility is invaluable. We're always paranoid about losing versions of our work. Plus reading a document on a Kindle is a very good way of doing some additional editing. Typos and other mistakes fairly leap out at you.

10 Above all, I love, love LOVE the way it isn't connected to anything else except the bookstore. No social media. No Facebook, no Twitter. None of those new Facebook heads that pop up on your phone when you have downloaded the horrible FB message app even when you don't want them. No temptation to comment. Nothing that doesn't relate to the book. The dictionary is there if you want it. You can highlight and make notes. You can find more books. When I'm reading that's all I want. I can imagine that I might at some point acquire a Kindle Fire, but I wouldn't want to be without this simple version. Are you listening Amazon? I love the purity of it. I love the peacefulness of it: me and my Kindle Paperwhite, quiet, comfortable and completely without distractions except for the cup of tea on the bedside table.

It's an affair of the heart.

To read some of my books on your Kindle, follow the links from my website


Kathleen Jones said…
I feel the same way about my Kindle Fire, which I don't use for anything but reading. I couldn't travel carrying enough books otherwise! or read at night . . or in the garden . . and for editing it's brilliant.
Why do people assume that just because you've got a Kindle you have to give up paper books? I love them just as much, but I wouldn't read so many books without a Kindle!
Becca McCallum said…
Hear hear! I have a normal kindle and I love it - it's enabled me to find so many books...and I haven't had to pay a penny for them, because they are all out of copyright. But I also love 'real' books, and if I came across a copy of an old book I have on kindle then I'd buy it too...
Susan Price said…
Agreed! I have a Kindle Fire, and it lives in one of those magnetic jackets that turn it on and off. I carry it about with me from room to room, hugging it. It always travels with me. I can have a quick look at emails, though I rarely answer them on it - I do delete unwanted ones. I can write on it, with the Documents to Go app.
It's surprising I haven't named it. Has anybody given their Kindle a name?
What a good idea, Susan. Maybe we should have a 'name your Kindle' competition on Authors Electric! Kathleen and Becca, you're right. Sometimes I buy in both forms, especially when I've loved a book. Railsea for instance. Read it on my Kindle, but had to buy the paperback as well. I sometimes wish publishers would add a free eBook to a paperback purchase. It surely shouldn't be beyond the bounds of practicality to do it.
Bill Kirton said…
When I got my old bog-standard Kindle, I loved everything about it except the tiny, fiddly buttons on the keyboard. Making notes and selecting and highlighting text in books I was reviewing was slow and frustrating but the buying and reading experience etc. was a joy. If the Kindle Fire or Paperwhite has made note-taking easier, I may not even wait for Xmas to get one.