Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Off-Topic: Kindle Paperwhite


On December 26th, after years of hesitation, I decided to order my first Kindle from Amazon. This was a tough decision for me to make, because I've loved the feel and smell of paper for years, but I finally took the plunge into the world of electronic reading, partly influenced by the cheap sales prices for Amazon's end-of-year sales.

One of the other reasons for my decision is my recent experience when moving home. I have boxes and boxes of books. They're now crammed into a small storage room, still in their boxes. They're so heavy. The trouble is my attitude to books, compared to other forms of entertainment media.

Music (CDs) -- Every CD I have ever bought has been listened to countless times.

Films (Blu-ray/DVD) -- I only buy a film on disc if I intend to watch it at least twice. I watch my favourite films a lot more often.

Books -- I rarely read a book more than once. Even my favourite book, "The Final Programme" by Michael Moorcock, has only ever been read twice. Occasionally I plan to re-read a book, but I rarely do it.

Looking at this comparison, it doesn't seem worth buying books, does it? I buy a book, read it once, then keep it in a box for years? That hardly sounds worth it. I could solve the problem by borrowing books from a library, or by giving books away after reading them. Maybe I should give away all the books in my boxes, but it gives me a bad feeling in my stomach. Even though I'll probably never read them again I can't help asking What If.

An electronic reader is a good solution, at least for new books that I haven't read yet. They don't take up space after they've been used. There's also a price advantage. Many of the books on my to-read list (which I've only delayed buying because I don't have the space for new books) are either free or very cheap.

I decided to buy an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite for a few reasons. It's the e-reader with the highest screen resolution, 300 dpi. It also has the longest battery life, running for weeks on a single charge. This is in contrast to other e-readers which are really only modified computer tablets and carry the ballast of a full power-hungry operating system.

I can't review the product in detail, because I only received it yesterday. The only book I've read so far is the "Kindle Paperwhite User's Guide", and I have to say that it was a pleasant experience. I felt no eye strain, which is a common bias against e-readers. I already know what the first book is that I want to read, so I might write more when I've read it. This is a new experience for me. But don't worry, readers, I shan't read so much that I don't have time to watch films.

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