If you know me, you know I love to read, and I love to have a full stack of books waiting for me. I have been a Kindle user from the very beginning, and a few years ago I made the jump from the OG Kindle to the Paperwhite. Looking to upgrade? Read on for my Kindle Paperwhite review!
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The Original Kindle
When I say I have been a longtime Kindle user, I mean it. I had the original version that came with its own 3G connectivity that allowed you to download books anywhere without a Wifi connection.
Once Wifi connections became ubiquitous, Amazon mostly phased out this feature and I find that I don’t miss it. I was reluctant to upgrade because I was worried I wouldn’t like the light on the Paperwhite. I absolute hate to read on my phone or my iPad because I don’t find reading on a screen enjoyable. Boy was I wrong.
Things I Love About the Kindle Paperwhite
- The light! Yes, I admit that I was wrong. Reading on a Kindle is NOTHING like reading on a backlit screen like you get on your phone or your tablet. Amazon uses e-ink technology that emulates the look of reading on paper. As for the light, it’s not backlit – in fact the best way to describe it is front-lit, although I don’t think that’s the scientific term. Regardless, it’s easy on the eyes, I promise. It’s perfect for reading in bed, especially if your partner is always asleep.
- You can take it anywhere. I’m the sort of person who wants to have a book with me just in case I have time to kill. With a Kindle, this is easy to do as it’s lightweight and holds thousands of books.
- No glare screen. Have you ever tried to read your phone screen in the bright sunlight? Forget about it. The no glare design of the Kindle means that you can comfortably read in full sunlight.
Where do you get books for the Paperwhite?
- Amazon – This is the most obvious answer. There really isn’t a way around using Amazon for buying books for your Kindle. That said, there are a lot of ways to get books for free on the Kindle. Amazon also offers programs like Kindle Unlimited where you can read an unlimited number of books for a flat monthly fee. (Be aware that the Kindle Unlimited collection does not include all Kindle books.)
- Your library! Yes, you can check out Kindle books from your library. Our How to Read for Free guide will walk you through it, but odds are your local public library has an ebook system (via Overdrive or Libby) that makes it easy to check out books and get them sent directly to your device
- NetGalley – Please hear the giant BUT WAIT I give you before recommending NetGalley as a resource for books. We’ve written an entire post all about how to use NetGalley effectively. It’s not meant as a hack for reading free books, but rather an easy way for publishers to get ebooks into the hands of book reviewers. If that’s you – good news! NetGalley offers an easy, one-click way to send your galleys straight to your kindle.
How much does a Paperwhite Cost?
The current price of an 8GB Kindle Paperwhite is $129. That is for the ad-supported version, which means that your lock screen will contain ads for books. I find these unobtrusive and I wouldn’t bother upgrading to the ad-free version. There are no ads while you are reading a book.
The Paperwhite goes on sale typically during Prime Day and Black Friday sales, although you may get lucky and catch another sale. I’ve never seen it lower than $79 which is for sure a buy it now price.
But what about paper books?
Many people say they would never use an e-reader because they love the feel and look of paper books. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If I find a book that I know I’m going to want to keep, to share, or to display on my bookshelf, I’ll buy a physical copy. I still check out physical books from the library. I like have options! With both a physical library and a ebook library to choose from, I am able to get many more library books this way – plus with ebooks there’s never a late fee or a rush to turn in books on time.
A Kindle is also great for traveling. You can bring as many books as you want without taking up valuable suitcase space!