I used to buy a few books every year for reading especially during massive book fairs where I can find the books on sale easily. Inevitably, there are many books that a black-and-white eReader version cannot replace, such as professional photography books, cooking recipes in which color and sharp images are crucial for effectively learning. However, paper price is getting higher as time goes and more trees should be preserved.
I started to look into eBooks and the first brand comes to my mind is Amazon Kindle. I started collecting and reading free books (mostly discounted ones) of what I find useful in many aspects like. This basically costs me nothing as the app is free for iOS and Android.
Earlier this year, I decided to go for a Kindle Paperwhite 2nd generation, 4GB, without special offers. The price I got from some local retailer at a lower price than US retail which is not bad. Kindle Voyage is way much more expensive and out of my budget despite of more superior specifications. Having been using it for month, though no excessive amount of time was spent reading on 600ish downloaded ebooks, I still highly recommend you get a kindle with 5 major reasons below:
1. Massive eBook library
Amazon Kindle Store has over one million books, newspaper, magazines and blog. The ecosystem is free and easy to enter. If you are a bookworm, and willing to pay a bit more, Amazon offers Kindle Prime and Unlimited that you can read books with discount or for free.
In terms of popularity and customer base, despite no official statistics to support, I believe Amazon is the leader of the eBook-mart and other service providers like Kobo, Barnes & Noble, or even Apple’s iBooks can yet catch up and provide as satisfying products and services IMO but YMMV.
The physical Kindle device is intuitive to use. It has superb battery life that you can simply forget about the device for a few weeks without having it died with no battery left. When you think of it, just pick it up whenever and where you want, flip through the books you want to read, as simple as that.
Additionally, Amazon has already allowed you to associate one family member’s account to your Amazon account and Kindle device(s) so that you can share purchased contents, both eBooks and Audible audiobooks. This really helps when you only have one device for the family it has been registered under one account only (which Kindle does not allow you to sign-in multiple account).
3. Tablets are not the best book-reading device
At said in the subtitle, tablets such as iPads, Android Tablets, etc, are not the best ebook reading device. The first main reason is that there are too many distractions. You can do too many things with the tablets and also will be disturbed by things like notifications, or simply tease from mobile games.
These devices have colour screens so of course reading magazines or graphic-rich contents will be more desirable. But as I mentioned in my previous post on computer screen light emission, prolonged exposure to excessive amount of blue lights will lead to eye fatigue, insomnia or permanent damage to the eyes. Some devices’ screen is too blinding to read even if it is scaled to the lowest point; some may not be anti-glare (or not performing so well). eInk display on Kindle has much less of this issue.
Additionally, the Kindle app is not perfect on these devices, except that you have a really powerful device that can handle the rendering and animations very well. Also it just take longer time to download the contents from the cloud than a Kindle. YYMV but that’s my experience so far.
4. Develop a reading habit
Without much distraction, you can focus back on reading your downloaded eBooks. This also does help you develop a reading habit whenever you see the Kindle around, or maybe you will think that’s a waste of money to get the machine.
What’s even more helpful is that you can occasionally visit Amazon website and see what is recommended for you. Or subscribe to the Kindle Deals newsletter that you will not miss the chance to get your favourite books with discount.
5. Save physical space
With limited and precious space that I have in my room, a eReader is definitely a good choice in saving the amount of space should have been or to be occupied by physical paper books. I also treat it as a little database as it can store thousands of eBooks. As long as I want to research on anything, I will have a convenient alternative to pick it up and look for it, at a glance or in detail.
You may argue that it feels better when a physical book on hand, or whatsoever. But these are my personal opinion and why I purchased a Kindle eventually. Judge yourself but I do hope this article will help you a bit on making a decision.