A month ago I mentioned I was having issues with my Kindle. I couldn’t solve the problem easily and decided that reading is simply too big and too important in my life to be pissing around with devices that don’t work to my satisfaction (and yes, e-book naysayers will be chiming in with ‘Books never malfunction!’ but I won’t enter into a debate on that issue as I enjoy both e-books and paper books for different reasons).
Yesterday my new Kindle Paperwhite arrived. And the question is this (in the words of eighties legend, Alison Moyet) –
And the answer is yes, yes it is love. But let me qualify that.
The things I love about the Kindle Paperwhite –
- The built-in backlight is sensational. You can adjust the brightness depending on where you are. I tested it last night in a dark room – at full brightness it lit up the room like the MCG so I toned it down to quarter strength and it was perfect for my winding-down-at-the-end-of-the-day chapter or two.
- The ‘paper’ screen is magnificent. My point of comparison is the very first Kindle and I was impressed with its matte screen. The Paperwhite is better – the page is crisp white, the text a true black and the resolution impeccable.
- Fonts. You can choose from six. I love this feature. I notice fonts. I’m the person who is thrilled by authors/publishers that include ‘a note on the font’ in the back of a book (rarely seen but when it’s there, I always read what’s said). So far, I’ve favoured Futura.
- There’s a ‘Time to Read’ feature – the Kindle magically judges your reading speed and then tells you how long until you finish the chapter and also how long it would take you to read the whole book. I haven’t read enough yet for this feature to be fully synced but it’s going to be ace.
- I’m tempted by the ‘Share’ function that allows you to share passages/ notes/ titles via social media. I haven’t linked it to my Twitter account. Yet.
- When you look at your collection of titles, you see the book covers – a huge improvement on the list of titles on my old Kindle which would sometimes leave me wondering “What book is that?” – seeing book jackets is a nice prompt when you’re deciding what to read next.
Now that you’re feeling the love, know that there are a few things that I don’t like.
- The Paperwhite has a clock. Now I know how late I’m up reading.
- I don’t like the ‘suggested titles’ hovering at the bottom of my home screen. They’re distracting and I certainly don’t need to add any more to my TBR stack.
- And the biggie – there is no text-to-speech function. I used text-to-speech occasionally on my old Kindle (and of course still can). In the end, I decided that I used the clip-on light on my old Kindle more than text-to-speech, so the backlight of the Paperwhite won me over. Note that there is no headphones jack so if you’re into audiobooks (I’m not), the Paperwhite is not the Kindle for you (but this more basic Kindle is).