Recently, I got a Kindle Paperwhite! It was an upgrade for me, because I’d been using the Kindle for about 8 years. I loved my old Kindle, but after so long I was starting to find that the buttons you use to turn the pages no longer had that satisfying click, and the battery life wasn’t what it once was. As my birthday was coming up, I asked for the Kindle Paperwhite and my mum very kindly bought it for me. Today, I’m going to discuss the Kindle (the new models might be slightly different to my older one!), and the Paperwhite and compare them to help you decide which model is for you. I will also touch on the Kindle Oasis which is the more expensive option, and why I personally don’t think it’s worth the price tag.
The first thing I would say is that with all Kindle models, even the cheapest, is that you don’t need to worry about having enough storage space. All models can store hundreds of books, and even the basic Kindle will have more storage than you’re likely to ever use. Of course, if you want literally thousands of books you might run into problems, but if you want a couple of hundred there’s nothing to worry about (and you can easily delete and redownload books as needed if you do manage to run out of storage space).
My old Kindle had a few buttons, but the newer models have swapped to the touch screen model. I personally quite liked having the buttons because they were a bit more tactile, but the touch screen will make the experience a bit smoother if my Paperwhite is anything to go by.
The old Kindle model also had a feature I loved: collections. Books on the old Kindle models are simply listed alphabetically, so it can be hard to navigate, so I created a cataloguing system. Essentially, you could create folders to add your books to. The folders were also sorted alphabetically, so I named my folders “|> 100 Fiction” etc so they would always be pushed to the first page. I had 100 for Fiction, then 110, 120 and so on for genres. Then I had 200, 300, and 400 for Non-Fiction, Poetry and TBR. I added books to collections as soon as they were downloaded to make sure it was easy to find them, and it worked a treat. I liked being able to see how many of each category I had, and I liked that it made navigation a lot simpler.
The Kindle Paperwhite
I have the newest Kindle Paperwhite, so everything I say here will be applicable to the latest models. As the basic Kindle has undergone a major revamp in the last few years, the collections I just spoke about are likely no longer an option, so please remember I was talking about the circa 2012 model!
The Kindle Paperwhite has a touch screen, though the left side of the screen turns the page back, which makes it harder to read with one hand if you want to hold it in your left hand. The touchscreen is also a little slow for anything you want other than turning the page, so sometimes I struggle to bring up the top menu to exit the book because the touch screen isn’t responding fast enough. The Paperwhite does have 8GB of storage, which is more than the Kindle, but I don’t think I’ll actually touch the extra storage space! It’s also splashproof which is a nice bonus for anyone who likes reading in the bath. I’m not a bath person, but I can imagine that when we can go on holidays again I’ll be reading on my Kindle by the pool with no fears! I’m also told that the Paperwhite is compatible with Audible if you have bluetooth headphones, but I’ve not tried this out as I’m not a big audiobook person, so someone please do correct me if I’m wrong.
The Paperwhite library cannot be separated into collections (so far as I can tell), but you can filter by unread books, and there’s also a search bar that can search the device, or the Amazon store, so navigation is easy enough. I believe this library system is now also used by the new Kindle models, again, someone please let me know if I’m wrong!
Overall, I do think the Kindle Paperwhite is worth the £129.99 price tag. The Kindle’s £79.99 price tag is a really good price, though, especially if you’re not planning to use it too regularly. When I was looking at upgrading I did consider getting the standard Kindle, but the improved screen resolution and waterproofing pushed me towards the Paperwhite. The Paperwhite is also lighter than the standard Kindle I believe, though neither of them are exactly hefty. The final Kindle, the Kindle Oasis is, in my opinion, not worth the cost. It comes with a massive £229.99 price tag, and for that money, you get everything the Paperwhite has to offer, plus a slightly larger screen (7” compared to 6”), better lighting, “ergonomic design”, auto-rotating pages (super annoying if you’re trying to read on your side, I imagine), and page turn buttons. To me, those upgrades sound unnecessary to the average user. The lighting on my Paperwhite is perfectly fine for me, and I don’t tend to rely on the device’s light to read by, so improved lighting isn’t something I’m interested in. The larger screen would be a nice addition for readers who might have issues with their site, as obviously you can have a larger font without having ridiculously few words per page, but for the most part, the gap in the price doesn’t seem justified.
I do recommend an ereader generally for voracious readers, whichever you decide is right for you! They’re convenient to carry around, can lead to savings in the long run (ebooks are often cheaper than physical copies), and are also probably more environmentally friendly than thousands of books (though I haven’t actually looked at the science of that, but it definitely reduces the amount of paper you’re consuming if not your carbon footprint…). You can also email PDF documents to your Kindle, which I wish I had done for my University reading because I really don’t like reading on my laptop screen! Do you use an ereader? Which one?