So i joined the 21st Century and bought a Kindle…

As an avid reader, I have long insisted on reading actual books. There’s nothing quite like the feel of a new book, of being the first to crack the spine and being able to lose myself in the world within.

I did give in and start using an iPad for some reading a few years ago, initially for work, and then when travelling. Not because I liked reading on the iPad specifically but because one of the major funding councils that I review grants for decided to no longer send out paper copies and I just couldn’t justify the expense of printing the boxes full of paper copies to conduct the reviews. However, I still found myself printing some of the sections as I struggled to adjust to reading on an electronic screen. Over time that did get easier.

However, part of my problem was that I am an extremely fast reader and that I can turn a paper page far faster than technology could keep up. However, my iPad has pretty much come to the end of its natural life. It is a first generation and many of the applications are no longer able to be updated. When it kept shutting down when I was attempting to read I decided that it was time to look into something different. Initially, I thought that I’d just stick with paper books still. I love our local library and thoroughly enjoy finding new authors by randomly selecting books from their shelves.However, with being housebound for the past few weeks the library hasn’t been an option for me. I’ve also been finding that it’s

However, with being housebound for the past few weeks the library hasn’t been an option for me. I’ve also been finding that it’s becoming harder and harder to find books that I haven’t already read as the library itself has been moving more to the provision of ebooks with a decreasing emphasis on paper books.

Additionally, over the last year or so I’ve seen both the Kobo and the Kindle radically improve in quality and speed as well as being reduced in size and weight while still maintaining a good amount of content on an electronic page.

Faced with the likelihood of many more hours in doctors waiting rooms and at the hospital, over the coming weeks, I decided that it was about time that I looked into e-readers once more.

Given that the community I live in doesn’t have a Chapters store (just a small Indigo store) I knew that I would have to order whichever e-reader I decided on from the internet. However, I had had the opportunity to look at both the Kindle and Kobo in the past few months, as several friends own them, so I had a good idea of the actual size and weight of each.

I’d already decided against just getting a tablet as I really don’t like the new operating systems (Windows 10 and android).

I did think about getting a new iPad but when I reviewed how much I’d actually used my old one for for anything other than reading I realised that my iPhone has pretty much taken over for everything else.

So for me, it was a simple choice between the Kobo and the Kindle. I looked online and read dozens of reviews. In general, it seems that the Kobo Glow and the Kindle Paperwhite seemed to run the closest and be the best of breed in both types.

While some reviewers stated that the Kobo had a little more functionality in some areas there were also some quality control issues reported.

In the end, I decided on a Kindle Paperwhite for four reasons:

  1. My aunt very kindly sent me an amazon.ca gift card for my birthday!
  2. While I had both Kobo and Kindle accounts on my old iPad, I had far more content in my Kindle account and I didn’t want to lose that.
  3. On average, e-books tended to be a little cheaper to buy for the Kindle, than for the Kobo
  4. It was Amazon Prime day on the 12th July and they were offering the Kindle Paperwhite for sale!

So, on Tuesday I joined the thousands of other people taking advantage of the Amazon Prime sale and bought myself a Kindle Paperwhite and case. Ironically, the case cost me nearly as much as the Kindle itself! However, as Kai picks things up for me all the time a case was essential to protect the screen from his teeth!

My new Kindle, and case arrived today. Within a matter of moments, I had the Kindle set up. It was very intuitive, which is good as the paper documentation is almost non-existent.

I then switched my Kindle account from my old iPad to my new Kindle. This was when life got a little frustrating for me. I have 1,568 books in my Kindle account. (Remember, I did say that I am an avid reader!).

However, there doesn’t seem to be any way of

  1. Identifying which books had been read and which hadn’t until they were downloaded to a device, or
  2. Downloading them all to a new device in one go

So I have spent a couple of hours this afternoon downloading all 1, 568 books to the Kindle in batches of 10! The sync is still running several hours later and has now reached 93 pages in the index with just 741 of the books downloaded.

All 1,568 books were available on my Kindle via my Kindle account, but if I had just left them there I would always need to have a wireless internet connection to download the specific book that I want to read. Unfortunately, as my local hospital has a number of blind spots within its available wireless connectivity and I had opted against getting the Kindle with 3G functionality this wouldn’t always be possible.

Once all the books have downloaded to my device, my next step will be to go through all the books and remove the ones from my device that I’ve already read. If anybody knows a way of doing this automatically, please do let me in on the secret!

I’ll then be experimenting with the font size, backlight and other settings to get my Kindle set up as close to the look and feel of a paper book that I can. To that end, the case that I bought for it resembles a leather bound book in a stunning turquoise. So hopefully, I won’t be able to lose it either.

Oh, before I forget – how do I have over 1, 500 e-books without being in the poor house? The answer is a wonderful service called BookBub.

Anybody can currently register with BookBub for free. One you have registered you inform BookBub of your preferences for genres and every day it will send you links to books that are available that day in those genres, either totally free or for a very low cost.

By signing up for this service I have found some incredible new authors that have consequently led to me buying their other books (which is the point of the BookBub service I suspect). I’ve also found  some not so good books that soon get deleted. Interestingly, while I would never not finish the paper copy of a book I am quite happy to delete the electronic version if it doesn’t grab my attention straight away.

The next test will be for me to see if the refresh rate can keep up with the rate at which I read. It’s a little unrepresentative just now as I have some brain fogginess going on. However, based on the few minutes that I’ve experimented with it so far, I am very impressed.

So, to summarise, I may be a latecomer to this party but I am very much looking forward to carrying a ginormous library with me rather than having to pre-select the 5-6 books that I can physically manage for both travel and waiting room reading opportunities.

dr-seuss-reading-quote

One thought on “So i joined the 21st Century and bought a Kindle…”

  1. For me, books are in 3 categories: books that someone special has given me and therefore I probably keep forever; books that are beautiful in their own right and are therefore readable art that must be kept; and books that are “just for reading” which I am gradually replacing with Kindle versions and donating the physical books to a library…. I love the Kindle but I agree: it’s not the same!

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