Updated: Jun 11, 2018
Most of you may already be reading e-books on Kindle app on a mobile or a tablet (at least I did!) so not really sure why or if you need actual Kindle device? Then you are in right place for an advice. Let’s find out!
I really love reading a physical book in hand, be it a technical book or any fun book (technical books can be fun, eh!). But then one time, I installed the Kindle app on my iPad and was pretty impressed with its capabilities, like I could zoom text, change background most suitable to my eyes, page turn animations were pretty amazing to emulate book like feeling and so on; besides Kindle books were also quite cheaper to their paperback counterpart (they still are). So it kept me hooked for long. I wasn’t quite sure I need actual Kindle physical reader, I knew it is better than reading on LCD screen but it still just wasn't convincing enough to buy a physical device. But after researching a little bit, I knew it was a right thing so I did buy it.
After reading on Kindle for almost 4 years(!) and a ton of books, I think I can give some honest reasons and not just technical mumbo-jumbo, which I got initially and really wasn’t convincing to me back then. And just to be clear, Amazon neither paid me nor sponsored this, it’s just honest 5 reasons I felt every ardent reader should know before deciding to buy it.
Reason 1 - Almost paper-like display
You probably already know and heard about it and Kindle uses E-Ink display. As that name suggests, it feels and appears like physical paper. The downside to this display is it can show limited color (pixel size is also large) but upsides are many, one major is no glare!
It wasn’t convincing enough while reading on iPad, that reading on Kindle would be no glare. Rather I could only feel implications of glare when I shifted and started reading on Kindle device from Kindle app on iPad. This means you can even read for 2-3 hours without feeling anything extra you would feel when reading a physical book in hand.
Reason 2 – Lightweight
This might sound silly but weight matters! Reading on heavy iPad meant I couldn’t hold it for long and then did also mean I had to put it at an angle which was not the most comfortable for reading. Kindle absolutely is light! It’s even lighter than the heavy physical book. I would not go in exact weight since it changes from model to model but simple googling will get you that info, if that is what you need to decide. But it is really light!
Reason 3 – Always available, cheap books
Kindle being virtual or e-book reader, allows you to organize your reading list into the virtual shelves. It’s always available to you anytime you need it. Book sizes are small so cheapest kindle device, too, can store thousands of books offline. You download it once and you can read it anytime.
Mainly, books for Kindle are really cheap than physical books, for obvious reasons. Newer Kindle now also allows audiobooks, so has higher storage size but the audiobook is not really an experience same as reading the book, at least in my experience. But that is part of personal taste!
Reason 4 – Easy Connectivity
All Kindle variants (there are multiple generations of this device) support wifi. There’s also a 3G enabled variant which works worldwide. What that does is when there’s no wifi you can connect using 3G connectivity. This special version of Kindle comes with built-in SIM card which connects to one of the local Mobile network Amazon has tied up with (there may be none in the area you plan to travel to, Amazon lists those on their website so do check out).
If you ask me wifi version is more than enough for most people. 3G enabled version is first, costly (super costly!) and secondly, it hardly finds so since these days wifi is such common availability wherever you travel. Also, keep in mind that you can’t browse on 3G connectivity even though Kindle supports limited capability browser.
There’s also social connectivity from Kindle. As you make progress in the book, you can post updates to Goodreads, you can also post line or lines from a book you like to any of your social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter. This might find some interest from people who are always online and like sharing.
Despite all this connectivity and usage, Kindle can live on one-time battery charge for almost a month, with tentative one hour use every day. This is pretty amazing.
Reason 5 – Vocabulary Builder
This is something interesting, I am pretty sure happens to almost all readers first time they start on Kindle (later it becomes something happens in the background). With reading on Kindle, anytime you see a new word in the book, you just press it and bring up a dictionary and see meaning of it (this works offline). This works so well that Kindle starts building your vocabulary over time. You will not even notice it but it just does! This is a good thing, really.
So To Summarize …
All in all, above six reasons something I found interesting and heavily impacting my personal use of Kindle. It is a good buy overall. Some of the higher-end versions of Kindle are unnecessarily overpriced and might not add much value for your hard earned money so you may want to do some research on features you will really use from the version you are thinking. If you are an ardent reader, you will definitely find that your reading time actually increased with a switch to Kindle device!