Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A new electronic member of the family...

After an obsessive two days of tracking, my new Kindle arrived on Saturday, and I've been dying to review him on here. I've christened him "Patrick." ;-) That's Mike's middle name, it's just sentimental and cute for me. But let's start with a little history, shall we? Settle in with your tea or coffee...

My very first foray into an e-ink reader was in March 2012, with the 4th Generation Kindle, the model with the small 5-way controller at the bottom:

I loved her from the first moment. :) I assumed that maybe I'd read 50/50 ebooks vs. traditional print books, but I was wrong. Very quickly, I was reading about 90% on my Kindle. It is incredibly convenient - no paperbacks taking over my bookcase that I'm unlikely to reread, so easy to hold and read in bed or while eating, no worries about procuring new books since I just snap them up when they're heavily discounted (which happens a LOT with Kindle books), complete instant gratification, and when you travel, you just bring one device rather than multiple books. This Kindle always worked great for me and is one of my top purchases of all time. Love it.

Since Christmas, I'd noticed that occasionally the device wouldn't turn off, and I'd have to do a hard restart to get everything working again. That always worked, but it was a sign to me that this beloved Kindle was showing her age a bit. Plus, the newer models all have touchscreens, and I have to admit, the 5-way controller is a pain in the backside. It was fine when that was the only option, but now? Better options available for the same price.

So, I started looking. The newest basic Kindle went on sale (regular price is $79), and the rest is history. :0 $59?! I swooped in. New Kindle now in my hot little hands, my older model currently residing with Henry. So here we have Patrick:

Notice how I already have collections set up on him (Catholic Fiction, Amish Fiction, Suspense, etc. Total librarian nerd over here, unashamedly), and the touchscreen is a breeze. Everything is SO much easier on this device in comparison to what I was used to. Set up was a breeze, downloading all of the unread books from my cloud a total dream. Although, can I say how humbling it was to realize that I had 86 unread ebooks waiting for me? :0 Need to read what I have for a time, that's for sure.

I got the home screen set up the way I like with all of my book collections, and lovingly got Patrick settled into his case:

ADORE. It automatically puts the device to sleep and wakes it up just by closing/opening the cover, no need to ever touch the power button. Brilliant. The device itself does feel, I don't want to say "cheap," but this is clearly the low end model. It's a little blocky, has a clear plastic feel, but for the price? Can't beat it.  It feels sturdy, and it does what it does very well. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive e-reader.

One thing that this model lacks is a light. For that, you need the middle model Kindle Paperwhite. From the reviews I watched (very enjoyable lunch hour spent on YouTube right there) the software on the Paperwhite and this basic model are identical. But the Paperwhite is made of more rounded, smoother material, and has a built in, adjustable light so that you can read in the dark. I believe there are also some hardware differences, and the resolution is crisper on the Paperwhite. I'm thinking of a Paperwhite for Henry for Christmas, since he has been asking for more light to read by in his room. But for me, the basic model is perfect.

I've been happily reading with Patrick since Saturday night and couldn't be more pleased. I have no desire to read on my phone or on a tablet in terms of books. I absolutely adore the e-ink devices as a standalone for pure reading enjoyment. Anybody else have one and want to give us your device's story? :)


  1. Yay! Nothing like having a really awesome ereader!

    DH and I *love* our physical books (as in, one room of the house is a library, seriously), but they're really hard to travel with. Last Black Friday, we finally sprung for a tablet for me--a Samsung Galaxy. Oh my gosh. I LOVE this thing! We went to Paris and Switzerland over Christmas/New Year's, and I pretty much read the whole way over and back.

    I got the earliest black-and-white Nook with a touchscreen years ago, and for what it was then, it was quite good. However, I actually prefer a backlit screen for some reason, and this had a bigger screen than the Nook, too. I like that I can read a few chapters, then pin something on Pinterest, then check my email--all on the same device, and all while lying on the couch. Woot! I also have the Kindle Unlimited subscription, which I love. I mean, yes, I eventually want to buy a lot of the books I read on the tablet in physical form, but $10/month is a good deal cheaper than what they'd all cost all at once, let me tell you. ;) And for this, DH--not to mention our budget!--is grateful. Our local library has very little selection, so I think of Kindle Unlimited as a subscription to a much bigger library.

  2. This is great information, thanks Katherine! Kindle Unlimited is very intriguing, to be sure. What I like about the e-ink device is that I can't be distracted by other things like on a tablet, but I understand what you're saying about an "all in one." It's nice that there's something for everybody!


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