I finally upgraded my original Kindle to a Next Gen Paperwhite. Damn what an amazing little piece of technology. The higher contrast, back-lit screen is just so sexy, and looks great in both strong sunlight and pitch blackness alike.
I’m one of those people you could call a Kindle fanboy. It’s true, I love my Kindle to bits. I love the look and feel (and even smell) of a paperback novel – particularly hardcovers, but I just can’t go back to them. Everything from the size to the cost is prohibitive to me these days, and the fact I just love my Kindle.
About the only thing I miss is the physical ability to flick back and forth through a book, whenever I want to re-check the index, or a map, or just mark a passage. This new Kindle actually lets me do that anyway so it’s all good.
This new paperwhite is touchscreen and so far, completely responsive. While you can get them in a wifi only, or wifi and 3g option, I’d recommend only the wifi. Amazon has some deal worldwide which offers you free 3g through the device, specifically so you can buy books from anywhere, but the internet on them is generally pretty damned slow, and you’re better off just putting a few books on the device in advance. Or the fact it’s rare to be in a place that doesn’t have wifi coverage – unless you live in Australia of course, where it’s still the dark ages in terms of technological advancement.
One thing that does bother me about the Kindle though, is that I am not supporting local bookstores. I am buying my books from Amazon – which while great, with an unbelievably good selection, I still spend a lot of time browsing the likes of Dymocks and Readings. Hell, as much as people dont like the big chains, losing Borders was a big hit to the book world. I can think of several Melbourne suburbs which were made all the better by having such a ginormous bookstore present – one that actively encouraged reading in store.
Anyway – moral dilemmas aside, this is a great little piece of equipment, one that I can’t recommend enough. If you think it’s the same as reading a book on a backlit iPad or similar – think again. This is about as close to a book experience as you can possibly get – except digital.