Let me introduce you to my little friend ...

The ePaper Kindle is back in my life. I started out with one (the original model), then moved on to using tablets and phones and computers and stuff to read ebooks. Then, I got a Kindle Fire (see this discussion), and that was nice.

But I wanted an ePaper reading surface for all the reasons people tend to discuss. It is more like paper, perhaps does not have the down sides of constantly staring at a light emitting screen, etc.

There is an ePaper kindle that is under $80 (with the non obtrusive special offers on the sleep screen) that has very long battery time, holds a gazillion books, etc. This link will get you to the "New Kindle 6-inch". I'm sure that's a great Kindle, but I opted for the somewhat more expensive "Paper White" model: Kindle Paperwhite E-reader, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi. This comes in different colors (black vs. white) and with or without cell phone type connectivity.

The "Paper White" has mysteriously placed LEDs that light the screen from somewhere nearby the screen itself. It is like having a book light but using quantum mechanics instead of a tiny light bulb. I don't really understand it. It is optional: can be turned off for the full effect of ePaper, or turned up and down as desired.

There are a couple of elite super duper higher end versions of this as well that have potentially important differences, and some probably very unimportant differences.

The Kindle Voyage E-reader is slightly smaller and lighter and brighter (more of the LEDs). The "Kindle Oasis" has even more LED's, and comes with a fancy "charging cover," and is even smaller. This is for people who are so fancy they can spend nearly 300 bucks on an eReader that is smaller than everyone else's eReader!

To me, this is crazy. If anything, I'd like a larger one, maybe an inch taller and a quarter inch wider.

Here's the thing. The original Kindle and several early models had buttons that you could use to turn the page. That was annoying to many people but many got used to it. The "New Kindle" and the "Kindle Paperwhite" use only touch screen capabilities (but built on to the ePaper using some sort of magic). This eliminates the accidental page turning. The touch screen, however, is not the best touch screen in the world. I'm doing fine with it, I'm happy, but some people will want their damn buttons back. The Voyage and Oasis have both touch screen and buttons. And, they are vastly more expensive. I've not played around with them so I have no advice on this, but I don't really like the buttons so it was easy for me to not spend the extra money.

With this new eReader, I actually find myself reading more, and choosing the eBook option over the paper option more frequently.

More like this

I have a Kindle Voyage and the buttons are nice.

Sometimes my finger hits the screen and nothing happens. I don't know if my finger has low capacitance or what the deal is - but the buttons are nice to force the page to turn instead of hitting the screen multiple times to turn the page.

The paper white is a great value.

It is great to take a bunch of books on vacation without the bulk of paper books.

If you have Amazon Prime, don't forget to use your free Kindle Unlimited book per month and take a look at the six free books per month (called Kindle First). Also nice features.

Nicest thing about the Kindle pWhite, aside of the things you mentioned, is that after the lights are out -- or sun has gone down when you are camping -- you can still read. And its charge out lasts any vacation I have ever taken.

By trafamadore (not verified) on 25 Aug 2016 #permalink

I have a 2nd version Kindle with buttons. This summer I used my sister's newer Kindle. Didn't like the touch screen, and the reader itself seemed blocky like a child's toy.

While I would like a Kindle version that lights up at night for easy reading I don't want the touch screen or the ugly (in my opinion) look. I prefer my sleeker slightly larger old version. Also, I have a hard time justifying buying a new model when the old one works beautifully.

Usually I read non-fiction, which takes me a while to digest the information I decided to return to my childhood roots and go on a fiction reading binge this summer with ebooks from the library--records indicate I've averaged 5 books a week--and that old Kindle still felt like a new purchase.

I freely admit I'm probably emotionally bonded to my old Kindle (so many amazing journeys, both literal and figurative together) and am probably looking for justification to not abandoning it for a newer model. :)

By Dan Andrews (not verified) on 26 Aug 2016 #permalink

"The “New Kindle”.. use only touch screen capabilities... This eliminates the accidental page turning."

hm, my Kindle (the cheap bastard model, with touch screen only) turns pages accidentally all the time. It is also capable of highlighting text accidentally, although I have never yet been able to highlight text deliberately. It changes font size on its own - I can put it down, and the next time I pick it up the font is changed. When the font is small enough, it's almost impossible to get back to the main menu, since the responsive area of the touch screen is so tiny and I have fat fingers. I'd prefer buttons - maybe I need to go ebaying at the moon for an old Kindle.

That all said I'm still reading on it quite happily, though mostly Project Gutenberg books, with the wireless turned off so Amazon can't spy on my reading habits. The other advantage of turning wireless off is that eventually it runs out of ads to show you (cheap bastard model is ad-supported).

I wonder if this (paper white) would help me. It's getting much harder for me to read books due to cataracts (too soon to remove) and problems holding books (finger spasms and other stuff - aging is such fun:) )