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The biggest debate that a book lover has is whether to read a physical book or to read a book on an e-reader such as a Kindle, or perhaps purchase an iPad or a tablet that potentially has other advantages!
You should definitely buy a Kindle if you wish to read books on a digital device. Kindle is still the market leader when it comes to e-readers. The Kindle ecosystem also has the largest collection of books for readers. The excellent customer support extended by Amazon is also quite helpful.
In this article, I wanted to share my experience of owning a Kindle as a book lover. We shall take a look at who should consider buying a Kindle, some advantages of a Kindle, and deciding on buying a Kindle or an iPad (or other tablets). I will also recommend which Kindle to buy if you need help on that front!
So, without further adieu, let’s get started!
Note – If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here’s the gist – I highly recommend purchasing a Kindle if the main goal is reading books. Furthermore, I’d recommend purchasing this Kindle version as you get the best bang for your buck with this model!
Who Should Consider Buying a Kindle?
Let us get straight to the point. Let’s talk about who is the Kindle most useful for?
You should consider buying a Kindle if you are an avid book reader, you like to carry books while commuting or traveling, you like to read multiple books at a time, you like to get instant access to new book releases, or perhaps you prefer environment-friendly option over physical books!
If you prefer any of the factors mentioned above, a Kindle will be a good choice for you. And, there may be more reasons to buy a Kindle to read books. Additionally, your reason to read books on Kindle can be different from the ones I’ve listed.
For instance, my spouse loves reading on her Kindle because now she can carry several books at the same time on her vacation. Previously, this would have added quite a bit of weight to her baggage!
That said, if you love to own physical books, stack them on your bookshelf, and take pride in showing off your book collection, then perhaps Kindle might not be the right way to go!
The truth is – Kindle is not for everyone. However, there are several advantages of owning a Kindle.
5 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Kindle
While there are several reasons to own a Kindle, let me share with you a few reasons (that I feel are compelling) why you should consider buying a Kindle.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of buying a Kindle is the convenience factor!
Kindle weighs about 205 grams. On the contrary, an average paperback physical book printed in the US weighs about 530 grams!
Furthermore, the Kindle Paperwhite has a dimension of 6.9” x 4.9” x 3.2”. So, not only is it light in weight than a traditional book, but it is thin enough such that you can easily fit it in your purse or a laptop sleeve!
This makes carrying a Kindle with you quite convenient and comfortable.
Add to that the fact that a Kindle can last weeks on a single charge, and it really does feel like a real book! Kindle’s exceptional battery life is a big advantage that an e-reader like a Kindle has over iPad and other tablets!
2. Environment Friendly
As you may be aware, printing physical books actually require cutting several hundreds of trees! In fact, according to an estimate, 24 trees are cut to make just 1 ton of paper!
On average, about 80,000 to 160,000 trees are cut every single day around the globe in order to manufacture paper! Cutting trees at such a high rate adversely affects climate change.
Reading books on Kindle is a more effective way of reducing the consumption of paper and thereby reducing the number of trees that are cut.
You may be wondering if you have to pay to buy a Kindle, then how is it cost-effective to read books on Kindle!
Interestingly, the Kindle Edition of a particular book is usually cheaper than the hardcover of the paperback version of the same book! In some cases, you can buy the same book at a 50% discounted price when you buy the Kindle version of the book.
I actually carried out a detailed analysis to understand if Kindle is really worth it. Here’s what I found out! You can easily recover the cost of your Kindle in just 6 months even if you are a casual reader by simply buying the Kindle edition of the books instead of the physical books! I
Furthermore, you can also find hundreds of FREE books for your Kindle on Amazon. So, you do get a lot of options that are very cost-effective!
Lastly, there are a few ninja ways to get the same book for a cheaper price. For instance, you can try to change the country of your Amazon store location. Some books are offered at a cheaper price in other countries!
You can also take a Kindle Unlimited subscription. This effectively reduces the price per book as many books are offered for FREE with Kindle Unlimited.
I did a rough calculation the other day, and I estimated that you can basically recover the cost of your Kindle if you were to read as little as just 20 Kindle books!
It is sufficient to say that reading books on a Kindle can be cost-effective!
4. Get Access to Books Instantly
Another advantage of reading books on a Kindle as opposed to buying physical books is that you get instant access to books as soon as you pay for them through your account!
Contrarily, if you were to purchase physical books from Amazon, there is a waiting time for the books to be delivered to your doorstep.
Amazon now also allows you to pre-order your favorite books even before they are launched, and they now automatically get downloaded to your library as soon as the books are released! I find this feature extremely useful!
5. Carry Thousands of Books Anytime
Last, but not least, Kindle allows you to carry thousands of books at a time!
In fact, I did this detailed research where I concluded that on average, an 8GB Kindle can hold about 1500-1800 books!
That is more books than what an average person can read in over 30 years! All of this in just a simple device that can be easily stored in a purse or a laptop sleeve!
Just imagine the amount of space that many books will take at your house!
Is Buying a Kindle Better Than an iPad?
So, I’ll be honest, I contemplated buying an iPad instead of a Kindle for quite a few weeks! After all, you get several additional benefits and features with an iPad or a tablet!
Furthermore, an iPad or a tablet can be used for so many different purposes in addition to reading books!
But, in the end, I realized that the main reason I was even considering buying another gadget, be it an iPad or a Kindle, was reading. I also figured that most things an iPad could do, my smartphone could just as easily handle.
So, what I really needed was a device dedicated to reading such as a Kindle, and not an iPad or any other Tablet!
Here are some reasons why I decided to buy a Kindle over an iPad or a tablet!
1. Kindle Provides Distraction-free Reading
The biggest advantage of a Kindle is that it is dedicated specifically to reading books! While a Kindle does have a browser, the experience of browsing the net is pretty bad. I feel it is so by design!
Additionally, not having to look at notifications (which you would otherwise see on a phone or a tablet) really enhances the reading experience.
2. Kindle Feels Like a Real Book
Another major advantage of buying a Kindle over other devices is that reading a book on Kindle is as close to reading a real book as it can possibly get! The Kindle Paperwhite comes with a front light and a better screen resolution of 300 PPI, and makes it feel like the real deal!
When reading books on a Kindle, it does feel like you are reading a physical book due to the e-ink technology used. You don’t get a similar experience when using an iPad or a tablet.
3. Kindle Has Really Long Battery Life Than an iPad
Another big benefit of Kindle over an iPad or any other Tablet is the battery life!
Kindle really has quite a long battery life! The new Kindle Paperwhite can easily last 8 to 10 weeks on a single charge depending on your usage! That’s nearly 2 months of reading without charging your device!
Compare that to an iPad or any tablet that you are aware of, and Kindle will be a winner by a big margin!
4. Kindle is Less Harmful to the Eyes Than an iPad
Let’s face it – Kindle is designed for reading books! The e-ink screen emits really low levels of blue light and it is significantly less harmful than any traditional digital device!
This allows you to read on your Kindle for hours at a stretch without having dryness in your eyes.
In contrast to a Kindle, you won’t be able to read for long hours when using an iPad or any tablet. Furthermore, reading for long hours on such devices can also result in headaches!
5. Kindle is Cheaper Than Most Tablets
In addition to being more cost-effective than traditional books, Kindle is also cheaper than an iPad and most tablets with decent specifications!
Likewise, even if you buy any android tablet, although it might be cheaper than an iPad, it will usually be more expensive than a Kindle.
6. Kindle Has the Size and Weight Advantage over iPad
When it comes to the dimensions, Kindle definitely has the size advantage!
Kindle Paperwhite has dimensions of 6.9” x 4.9”. In contrast, the smallest iPad i.e. iPad Mini comes with an 8.3” display. The dimensions of this device are 7.69” x 5.3”. This may not feel all that big on paper. However, the bigger size can affect how the iPad fits in your purse or the laptop sleeve!
Kindle, on the other hand, conveniently fits in most bags and purses quite easily!
7. Kindle is More Sturdy Than iPad
Finally, it is important to note that the Kindle looks and feels far more sturdy than an iPad or most other tablets available on the market!
Even without the case, a Kindle can easily withstand a few drops here and there. The surface doesn’t slip that easily as compared to an iPad or some tablets.
Furthermore, the screen of the Kindle doesn’t crack as easily as an iPad and most tablets!
Granted you can get the safety net of AppleCare+ that comes with accidental damage cover. However, the cost of just AppleCare+ in most cases is almost the same as that of a new Kindle!
Which Kindle Should You Buy?
This topic actually deserves an article itself! In fact, I’ll write a detailed guide on which Kindle should you buy and I’ll leave a link here.
Meanwhile, here’s the short version.
The best Kindle to buy is the Kindle Paperwhite. It is waterproof, has adjustable warm light, and has better screen resolution and front light than the basic Kindle. Furthermore, it has most of the important features available in the more expensive Kindle variants!
Some people may consider purchasing the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition which costs $50 dollars more than the Kindle Paperwhite but comes with 32 GB of storage space, auto-adjusting light, and a wireless charging feature.
For some, just these three extra features don’t justify the additional $50. While, for a few others, the 32 GB storage space you get is totally worth the extra dollars!
Here’s my take on it – if you don’t listen to the audiobooks via Audible and primarily only prefer to read books on your Kindle, then the 8 GB is enough! However, if you prefer to listen to books in addition to reading them, then definitely go for the Signature Edition of the Kindle!
By the way – if you don’t use audiobooks, you should really check them out! Audible is currently offering a FREE Trial for 1 month. Using audiobooks allows you to read more books even when you are walking, doing household work, or exercising!
Do check out my other article on the number of books a Kindle can hold. In it, I also share a few different scenarios based on the behavior pattern of the user and the ideal model to purchase based on the usage.
Should You Buy a Kindle With or Without Ads?
It really boils down to your personal preference. But, here’s what you should know!
You should buy a Kindle with ads if you would like to save a few dollars. You will be shown advertisements on the lock screen as well as a small banner ad at the bottom of the home library. You won’t see any ads while reading a book.
The price difference can vary from one model to another. However, the Kindle Paperwhite special offers (Kindle with ads) is usually priced about $20 cheaper than a Kindle without ads.
The ads shown are really non-intrusive in my opinion. You will see an ad on the lock screen of a Kindle. This doesn’t consume any additional battery. The Kindle lock screen either way displays a pattern design. The ads will replace this pattern design.
In my opinion, the Kindle with ads functions exactly like the Kindle without ads. So, if you are a bit tight on the budget, definitely go with the Kindle with ads. If $20 doesn’t mean much to you, simply go with the ad-free Kindle model.
Reasons Why Not to Get a Kindle
Okay! So, throughout the article, I’ve been sharing with you why Kindle is a good idea. I also wanted to share a few things about a Kindle that you will miss (or could be made better).
1. Lack of Multimedia Experience
Kindle is designed to give you an experience akin to reading a book. And, it does quite a good job at that!
But, Kindle is not designed to give a multimedia experience. You can’t watch videos, play games, browse the internet, and do a few other things that you otherwise could with a tablet.
If those activities are your priority, then perhaps Kindle is not the best choice for you.
2. Accessing Non-Amazon Books
This one is actually not that big a deal. But, I wanted to share it anyway simply because I find it really easy to do on a tablet or a smartphone than on a Kindle.
So, Kindle is really designed to access books from Amazon. However, there would be occasions when you perhaps get some books from other platforms as well. Transferring these books to your Kindle can be cumbersome for some!
In fact, this is the exact reason why I have written multiple detailed guides on how to transfer books to your Kindle. The easiest method that I’ve found is to transfer the books via your send-to-Kindle email address.
However, the process is rather quite straightforward when I’m using a tablet or a smartphone. All I have to do is simply download the book to my device, and open it with the Kindle app! I don’t have to deal with transferring the books from one device to another!
3. Lending Books is an Issue
This problem holds true for most ebooks irrespective of whether you use a Kindle or a Tablet to read the ebooks.
When you own a physical book, it is quite easy to share the book with your family members. Simply pick it up and give it to them!
But, with ebooks, there are digital rights management (DRM) issues that prevent books from being shared amongst people. Yes, there are ways to share books with your family members. For instance, you can set up a Kindle Family Library and share the books with your spouse and kids.
However, nothing can beat the simplicity of just picking up a book and sharing it with others!
4. Library Access
If you are someone who borrows books from a library to read, then Kindle may not be your first choice.
In some countries such as Canada, libraries allow you to borrow books. As a result, you may end up borrowing more books than purchasing! Kindle restricts the ability to lend books to readers.
As a result, a better choice would be to go with Kobo instead of Kindle if you prefer to read by borrowing books from a library through a membership!