Amazon Kindle - An amazing device that brought about a paradigm shift in the world of book reading and publishing - Transformative Gadgets

I have lost count of the number of times I have praised the Kindle to family, friends, acquaintances, and also to absolute strangers. I have been an avid book reader ever since I first discovered The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton in the local branch of Delhi Public Library, when I was 8. I loved looking through the metal book racks and discovering new and unexplored books. My sister and I would ride our bicycles to the library every two weeks to return old books and borrow new ones.

I have lost count of the number of times I have praised the Kindle to family, friends, acquaintances, and also to absolute strangers. I have been an avid book reader ever since I first discovered The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton in the local branch of Delhi Public Library, when I was 8. I loved looking through the metal book racks and discovering new and unexplored books. My sister and I would ride our bicycles to the library every two weeks to return old books and borrow new ones. 

Back then, we did not have a bookcase at home. Now all three of us - my father, my sister, and I have bookcases anyone would be proud of. My father has an enviable collection of Hindi novels and historical books. My sister has an interesting mishmash of books on fiction, self-help, spirituality, and all the books I have every written or contributed to. And I have a bright blue, old-style bookcase stuffed to brim with books. And I have my Kindle. 

Amazon Kindle, in my opinion, is the most amazing device every created. First it was just the Kindle, then they introduced the Kindle Paperwhite, and humankind finally reached the ultimate level of evolution,  in terms of book-reading, they can ever hope to achieve. I have no reservations in admitting that Kindle Paperwhite is my most favorite gadgets. People love phones, smartwatches, iPads etc. I love a Paperwhite. 

Before I get into the pros of owning a Kindle Paperwhite, let me dwell on some cons too. 

1. You will miss the fragrance of a new book and the joy of holding a paperback or a hardcover book. This is a feeling that can never be replaced by anything else. I myself will always 

2. In an episode of And Just Like That, the spin-off of the popular Sex and the City,  Miranda hits a mugger who is trying to snatch her friend's bag, with a big fat book, to great impact. She mentions "you can't do this with a Kindle", and I agree. Also, if you are holding a Kindle instead of a book, you will probably guard it with your life. Whereas a book can take care of itself in such situations. No mugger is likely to try to snatch it. 

3. You will not look as nerdy (or cute) as you do when you are engrossed in a paperback. If you are seen engrossed in a Kindle, people will not automatically assume that you are an avid book reader, they may assume that you are addicted to devices. 

4. A Kindle will most probably break if it falls down, whereas a book won't. 

5. A Kindle has a plastic body and is probably made of several non-renewable resources that are procured through mining and other activities that degrade the Earth in the long term. So I am not arguing that Kindle is a green device. In fact if you are not an avid reader, you will probably never breakeven the carbon emissions related to buying and using a Kindle. 

6. Because Kindle is an electronic device, you need to charge it periodically. Even though it lasts a few days on full charge, you do need to carry a charger etc. 

And now, here are the pros of a Kindle:

1. If you are an avid reader and read at least two books a month, your Kindle is a greener device than paperbacks. Here is a study that supports this claim https://www.cnet.com/culture/study-paints-kindle-e-reader-a-dark-shade-of-green/ 

2. The comparison between a book and a Kindle isn't fair. When you are carrying a Kindle, you are not just carrying a book, you are carrying an entire bookcase or even an entire bookstore or a library in that tiny backpack. A Kindle Paperwhite 8GB can hold about 6000 books. And on top of that, you will always have access to more books that you can either borrow (via Kindle Unlimited) or purchase. If you are a traveler, what can be better than this?

3. When you are reading a paperback, you cannot increase the font size. Whereas when you are reading on a Paperwhite, you can increase the font size, thus making the reading experience better, especially if you use reading glasses. 

4. Since the Paperwhite is backlit, you can enjoy the feel of reading a book without straining your eyes even when the lights are off. So when your spouse is asleep, you can still enjoy your book without disturbing him.   

5. Even though the Kindle also provides the ability to bookmark a page, you rarely need it because a Kindle automatically opens the last page you were on when you were reading a book. 

6. With a Kindle, you do not need to refer to a dictionary if you come across an unfamiliar word. With the SmartLookup and Wordwise features, you can just tap on that word and the translation or the meaning pops up. Imagine the power of this. 

7. You can highlight sections of text and prepare notes. You can also find out which are the most highlighted sections of a book (by other readers). You 

8. Because a Kindle is focused on offering a fantastic reading experience, all you can do on this device is read books. So unlike tablets and phone, you are not distracted by notifications or pop-ups. It is a book-reader and it does not claim to be anything else. 

9. The latest Kindle Paperwhite also lists your audible content that you can listen to using your device. You can also access your Comixology Mangas and graphic novels. All of these can be tracked via goodreads. 

So as you can see, the advantages of using a Kindle far outweigh the disadvantages. If you have any opinions on this or if there are any points that I missed, please feel free to leave a comment. 

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