Before I get into my Kindle Paperwhite Review, I want to give you some backstory on where my life has been headed over the past few weeks. I’ve been pondering the role technology plays in our lives. It all started when my wife and I spent a weekend away for our anniversary, and I purposely didn’t keep my phone with me for an entire day. I knew she had her cell phone in case of an emergency with our children, so I just left it at the hotel. One of the main reasons I didn’t want it with me is because it was the day of the Georgia vs. LSU college football game, and I didn’t want to know the score until it was over. For the first time in many years, I went 12+ hours without picking up a cell phone to check e-mail, respond to a text message, or visit a website.
When I type out that previous sentence, I am genuinely horrified. Technology has become so ingrained into our lives that if we don’t respond to a text message within five minutes, we get a follow-up message: “hello?”. We are so accessible that we need our phones to send an auto-response while we are driving. How did we go from “it’s awesome having a smartphone” to “WHY DIDN’T YOU RESPOND TO MY EMAIL WHILE YOU WERE DRIVING?”. I came away from that weekend knowing I needed to strike a better balance in my life with technology. By abstaining from technology for an extended period, I had realized how it affects my mood when I use it frequently. I have already recognized how it can change my children’s attitude when they use it for long periods. We are now using Screen Time on their iPads, and I limit them to a half hour per day. As I began to detach from technology when away from work, I decided I wanted to spend more time reading in my free time.
One thing you should know about me: I am an anti-hoarder. I am the type of person who could live in a one-room house and be content. Purchasing and storing physical books is not something I am interested in doing. I don’t want to read books on an iPad because the temptation is there to do other things, and I also want my kids to know I am reading. I quickly began to consider purchasing a Kindle. I decided to go ahead and order one, but as soon as I did, Amazon announced the brand new Kindle Paperwhite. I quickly canceled my order, and patiently waited for the new one to arrive. When I say “patiently waited,” I mean I used my wife’s older Kindle Paperwhite instead. I’ve spent the past week with the newest model, so I want to give my thoughts on it so far. My Kindle Paperwhite review might be different than other ones you’ll read because I am coming to this device as someone who typically hasn’t read a lot in the past.
Should you buy a Kindle Paperwhite?
The Kindle Paperwhite is the best value for an e-reader on the market right now. It’s thin, it’s light, it’s waterproof, and it can store countless books. Since I’ve owned it, I’ve carried it around like I do my smartphone. When I go to work, it’s in my bag. When I go to bed, it’s on the nightstand. When I need a few minutes to myself after a long day, I grab my Kindle. It’s become my go-to technology device.
I’ve been an avid audiobook listener for years, but I’ve never made the time to read. I used to tell myself that I didn’t enjoy reading, but the truth is that I was so addicted to my smartphone that I needed to check Twitter just one more time. The problem wasn’t the lack of time, but I was so wired into technology that my brain couldn’t slow down enough to sit calmly and get engrossed in a book.
The 6th generation Kindle Paperwhite is very similar to previous models when it comes to the software. Its value is not what it can do, but what it can’t do. There is nothing to get distracted by except your book. You can easily buy new books, browse the store, and swap back and forth between books. The software isn’t near as fast to the touch as an iPad, but it doesn’t need to be. The battery will last for weeks at a time (turn off Bluetooth for an even longer battery life), so it’s one less thing to charge.
For this point in my life, the Kindle Paperwhite is the most essential device that I own. I’d choose it over an iPad or an iPhone. Using it (and spending a lot less time with other devices) has indeed made me a happier person.
Should you upgrade an existing Kindle?
If you are coming to this Kindle Paperwhite as an existing Kindle user, it’s a bit tougher of a discussion. Is it nicer? Absolutely. Do I prefer it over the previous model? Absolutely. Is it worth $129.99? That is a more difficult discussion. The fact that it’s waterproof will make it a great addition to your pool bag in the summer. It’s slightly thinner and lighter than the previous version, but we’re just splitting hairs when we compare it. If you love to read, then I would recommend an upgrade. I do prefer the flush design on this model, and you can now use Audible books paired with Bluetooth headphones as well. I say all that to say, If you only read a book every few months, you can probably skip this generation. If you are a very avid reader, add it to your Christmas list.
Which Kindle Paperwhite should you buy?
The least expensive model is the best buy in my opinion. It can only connect via Wi-Fi and has 8GB of storage, but that will be plenty to store hundreds of books and even a few audiobooks. Even though the LTE connection doesn’t add a monthly cost, the upgraded device is $249.99. Unless you want to store 10+ audiobooks at a time and download books when away from Wi-Fi, I would advise you to go with the 8GB Wi-Fi only device.
Kindle Paperwhite Review Wrap Up
As I wrap up this Kindle Paperwhite review, I want to leave you with a few parting thoughts. Since I’ve made a point to spend less time with my smartphone and more time reading books, I’ve been a happier person. In a lot of ways, the Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect technology device. It brings us all the benefits of technology without any of the negatives. If you’re struggling with your ability to wind down and unplug, the Kindle Paperwhite needs to be on your Christmas list. The new Kindle Paperwhite is $129.99. For my case, I chose the black leather case from Amazon that is $39.99.
If you want a book recommendation, I just finished Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL, and I loved it.