My love affair with the Kindle started in October 2008 when my husband purchased a first-generation Kindle for me. In those days, the Kindle cost ~$350. Crazy, right? That Kindle purchase marked a sharp decline in my purchase of dead tree books. I fell in love with the idea of carrying my entire library in my handbag, and practically overnight, I switched to e-books. My first e-book purchase was Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron.
As the years passed, technology flooded the market. I wobbled in indecision over the iPad (two generations worth of it,) but pre-ordered the first Kindle Fire on the day it was made available for orders. I enjoyed the Fire, but had never intended to use it as my dedicated e-book reader, and in April 2012, I finally upgraded to the Kindle Touch.
Of course, five months later, Amazon launched the Kindle Paperwhite. AARGH!
I’m not the kind of person who constantly upgrades to the coolest, newest toy. I had held on to the first-generation Kindle through at least three evolutions of the Kindle, but the Paperwhite promised the one feature I truly craved…a lighted screen. Does it make a difference? Check out this picture of my Kindle Touch and Kindle Paperwhite. I can now read at night in bed without disturbing my sleeping husband. In addition, the Paperwhite provides fine control over the amount of light emitted, and I’m sure I’ll be able to find a comfortable light setting for any environment.
Let’s talk about some other differences:
Popular Books Listing: The Paperwhite’s home screen is divided into two sections. The top half is your library. If you swipe the top half, it expands into a full screen of your library. The bottom half of the home screen lists popular books, by genre. Swiping through that lower half allows you to see up to 20 books within that genre. Tapping on a book gets you to the Amazon product page where you can read the description and purchase with 1-click. I like this feature (despite its ominous forebodings for my wallet…)
Home page button: Unlike the Touch, the Paperwhite does not have a physical “Home” button. To access the home page, you need to tap on the top quarter of the screen to access the menu, and then tap on the home button. Two steps instead of one; minor annoyance but not that big a deal.
Text-To-Speech: The Kindle Paperwhite does not have text-to-speech (TTS.) I rarely use TTS anyway, so it’s not a deal-breaker for me, but for those who use their Kindles as a cheap version of audio books, the Paperwhite is not for you.
Auto Turn Off (with the official Paperwhite cover): I love this feature. No need to turn off your Kindle. Just close the cover and the Kindle turns itself off. The cover is sturdy, well-made, and fits the Kindle Paperwhite like a glove, without adding much bulk or weight to it. The Kindle is embedded into a tight rubberized grip that runs along all sides of the Kindle (except the small area at the bottom where the charger fits. No unsightly tabs or bands, and the Kindle will not slip out, under any circumstances. (I almost broke a fingernail trying to get the Kindle out of the cover.) The overall effect is seamless. The Kindle and the cover are one, and they look great.