Hello, my fellow Spirals!
I know that so many readers out there are hardcore paperback stans and will come at me for this post. I just wanted to give a disclaimer that I in no way discourage you for loving paperbacks. In fact I still get the appeal of it but Kindle just suits my needs better.
Now let’s get into it!
I think it’s only apt to start with HOW I switched to Kindle and then move on to the why.
My dad received the Kindle 8th Gen as a gift from his office as some kind of award. Obviously being the biggest (and only) reader in the family, it came to be mine. But mind you, this was all in 2017. I barely used the Kindle for more than an hour because I thought you had to pay for reading e-books (which you obviously do but that’s not the only way) and I wasn’t ready to spend money on e-books rather than paperbacks. I mean c’mon, why would I choose a soft copy over the fact that I can physically collect books. And the smell of paperbacks is so heavenly.
Anyways two years went by and the Kindle was collecting dust in some cupboard. I even considered selling it because no one was using it anyways. Besides I hadn’t read books AT ALL in those 2 years either.
Then pandemic came and I started reading the books in my shelf and fell back in love with reading. Now I couldn’t go anywhere or order books online AND the books I wanted were not even available in my city/country. That’s when I discovered that you can send PDFs and EPUB files to Kindle and read them using the device. This was an absolute game changer for me. I started sending my college textbook PDFs on it to read.
Then I found Libby (using my cousin’s account) which was another game changer for me that I’ll talk about in a different post. But with this app I could get ANY eBook I wanted on my Kindle.
Why I Love My Kindle
Having access to any book that I want to read meant I could explore more with my reading taste. It’s the sole reason I am able to love and enjoy so many genres of books and how my reading taste has evolved so much.
But more than that, I didn’t have the pressure to stick to a book if I don’t vibe with it. I could stop within 2 pages and never pick it up again if I didn’t want to. I can’t do the same with paperbacks because I feel like the money will go to waste. Mind you, we don’t have any established libraries in the country that I stay in so I can’t even borrow physical books from there.
But to me the BEST PART about using the Kindle is lying in bed and reading. Very minor detail about me: I lie down sideways and not straight up. So reading paperback while lying down like that is genuinely so hard. And if it’s a thick book then forget about it, there’s no chance. But with Kindle, it’s so effortless.
To me being a reader means catching me anywhere and everywhere with a book in my hand. Now that’s not quite always possible with a paperback for me, but with a Kindle? Definitely! Every time I have to stop out of the house, no matter how small an errand, I slip my Kindle into a small sling bag and head out. You never know how long you might have to wait for something and wish you had a bought a book with you. The slimness and compactness of the Kindle is so convenient for me thus enabling me to read on the go. In fact, it helps me read while eating too!
Plus, can we talk about how many books I could read at once while carrying the weight of less than 1 book?! I don’t need to worry about taking multiple books on a trip because every book that I want to read fits into my Kindle. I’m a mood reader so there’s a high chance that the books I picked for the trip won’t match my mood and then I’d be sour throughout because I couldn’t read THE book. But Kindle removes all the worry for me because I can pick literally anything.
I can’t speak for the price aspect of Kindle since I didn’t actually spend any money on it BUT I can guarantee that if my Kindle stops working *touch wood*, you bet I’ll be immediately buying another. It is my life and soul and probably the most important thing to me that I own.
Some Drawbacks of Kindle
I feel like giving two sides of a coin is the only fair way to convince someone that switching to Kindle is worth it.
- So starting with the most obvious reason, you don’t get the aesthetic appeal or feel of holding a physical book with a Kindle. To me, the act of just flipping pages, sitting in the park with the wind making your pages flip around is just so fascinating. Or even the act of holding a book while commuting on a train or bus to work is so cute. And reading from a Kindle just doesn’t look like that. It automatically looks like you could be holding an iPad or a large mobile which is the last thing I would want.
- People can’t see what you are reading with a Kindle. Now this point can go two ways: it’s great for people who actually don’t want others to know what they are reading especially when they feel like they are reading something embarrassing. But to me, I feel like it robs the possibility of sparking a conversation with a stranger about a shared interest or opinion about the book that I could be reading. I mean wouldn’t that be amazing to find someone reading a book that you love and you want to actually discuss it with them? No? Just me? Okay cool.
- Kindles can be quite pricey. Shocker, yes. BUT here’s the thing: if you are someone who reads A LOT of books like me then buying a Kindle is the best investment you can make for your wallet and your eyes. Let’s assume that you read 20 books a year, you still gotta pay a ton of money to buy those books. Now let’s say you do switch to reading eBooks on your phone or iPad at a much lower cost, it’s still insanely harmful for your eyes. With a Kindle you can pay lesser for books or even none at all if you use Libby while protecting your eyesight. Plus, saving up on book space is always a plus! Now I haven’t used the other models of Kindle but I own the most basic version and it gets the job done. I don’t think getting Kindle Paperwhite or Oasis is really necessary unless you have major cash to burn.
- You can’t annotate books extensively on Kindle. This point is the biggest one that has potential to break or make my decision to stick to a Kindle. I recently got into annotating where I add little Post It flags to the page or write a few lines. And while highlighting or bookmarking a page on Kindle works too, it’s just not the same. You can’t write on the eBooks because the typing experience on Kindle is slow and extremely frustrating. So my solution for this is buying physical copies of books that I know I might annotate on reading. Basically this comprises of either non-fiction books, historical fiction or literary fiction books in general which could have a high impact on me. The rest I just read on my Kindle because I am not interested in annotating Fantasy or Romance books.
That’s it, guys! I know there are A LOT of people who still enjoy paperbacks but the readers are slowly shifting to Kindle due to sustainability or personal reasons. Nevertheless, I’d urge everyone to give eBooks a shot if they haven’t already before forming a solid opinion about it.