The Canberra Times

Why I am a Kindle convert

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Picture by Shutterstock
Picture by Shutterstock

Maybe 15 years ago I tossed up the idea of getting an e-reader.

A lover of books since the days when my dad would take me along to the second-hand book shop to get a hold of the latest Baby-Sitters Club Mystery edition (it was the early 90s, OK?), I devour books like it is no ones business.

My dad set great reading habits for me at a young age. There was always a pile of four or five books haphazardly stacked on his bedside table and relaxation time consisted of sitting down with a book, not watching the TV.

Asking for a new toy was a game of folly, but a book? It was never a 'no'.

My tastes have changed. I said good-bye to the Baby-Sitters Club to move on to Harry Potter (which I remain obsessed with until this day), the wise words of my favourite essayist Robert Fulghum, and on to other more mature fiction and non-fiction reads.

As I got older and started to travel, my mind turned to e-readers as a chance to read on the go without the added bulk of carrying around a heavy or chunky book. Placing the Eye of the World by Robert Jordan or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in your handbag is no easy feat. Thick books take up space. There had to be an answer?

Hence, e-books. But when it came down to the crunch - to buy or not to buy - the book lover in me couldn't hit the purchase button. I love the feeling of a printed page, the sound of the page as it turns, the smell. An e-book just wasn't the same.


The catalyst towards an e-reader came from a few things: a flood (it's long story, but I lost all my precious books), the cost of physical copies, difficulty finding the books I wanted in stores and the physical space books demand.

So in 2023 I did it. I treated myself to a Kindle Paperwhite after weeks of humming and haring as a birthday gift to myself.

Well... I now have a Kindle stuffed with more than 130 books and growing every week. Last year alone, I made my way through reading 100 books as a challenge.

If there is one thing I know now about this product it is that it has changed my relationship with books and has done so for the better.

While the paperback lover in me still exists (I still buy physical books), the Kindle has expanded my reading, made it more accessible and enjoyable than before. I love that this product isn't anti-book. It is all about access wherever and whenever.

It is literally a library that fits in your hand.


If you are looking to become an owner of an e-reader, the Kindle is a great device to invest in.

There are a number of benefits:

Storage - The lowest storage on any Kindle device is 8GB of data. An average text-only e-book can be around 1MB to 2MB in size. That means even the entry level Kindle can store between 3000 to 6000 e-books. It is incredible to think that the device, which is lightweight and smaller than an iPad, can carry thousands of books which would otherwise require rows of book shelves to hold.

Battery life - This is the one benefit that has surprised me the most. The battery life on the Kindle is weeks. Even for the most avid reader one charge can provide weeks of reading time. On average, I charge mine every two to three weeks (I read every day). The battery length can change depending on your preferred lighting settings, but as a guide if it is set at a light level of 13 and you read around 30 minutes a day a single charge can last around 10 weeks.

Font style and size - As a person with terrible eye sight I can attest being able to customise the fonts, layout and size is a game-changer. With a traditional book you have no control over the layout. Kindle makes it easy for the text to be presented to you in the way you want to read it. The font size can be adjusted, different font styles can be chosen including Open Dyslexic and text can be bolded. Displays can also be viewed vertically or horizontally, and spacing between lines can be adjusted depending on preferences.

Light - You can adjust the shade of your Kindle Paperwhite, Oasis or Scribe (not the base model) from white light to warm light. There is also a dark mode. Being able to light adjust has been a bonus for me personally. Being able to open up my Kindle at night to read in bed without turning on a light and disturbing my husband or kids means I can read when I want. A warning here for avid readers though: it can mean a lot of late night/early morning reading sessions when you find that book you just can't put down.

Cost - Yes, upfront costs always look a little steep. What the Kindle will save you in the long run is important to consider. For example, a current bestseller by Trent Dalton, Boy Swallows Universe, can be purchased as a paperback for as low as $9. The Kindle edition, available as an instant download is $4.99. RRP for the book is $22.99. Purchasing compared to full retail price is a saving of $18. Add the difference to over time and the Kindle makes long-term sense.

Instant access - If you want to pick up the latest book on the New York Best Seller list you can get it straight away. Kindle offers instant downloads. As long as you're connected to a wi-fi network you can get a hold of your next book within 1-2 minutes. It beats waiting for a package and saves time heading off to a store to find what you're looking for.

Title options - One of the biggest benefit I have found with Kindle is how many titles I can now access. For example, as a long-time reader of American author Robert Fulghum, I have had many frustrating experiences trying to find a store which had a physical copy of his titles. The only way was through special order, and even then some titles were not available. Kindle removed all those obstacles. Sourcing books is far easier.

Amazon provides a 12-month warranty with all Kindles.


Amazon offers a range of Kindle options to suit all budgets.

Here are the options, along with my pick and why.

Kindle. Picture
Kindle. Picture

Kindle - RRP $179

The perfect model for any type of reader.

This is lightest, most compact and most affordable option.

Designed as an entry level option it has 300 ppi high-resolution display providing sharp text and images, and comes with 16GB of storage.

The 6" screen is the smallest of the Kindle options. It also features the least amount of front light LEDS with 4 total compared to the next level of 17 LEDs in the Kindle Paperwhite.

You can also grab the Kindle with an essentials bundle which includes the Kindle, a case and power adaptor for $258.90.

Kindle Paperwhite. Picture
Kindle Paperwhite. Picture

My pick is the Kindle Paperwhite.

With a slightly larger screen than the standard Kindle at 6.8", the device now has a standard base storage of 16BG (there once was an options of 8GB) of storage and offers more LEDs. It allows for adjustable warm light, unlike the standard Kindle.

As an avid reader the adjustable lights were the main attraction, but I also preferred the flush-front design of this option, plus the additional bonus of it being a waterproof device.

The price point for me also makes this one of the most attractive options for the device benefits.

Kindle Paperwhite Signature. Picture
Kindle Paperwhite Signature. Picture

The Signature edition of the Paperwhite has all the features of the standard Paperwhite with three key differences.

It features auto-adjusting lights, as well as wireless charging. It also comes with more storage at 32GB.

This Kindle can be charged via the USB-C provided or is compatible with Qi wireless chargers (sold separately).

Depending what storage size you are after and if you believe the auto lights and wire-free charging is worth it, it is just $30 difference between the Paperwhite and Paperwhite (Signature edition).

Is it worth it? For me, it wasn't, but it is an individual preference as to whether or not you think it's worth the slight upgrade.

Kindle Oasis. Picture
Kindle Oasis. Picture

Kindle Oasis - Starting from RRP $429

If you are willing to part with a bit more cash, the Oasis is a step up in a number of respects.

The most noticeable differences is the 7" display and the added page turning buttons designed to make the Kindle more ergonomic.

It too (like the Kindle Paperwhite) is waterproof making it a little more attractive to read by the pool or in the tub. Rated IPX8, the Oasis is protected against immersion in up to two metres of fresh water for up to 60 minutes and 0.25 metres for three minutes in seawater.

Price wise the Oasis has a 8GB option at RRP $429 or 32GB at RRP $559 which assists in helping different budgets.

Kindle Scribe. Picture
Kindle Scribe. Picture

Kindle Scribe - Starting from RRP $549 

As the name suggests, the Kindle Scribe is a two-in-one package.

It is both an e-reader and digital notebook with pen, which enables you to scribble down or draw your thoughts in books or in a separate notepad.

The device can take your hand written notes and convert them to text so you can share your notes or details with contacts or view as notes in the Kindle.

Not only could it be used for basic notes such as shopping lists, but it could also be used by professionals for note taking in digital format.

Scribe allows you to import and mark up documents. Simply review and take notes directly on to a PDF or create sticky notes in Microsoft Word.

The 10.2" 300ppi glare-free display is the same as the Paperwhite making it ideal for use indoors and outdoors in direct sunlight.

Prices go up depending on the storage size and the option of a basic or premium pen.

Storage options include:

The Scribe is easily a hands-down winner if you are looking for a device with dual purpose.

The ability for this device to not only be used for work (think tax deductions) or personal note taking, as well as an e-reader makes it extremely attractive.

Picture by Shutterstock
Picture by Shutterstock


Kindle Unlimited is a great option for book lovers wanting to devour books for a low cost. You do not need to have a Kindle Unlimited membership in order to have or use a Kindle. Unlimited is simply an opt-in.

If you want to give it a go Amazon offers a Kindle Unlimited free 30-day trial to new and eligible customers. You can find out more and register here.

Unlimited gives you access to millions of titles by giving you what is, in essence, a library subscription service.

For $13.99 per month, you can download up to 10 Unlimited books at a time with no due date. Read them when you want.

Once complete, return the book and make a new selection. If you read just five books a month the books end up costing less than $3 per book.

You won't find all titles on Unlimited, but there are many notable ones. If you want to get a sense of what is available plenty of sites including Goodreads offer breakdowns of content via category (Crime and mystery, classics, romance, non-fiction, etc).

There are a range of options to protect your Kindle, as well as to personalise it.

Options include:

Many third-party sellers have also developed Kindle covers and hand straps, as well as automatic page turners that can be clipped to your device.