Product Review of the Kindle Paperwhite eReader and The Irony of the Electronic Library

My Kindle Paperwhite eReader.
My Kindle Paperwhite eReader. | Source

The Gift of the Kindle Paperwhite eReader

My husband gave me a Kindle Paperwhite eReader for my birthday. I love to read, so I was ecstatic to receive such a thoughtful gift. I already had a number of books stored on my Kindle Cloud Reader at Amazon, so after registering my Kindle Paperwhite eReader with Amazon, I immediately started transferring books from the Kindle Cloud Reader to my Kindle Paperwhite eReader.

The Kindle Cloud Reader

The Kindle Cloud Reader is a free web app from Amazon. The app allows you to read Kindle Books on a web browser.

Me and My Kindle Paperwhite eReader

I like the Kindle Paperwhite eReader because it gives me the same experience as reading a book. My husband also bought a nice cover to go with my Kindle Paperwhite eReader to protect the surface of the unit from potential scratches. At times, you can find me fondling my Kindle Paperwhite eReader as if it is a treasure more valuable than gold. Here are some things I like about my Kindle Paperwhite eReader:

  • The Kindle Paperwhite eReader holds thousands of books. I like the Kindle Paperwhite eReader because it allows me to have all of my books in one place. To someone who is prone to be caught reading several books at a time, having all of my books handy in one place is like having a glorious spread of books laid out in smorgasbord style, ready for consumption at all times.

  • There is no screen glare in bright sunlight. I like being able to read outdoors. So this is a bonus for me.

  • The built-in light allows me to read at night. The Kindle Paperwhite eReader reads just like a book. There is no glare when I read the Kindle eReader outside and when I come indoors I can adjust the light to allow me to read in any situation - day or night.

  • I can adjust the font size. This means I can leave my reading glasses on the table.

  • The automatic sleep mode. The eReader goes into sleep mode after ten minutes of inactivity. I like that the Kindle eReader automatically goes into sleep mode after a period of non-use, so that if I fall asleep while reading, I don’t waste the battery life. Plus, when I turn the eReader back on, the book automatically opens to the last page I was reading.

  • The Kindle Paperwhite eReader is lightweight. It only weighs 7.3 ounces. That’s lighter than most of the novels I have sitting on my bookshelf. My bible weighs 4 pounds, 4 ounces. I downloaded a bible onto my Kindle eReader. Good-bye arm fatigue!

  • The touchscreen! I can touch left and right or flip through pages just like reading a real book.

  • The dictionary! I can tap on a word to bring up a dictionary that gives me a simple definition of a word without even leaving the page.

Kindle Paperwhite Tutorial

The following video tutorial is very helpful. The instructor goes through the tips rather quickly, but the tips shared in this 11+ minute tutorial are tips that are sure to enhance your reading experience.

Kindle Paperwhite Tips and Tricks Tutorial

Sharing the Kindle Paperwhite eReader Experience

Seeing how much I enjoyed my little Kindle Paperwhite eReader, my husband wanted one for himself. So, for Christmas, I bought him a Kindle Paperwhite eReader so that he could experience the joy of reading books on a Kindle eReader, too.

My husband’s initial experience was not the same as my experience. He started his eReader experience by attempting to retrieve books from the digital repository of our local library.

Borrowing From Your Public Library

I really enjoy my Kindle Paperwhite eReader, but there are some things that I find ludicrous about borrowing electronic books from a public library. What I find ludicrous is that the process of downloading electronic books from the public library is filled with limitations. If you want to borrow electronic books from your public library, you are:

  • Limited to check out only books from the library in which you have a valid library card.

  • Limited to the small number of titles available at your local library.

  • Limited to a borrowing period (two weeks for most libraries).

Borrowing Books Through OverDrive

After establishing your OverDrive account, in order to get a book, you must click on a link called, “Get for Kindle” and then sign in to your Amazon.com account. By the way, you are required to have an Amazon account to register your Kindle eReader. Go to your Amazon account, find the book that was sent to your account from OverDrive, and then deliver the book from your Amazon account to your Kindle device.

To make the process a little frustrating, you are most likely:

  • Required to sign up for a third-party digital service. In my area, this service is powered by a company called OverDrive.

  • Not able to send books directly to the Kindle eReader. In fact, the process is quite extensive.

If all of the above is not frustrating enough, if the book you want to read is already checked out by a previous library patron, you must wait until the book is "delivered" (electronically) back to the library.

The Irony of Checking Books out From an Electronic Library

Now, let's say you don't want to wait for the book to become available in the library. Let's say you just want to go ahead and purchase the book in PDF format. The library's electronic book repository also offers an opportunity to purchase and download books that have been converted to a PDF format. The irony in this case is the cost. The cost to download a book that is already in a PDF format is just as much as the cost to purchase a hard cover or paperback version of the book. Why is that so? It’s digital. Let's consider that there is:

  • no ink printing

  • no paper cutting

  • no multicolored cover artwork

  • no assembling and binding

  • no gluing

  • no stitching

  • no packaging

  • no stocking

  • no uncrating

  • no shipping

  • no production process whatsoever

There is virtually no cost to deliver digital information. Since people rarely use typewriters nowadays, the document was probably created using a word processing program in the first place and then converted to PDF. Once a document becomes digital, I wonder why the PDF version of a book would cost the same as a hard cover or paperback version of the same book.

Wireless Delivery of Electronic Books

While it is true that you can borrow library books electronically through free wireless delivery, you are tethered to the limitations of the library as if you are borrowing a physical book. My husband discovered that unlike walking into the public library and walking out with ten books in hand, through the electronic repository, he was only allowed to retrieve one PDF file at a time. Plus, he was limited to borrowing a maximum total of four PDF files.

He was excited when he found four Clive Cussler books being displayed in the electronic repository, however, he noticed two of them were unavailable through our local library and the other two were checked out by previous patrons. Further, there was no indication as to when the books would become available. He could have opted to receive an email notification when the books became available, but after three hours of searching for books by his favorite authors, frustration began to set in and in order to repress the onset of anger, he quickly logged out of the electronic repository, walked away from his computer, and turned off his eReader.

“It would have been quicker to drive eight miles to the local library and check out the physical book and be done with it.”

— D. Bertrand (husband)

The library is not ready to be a prime source for eReaders

I avoid the frustration of trying to obtain books from the library. It's just too frustrating. Instead, I opt to retrieve free books from various sources, such as Project Gutenberg (free) and the Kindle Store at Amazon. At the Kindle store, I can get books for free or for as little as $.99. There are, of course, other books that cost more, but for now I am happy with the various titles offered for free.

Why Is It So Hard to Retrieve Books From the Public Library?

I suppose there are some valid reasons for all the rules and regulations imposed by libraries. Having limited knowledge of all literary structures, and being curious, I ask you now, “Why is it so hard to check out a digital book from the digital repository of the public library?”

Is the Kindle Paperwhite eReader Worth the Price?

Yes! The Kindle Paperwhite eReader comes at a price of $119. I have rarely seen it on sale for less. I enjoy all aspects of the Kindle Paperwhite eReader. And, as mentioned earlier, my only frustrations have nothing to do with the Kindle Paperwhite eReader.

If you are an avid book reader and want a digital reader that has the same feel as a hard cover or paperback book, I highly recommend the Kindle Paperwhite eReader.

© 2014 Marlene Bertrand

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Comments 16 comments

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 17 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi justmesuzanne. I learned a lot from your comment. Thank you for providing additional resources. I've never heard of LibriVox. Thanks again.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 17 months ago from Texas

I got an older Kindle Keyboard model for about $65 and am pleased with it. I use it more for listening to audiobooks and podcasts than for reading. LibriVox.org and the Gutenberg project have some excellent audiobook classics available for free. Text classics are also free, and I am enjoying re-reading quite a few and discovering some I had not known about. I have especially enjoyed the audiobook versions of the tales of Sherlock Holmes and really liked Diary of a Nobody read by Martin Clifton (a superb reader!) Voted up, useful and interesting! :)


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 22 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello PegCole17. We seem to use our Kindles in the same manner. It's funny, my mom uses her electronic reader to play games, too. I didn't know the Kindle had audio capability. I'll certainly have to look into getting that put on my Kindle, too.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas

The Kindle Paperwhite is also one of my favorite gifts. I find I'm using it more often than I ever thought I would. At night, when I'm having difficulty sleeping, it is so much easier to scroll through the collection of titles stored in my Kindle than to search the house for something to read. My ninety year old Mom even enjoys using hers to play Solitaire and Dominoes and listen to music.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 22 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi colorfulone. I learned to never say never. I use to say I would never own an electronic reader, but for some reason, I now own a Kindle and absolutely love it. I can keep all of my reading material with me without lugging around a lot of books. While I miss the smell and feel of a "real" book, the love I have for my Kindle makes up for it.


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 22 months ago from Minnesota

I have not gotten a Kindle yet, and do not know that I will. I sure would consider giving one as a gift to loved ones who just love to read every book they are interested in learning something from.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 23 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello MartieCoetser! Yes, in spite of the troubles I have experienced with downloading books from the library, I do agree with you that libraries will become a place for eReaders to obtain books.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 23 months ago from South Africa

The Kindle Paperwhite eReader seems to be a precious asset. The fact that it doesn't have a screen glare impresses me. Libraries are for sure not ready to be a prime source for eReaders. I believe Internet libraries will soon meet all our expectations. Thanks for all the information, Marlene :)


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 23 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hello Faith Reaper. My mother got a Kindle Fire HD (something), too. She saw how much I enjoyed my Kindle Paperwhite, but when she got to the store, she decided she wanted something that she could play games on, as well. The beauty of the Paperwhite is that it only does ONE thing. And, that's what I like about it. My mother's Fire is amazing and does a whole lot of stuff, but she's still learning how to use it (three weeks later). Happy New Year to you. I'm sending up prayers for your year to be wonderfully blessed.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 23 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Thank you for your compliment, prairieprincess. As you can tell, I really like my Kindle, too.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 23 months ago from southern USA

Hi Marlene,

Thank you for the great review and heads up here. We gave all of our grandchildren the Kindle Fire HD whatever and the youngest one, a Kids Kindle Fire with that comes with a no-matter-what breakable guaranty. They all have their own cute covers. That way they can all watch their movies, read books and listen to their favorite music without fighting about it LOL.

Happy New Year to you and yours, dear Marlene!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 23 months ago from Canada

Marlene, I have a Kindle, too, but I am not sure what the name of it is. I really enjoy my Kindle, and find it very easy to use. Thanks for a great review!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 23 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Happy New Year to you too Bill. I thought I would never own a Kindle because I love how it feels to hold a book in my hand. But, I like to keep all of my books and in my small house, I'm running out of space. I'm talking about literally running out of space for my books. The Kindle is handling the dilemma nicely. I love it!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

I appreciate the review, Marlene. So far I have not jumped on the Kindle bandwagon, but I suspect eventually I'll own one. I'll remember what you wrote when that time comes.

Happy New Year my friend.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 23 months ago from Northern California, USA Author

Hi DDE! Thank you for your feedback. I really do like the Kindle Paperwhite eReader also because it is small enough to fit into my purse.


DDE profile image

DDE 23 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I am impressed by the Kindle Paperwhite eReader it sounds so convenient well modern technology has its way through our minds. Your review is outstanding! Happy New Year to you!

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