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