The following is a guest post by Stacey Kuyf as part of our Kindle Review Month here on Her Packing List!
I originally bought a Nook. It was flashy, colorful, and had a computer-like screen. I returned it two days later.
Don’t get me wrong — the Nook was cool, but it had too many bells and whistles. I already had an iphone and a laptop. I’d only be using an eReader for reading.
I bought my kindle on Amazon, and counted down the days as I waited for it to arrive. I’m a bit of a geek, and I read crazy-fast, so the idea of carrying around my bookshelf appealed to me immensely. I’d no longer be giving away my precious books when they wouldn’t fit in my backpack. I’d save money on replacing handbags as the heavy books I lugged around broke the straps, and there’d be no more walking on a lean with an aching shoulder.
Finally the Amazon box arrived. I instantly fell in love. I’m notoriously hard on electronics, but I swore I’d treat this like a baby.
I downloaded new books at the press of a button, and then winced at my bank balance a few weeks later. I whipped it out in line at the bank, at the supermarket, and in traffic jams, catching up on the free classics offered on the Kindle store. I read late into the night, and showed my new purchase off to all of my friends.
And then one night I woke up and stumbled out of bed to pee. I heard a crunch, looked down and gasped. My beautiful kindle had a screen that would never tell stories again.
I actually cried. I was broke (and probably hormonal), and I found myself sobbing like a baby. My favorite thing was dead. I googled furiously for a solution but there was none. All I could do was curse my clumsy foot, and mourn the loss of my friend.
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I caved in and bought another one a month later. And I sprung for a protective case this time.
Kindle number two has lasted me almost a year and it’s still going strong. I love the battery life, and I much prefer the book-like screen to one that’s lit up like a computer since it’s kinder to my eyes. Although the first one died when I crushed it with my big foot, I think my kindle is pretty resilient for its size. I’ve dropped it multiple times (both in the case and by itself), and I’m impressed with its durability.
The only problem is that if you do break the screen, there’s no real “fix” for it. Some people have found the kindle to be very fragile, and have had problems with the screens breaking in handbags etc, even in a protective case. If this happens within the one year warranty period, Amazon will sometimes replace it for free (although I didn’t know this at the time), but if you’ve had it for more than a year then you’re usually out of luck and have to buy a new one.
Some people say that they prefer the “authentic reading experience” of opening a real book. To me, a book is a book – either in paper form or electronic, all that matters are the words.
I’m not planning to upgrade any time soon, but if I did I’d definitely look at the Kindle paperwhite 3G. It has a back-light on it which would be handy for reading on planes, or in hostels, and apparently the battery life is exceptional.
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About the author: Since leaving New Zealand in October 2010, Stacey has been working and traveling overseas, first in North America, and now in Australia. She blogs about her experiences at One Travels Far and you can follow her on facebook or Twitter.