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Getting Cozy with the Kindle Paperwhite

Full disclosure: I consider myself a bit of Luddite. Although I am quick to acquire skills necessary to use new technology, I tend to wait until several generations of a device have been released before jumping in to purchase a new gadget. Usually, my procrastination works out well: devices become cheaper, faster, and lighter.

Earlier this year, I seriously considered purchasing a Nook SimpleTouch. I’m glad I waited.

Why? Because the Kindle Paperwhite is almost everything I’ve looked for in an e-reader. It is light and fast with a bright, easy-to-read display. It is small enough to hold comfortably, and the texture on the back of the device makes it slip-resistant without feeling sticky or rough in your hand. The Paperwhite has a high-contrast, lighted e-ink display that is easy to adjust based on reading conditions. It is perfect for reading in bed or a dim room. Unfortunately, there is a bit of screen glare in super-bright light, but no more so than if you were reading a book with semi-gloss pages. Like its predecessors, the Kindle Paperwhite has adjustable font sizes and you can select up to eight fonts, depending on your preference. The device features a touch screen, and while I found it unresponsive at times, I’m willing to chalk it up to user error and a tendency to have a light touch.

Because you register your device with Amazon, there is one less step when borrowing books from Richland Library’s Overdrive collection. After confirming the selections you’ve checked out, you have the option of having almost any book delivered wirelessly. It’s fast and convenient. However, there are two downsides to using a Kindle to borrow library books. First, books from 3M Cloud Library are unavailable to Kindle users. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for even the most avid readers in Overdrive. In addition, Amazon and Project Gutenberg have thousands of books available for free, making reading material easy to come by. At the present time, certain publishers do not allow wireless delivery of books loaned by a library. When that is the case, the Paperwhite will need to be plugged into your computer before it can be downloaded.

Final thoughts: For anyone looking for an e-reader with a e-ink display, the Paperwhite deserves more than a cursory glance. I know it’s on my wish list.