To Kindle or not to Kindle

Reading has been a source of great pleasure for me for my whole life. So, perhaps it was inevitable when the ‘digital book’ was launched that I would be keen to check it out. Being a frequent traveller they had huge appeal, but I also had some reservations. I came to the conclusion that I love them though. Here is why.


The Kindle is smaller than the average paperback. It is a light, slimline and barely noticeable addition to any travellers bag, but one that could make a long airport delay more bearable. Combine this with the capacity to store hundreds of books electronically and you have oodles of titles at your fingertips, whenever, wherever.

Kindles can hold all these books and hundreds more


The Kindle being an electronic item concerned me in terms of battery life, but I needn’t have worried. The battery lasts so long I have not yet managed to run it down and we have some pretty long road-trips under our belt together. Reading from a screen in bright sunlight can sometimes be near impossible but the Kindle’s anti-glare screen lives up to its promise. It also features two buttons on each side which act as page turners and are easily accessible with your fingers, whichever hand you use to hold the Kindle.

Ease of use

To put reading material onto the Kindle you need to have an Amazon account and then you can download straight onto your Kindle, from the Kindle. The Kindle menu is simple to navigate so it is pretty straightforward.


I love that wherever I am when I finish reading my book I can have a new one at my fingertips instantly. With just a few clicks I have access to an enormous variety of literature. This is especially wonderful when you run out of reading material in a country whose main language is not your own and books in your own language are hard to come by.


Tablets and iPhones and all sorts of other things enable us to access reading materials on the go, but few beat the Kindle on price. With the latest model costing only £90 – £160 ($120 – $180) they are fantastic value for money. The Kindle version of a book (the download) is usually cheaper to purchase than the book version too.


The Kindle is a nifty little piece of kit but it is not flashy in the same way that other products can be. For example Apple products are designed to be eye-catching, but as a result, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable advertising to people that I have such a high-value item on me. I appreciate the Kindle’s subtlety.

The concerns

I was worried about the battery life (being stuck in an airport with a dead battery would be no fun), protecting it (sand, sun-cream and being dropped in the bath never did much for books but all of my books survived these challenges) and the thought of losing it (gaah!)

Also, as a friend of mine pointed out, it is hard to feel attached to a Kindle. You are not going to write a heartfelt inscription inside the front cover for generations to come to see and feel the history in the item. They are equally tricky to ask authors to autograph. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell and feel of a book, but if it makes you travel with books you must have more space in your bag than me.

The Kindle offers no backlighting, which means that you need a light source in order to be able to see the screen. For this reason it is not great in low light conditions, such as overnight journeys.

It is also not easy to type on, so I would not use it as a primary vehicle to access the internet (the 3G version) but it is possible, albeit a slow process, to type a few emergency sentences if you need to.

If you can see past these concerns, and as long as you can keep it relatively clean (and out of the bath!) I think the benefits far outweigh these concerns.

Have you got a Kindle, or any other type of e-reader? What do you think?

If you haven’t got a Kindle you can buy one here or through the image link below. This is an affiliate link and if you follow it to buy a Kindle I will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you (and be extremely grateful!)


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