You should get a Kindle

You should get a Kindle. Honestly, it has been life-changing for me. Sure, it might seem a little costly at first, but it’s totally worth it, if you ask me. The Kindle paperwhite costs 12,999 INR on average, however if you get lucky (at the time of this writing) you can get is for as low as 9,999 INR.

If you are an avid reader like me, it’s worth the investment. Let me do some cheeky math for you. Let’s say over a decade, you manage to read 300 books. Good quality paperbacks cost about 499 INR (say 500) on average; some can go for as high as 799 INR. That’s INR 300×500=1,50,000, spent on paperbacks in a decade. If you decide to get a Kindle, you can save some of this cost and use it to buy more books instead (of course, money for books is for books only). You almost always get consistent discounts of about 20% on the list price of books. Let’s calculate the costs now: INR 13,000+(500−0.2×500)∗300=1,33,000. That’s a solid 17,000 INR saved, which you can use to buy a dozen more books.

The math above is a little crude, but it serves a crucial purpose: proving a point, a case for why you should get a Kindle right now. No, I’m not paid by Amazon (although that would be lovely) to write this article. I genuinely love my Kindle. I still have many paperbacks lying around in the house and in my hostel dorm, but ever since I got the Kindle, I’ve managed to read every day consistently about an hour or two! You can check out the books I’ve read/reading here. I also have a vast wishlist of books, so if you’re feeling exceptionally generous, you can gift a book or two!

A few other words on why you should get a Kindle

  • It reduces the friction for reading. With paperbacks, you need sufficient lighting and an effort to hold the book. Kindle changes this game. Now, instead of scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can scroll through a few pages on Kindle while you’re trying to fall asleep.

  • Everyone knows that reading is right for them in the long term, yet not many people read consistently. Kindle can help you get into the habit of reading regularly.

  • Like I said before, you pay less for virtually the same content as paperbacks. Of course, many will tell you that they are hooked to the smell of new books and whatnot. I used to be one of them until I got the Kindle. I think they’re just romanticizing the concept without any factual basis.

  • Kindle syncs seamlessly with your Goodreads account, helping you keep track of what you read over the years and how your reading habits/genre has changed. It is a bit of a pain to manually log in to Goodreads and update every single entry.

  • You can “recall” your highlight. “Recall” is the keyword here. We highlight quite a few things when we read something, but how often do you go back to the material and look around. Chances are, rarely. With Kindle highlights, you can use service like readwise to get a daily email digest of your Kindle highlights. It’ll email you a few random lines that you highlighted over the years. This is “active recall” in action. You can get much more out of this.

  • Readwise is a subscription service. So, if you’re broke like me, you can write a Python script that helps me essentially do the same thing but for no cost.

  • I find writing/taking book notes particularly useful. Once I’m done reading a book, I send all my highlights to myself and then write reflections/reviews/commentary on the things I highlighted. You might like thisthis, or this.

  • I’m an idiot, so I spill coffee, tea or water, sometimes even noodles on novels. I still do all of these things with the Kindle Paperwhite, but I can wipe it once, and tada! 

  • Even if you have a tablet, you should get a Kindle instead of reading books on your tablet's Kindle app. I’ve tried reading books on my iPad, it did not go very well. The screen is too glossy and reflects a lot of light off the screen, so it’s not a great feeling. Kindle is specifically engineered for reading. Hence the screen does not reflect as much light and is easy on the eyes. Tabs are great for drawing on or medium consumption but not for reading. Use devices for the purpose they’re built for.

Why the Kindle might not be for you

  • Cost. Yeah, the cost can be prohibitive. But, if you click that image above right now, you can get INR 3,000 off. Plus, I’ll probably get a few rupees as a commission, so buy something.

  • You just love hopelessly romanticizing everything.

Recommendation

I have the Kindle Paperwhite 10th Gen thingy. Okay, there are four variants: Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis 9th Gen, and the all-new Kindle Oasis. Don’t buy the just Kindle (the first one); I’ve been told the screen feels like an old B&W TV, you cannot adjust the brightness, and the pixel density is way too less to be useful. If you have spare cash to burn, you can get one of the Oasis ones, but again in terms of value, you won’t get anything extra, just a few different buttons and light settings maybe. Kindle Paperwhite is the sweet spot. So, if you’re thinking of getting one get the Paperwhite, preferably using the (image) link above. 

P.S.:

  1. If you have book recommendations, send me an email.

  2. Keep staying positive and testing negative.

  3. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, and I’ll catch you up in the next one.

Thanks to Nandita Gupta for reading an earlier version of this post. The point about Kindle over tablets for reading was added after her comments.