Marcia Claesson is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction, a homeschooler, and a mother of two.
"But I like the feel of a book in my hands." We've all heard that line when someone brings up the Kindle or other e-readers. It was my standard line, too. But I finally gave in and asked my husband to get me one as an early Christmas present. From my standpoint, here are the main advantages and disadvantages of a Kindle.
Advantages of a Kindle
- Convenience. An e-reader is convenient. You can carry five thousand books in your purse. It's great for traveling, and it's nice to always have a book (or a thousand books) handy when you're waiting in line or stuck in traffic.
- So many books to choose from. There are thousands of eBooks to buy on Amazon. Once you buy them, you can keep them in your library and access them anytime you want.
- Free books. You can get an amazing number of books for free from the Kindle Store or from websites such as the Gutenberg Project. If something isn't available in Kindle format, you can send it as an attachment to a special e-mail address and have it delivered automatically to your Kindle.
- Access to libraries' online collections. Most libraries in the US let you check out eBooks for free.
- Cheaper books. Recent books are a little cheaper in Kindle format than print and, in general, eBooks are cheaper than print.
- Internet, music, and games. You can also surf the web (clumsily, but it works), listen to mp3 recordings (music or podcasts), and play games.
- Dictionary. The dictionary feature is especially nice. Put your cursor in front of a word and you can immediately see that word's definition: A great way to increase your vocabulary.
- Translations. If you come across a word or sentence in a different language, you can translate it instantly.
- Electronic markers. Instead of using a pen and messing up your book, on an eReader you can highlight certain passages, take notes, and bookmark pages without a pen.
- No book light required. You can read in the middle of the night, without turning on the light. The brightness of the screen is adjustable.
- Large print. You can increase the font size (and the style of font, too).
- Long battery life. The Kindle can go for weeks before needing to be charged.
- Search function. You can easily search for a certain word in a book.
- Paperless. You save a lot of trees.
Disadvantages of a Kindle
- It's not a book. For the most part this isn't a problem, but you can't "thumb through" a Kindle, and in some ways it's harder to do research (although the search feature can also make it easier in some ways).
- It's electronic. You can't read it in the tub. And even if it does have a long battery life, it will eventually need to be charged.
- Eye strain and retention. Although Kindles use e-Ink rather than blue light, still, staring at a screen can strain your eyes. Paper books and natural light are easier on the eyes and some studies show that people who read with reflected, natural light instead of back-lit light may retain more of what they read.
- No color. Images are only black-and-white at this point.
- It's harder to share. It's harder to lend books to people. They are developing a feature where you can "loan" an e-copy to someone for two weeks (removing that book temporarily from your Kindle). I guess that has the advantage of getting the book back after you lend it out, but it's still not the same. For a family, it's a lot easier to just keep a book on the shelf so everyone can read it whenever they want instead of wondering whose Kindle has the book now.
For More Information About Kindle E-Readers
- If you are considering getting a Kindle, you might want to read this article before you buy for tips on models, options, and where to make your purchase.
- Read this if you're considering Kindle Fire or Unlimited.
- Learn how to transfer files from your Kindle Fire to your computer.
What do you think?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Josh on January 23, 2019:
I like Kindle because it does not emit light
Shivam on July 06, 2018:
Lmao I am posting this from a Kindle Paperwhite
Manok on November 27, 2017:
I did not get a clear image about this...
Hyped Bacon on November 05, 2017:
Lmao I prefer using kindle, because it’s easy to use and you can download it in your phone
AHITAGNI BHATTACHARYA on October 16, 2017:
I purchase second hand books mostly, as they are abundantly available (including books from my favourite authors) in my city. I need not bother about trees at this point . Does Kindle really enhance the experience of reading a book from traditional one is all I am asking.
Sarah on July 29, 2016:
I would like to buy it, but a friend of mines says it causes brain cancer, I'm researching to see if it is true
Susan on October 03, 2015:
Ok, kindles are just great compared to books and are a lot easier to carry. It doesn't let us know where we have reached until and unless you have tried to do so. It carries so many books in 1 thin device and it also has many features installed whibch is good. In books we cannot increase the brightness or font size but in kindle we can! In the end I just want to suggest that book lovers please buy kindles as it saves a lot of paper too!
Don on December 27, 2014:
A kindle book also has no marketability...you can't resell it.
lolo on November 18, 2013:
I have a kindle, I fumble before I get what I want when I am using it. can I get the steps on how to download info from internet
srinivas on October 19, 2013:
can i read my B.com books in kindle
Omar Hameed on October 03, 2012:
The new amazon kindle fire HD is more cheaper and it has attractive feature than previous series. check this out: http://ideaddict.tk/548/kindle-based-on-your-needs... Sorry my english is bad :)
Lela B on August 23, 2011:
Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking of getting one & you made me feel better about the decision :)
Karen Wodke from Midwest on November 24, 2010:
I want a Kindle someday. But I admit I do like the feel of a book.