Is a Kindle Worth It? 16 Things to Know

Close up of black kindle

Kindle is great. You can store as many books in them as you can possibly read, and they won’t take up any additional space in your bag. For this reason alone, Kindle seems like they’re pretty much worth every penny they would cost you.

That is until you realize you can do everything a Kindle can (and more) on your laptop, tablet, or even your phone these days. With this in mind, it becomes tricky to say whether it is worth buying a Kindle.

Don’t worry, though. We’ve researched and thought about all of the major reasons why you might want to consider buying a Kindle (and all of the major reasons why it just might not be the right product for you), and we’re going to share what we know in today’s article.

What Is a Kindle- And Who Is This Product For?

Kindle is a tablet-like device made by Amazon that is optimized for reading. They are halfway between the size of a standard smartphone and the size of a standard tablet, and they have special screens called “e-ink” displays that are as easy on the eyes as paper-written text.

Amazon’s Kindle combines the benefits of traditional books and ebooks perfectly. It is super-easy on the eyes, has the space and weight of a small tablet no matter how many books you store in it, and is free of distractions.

Who is it made for? Kindle is made for readers and for anyone who has to read a lot regularly (yep, there’s a difference). Of course, other people buy Kindle too, but people who fit either of these descriptions get the most out of Kindle.

Pros of Kindle

Now, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to consider buying a Kindle for yourself.

After this, we will consider some downsides of buying a Kindle (spoiler: there aren’t many) and then pit the pros against the cons to see whether they’re a worthwhile product.

E-Ink Displays

Anyone who has read anything on a Kindle can attest to how remarkably similar it feels to paper-written text. There is no way to explain it; you have to see it to know.

How does Kindle do it? Well, Kindle screens are nothing like the screens of your phones, laptops, or tablets- their entire mechanism is different.

Without getting technical, all you need to know to understand how they work is that they use black and white pigments controlled by electrical charges to show text on the screen and emit little to no light.

This means that the text you see on a kindle’s screen is actually pigment under the screen- it is exactly what makes the reading experience on a Kindle so remarkably similar to reading on paper.

Sure, the display is not high-resolution, but that’s the point. Kindle screens are optimized to show you text, and they do that perfectly.

This is one of Kindle’s biggest selling points, and it is why this product is great for frequent readers- it protects their eyes from the soreness that comes with the brightly lit screens of phones and laptops- making the reading experience a lot like paper-written text.

That’s not all, though. Kindle comes with the option to adjust screen brightness- one of the many things that Kindle does better than traditional books. This feature allows you to read in the dark at paper-level eye comfort, meaning you don’t have to light up your room whenever you want to read something.

You can simply (and comfortably) read on your Kindle in the dark for as long as you want and then switch it off and go directly to sleep.

They Save You Money

black kindle on hand

This is a benefit that’s not apparent to most people when they debate buying a Kindle. If anything, most people think of Kindle as an expense rather than a money saver, but that’s because they’re making the mistake of thinking about the short term.

In the long run, people who read a lot can save up a pretty decent amount of money using Kindle. How? Well, that’s because ebooks are far cheaper than hard copy, paper books.

Sure, you give away a large chunk of money buying a Kindle at first. But when you calculate how much you save buying ebooks compared to physical books, you end up with a surplus. Of course, this only applies to people who read a lot.

If you’re not a frequent reader, you probably won’t realize this benefit of using a Kindle – at least not anytime soon.

Oh, I almost forgot… another way you save money through Kindle is by reading free books. You can download a lot of free ebooks from the internet nowadays. No matter which device you download these books on, you can always transfer them to your Kindle and save yourself the cost of those books.

They’re Cheap

Kindle is surprisingly cheaper than you might expect. That’s what everyone realizes once they search up how much a Kindle costs.

The prices go as low as $59.99 (it goes even lower on sale days), which means that they’re only about twice or thrice the price you’d pay for a book (In some cases, It’s even cheaper than actual books).

Why are they priced this way? Well, Amazon sells Kindle for a lower price than they’re worth so that they can get Kindle users to buy books from Amazon over time. These over-time doses of income are how Amazon makes up for Kindle’s low prices and starts making profits over time.

It’s no trick either. This is a win-win for both Amazon and you. Amazon benefits from income over time, and you benefit from low-cost ebooks and the various other benefits of Kindle.

It’s a Great Way to Store Your Books

This is one of the main reasons why Kindle is such a great alternative to physical books. Frequent and non-frequent readers benefit from this, but of course, as with any pro we discuss here, frequent readers will get the most out of this benefit.

No matter how many books you store on your Kindle, two things remain the same: The space your Kindle occupies and the device’s weight. In contrast, the more physical books you store, the heavier your pile becomes and the more space it begins to occupy.

This doesn’t just make transporting and sorting these books a hassle; it also makes finding the right book troublesome. On a Kindle, organizing, storing, and carrying your books mean the same thing as carrying a tablet-like device.

This especially helps if you’re a student. Students are often drowned by reading assignments, meaning they usually have piles of books cluttering their study space when they read physical books.

Additionally, physical books start weighing down their bags, causing them to get tired easily. Amazon’s Kindle solves all of these problems.

Kindle Can Read Almost Any File Format

Close up of black kindle on white surface

You often find reading material stored in different file formats on the internet. Given this, it’s a great help to have a device compatible with almost all of these formats because it stops you from sitting down and conducting hours of research and tedious work on converting your reading files into a compatible format with your device.

The only format that Kindle can’t read is the EPUB file format. But even this is nothing to worry about. You can easily convert EPUB files into Kindle-compatible formats using free online tools.

Here’s a quick list of some of the major formats compatible with your Amazon Kindle:

Format

Extension

More file formats are compatible with Amazon’s Kindle, but these are the only ones you will probably ever have to use. You can convert any of these file formats to Kindle standard format. There are a bunch of online tools out there that can help you do this.

They’re Small in Size

We’ve discussed how Kindles are great for storage in a previous pro. That’s not what we’re talking about here, though. The size of Kindle devices is a plus point in one other way when you compare it to Laptops and tablets.

Like Kindle, laptops and tablets can save you space while storing books. Compared to them, Kindle is an even smaller device, meaning that they make carrying your books even easier.

For a lot of you, this won’t translate into a real benefit- especially not when you’re carrying any of these devices in a bag. However, you will notice this benefit when carrying one of these devices by hand.  

Kindle sizes are at the sweet spot between smartphones and regular-sized tablets, meaning they’re big enough for you to read comfortably but not so big that you would have trouble holding them in your hand while reading.

The Battery Life Is Pretty Decent

Typically, Kindle can last you about 25 hours worth of reading time. This may not sound like a lot, but don’t forget, you probably won’t read more than 3 hours daily. For people who read about 3 hours a day, a full Kindle charge will last them about a week- even longer perhaps if they disconnect the Wi-fi.

If your daily reading time is 1.5 hours (a far more realistic figure), a single Kindle charge will last almost two weeks. Smartphones and tablets – with their high-resolution screens- usually gobble down their batteries much faster than this. Even if they last longer than your Kindle, they will perform much more poorly in terms of efficiency.

Easy Sharing

Kindle has a great “loan” feature where you can share books with your friends and family for a limited time (usually about 14 days or so). This is a genius way to mimic how we use physical books, and it’s one of the many things that make reading on a Kindle feels more and more like reading on paper.

Of course, you can always be on the receiving end of this sharing feature. If your friend has bought a book that’s been on your reading list, and you don’t want to spend money purchasing the book just yet, you can always get it from your friend, read it in 14 days and cross it off your list.

Amazon’s Ecosystem

Black kindle on hand

It’s super-easy to buy and manage books on Kindle due to its integration with Amazon’s ecosystem. You can buy books using your Amazon account on any device, and it’ll be there on your Kindle (as long as you’re using the same credentials on Kindle.)

For Amazon prime subscribers, Kindle brings the benefits of what it calls “Prime Reading,” a collection of 1000 books that are completely free to read. The best part is that this list changes monthly, meaning there’s a great chance that many of the books on your bucket list will be there.

Using Kindle, you can also subscribe to Amazon’s monthly plan and get access to almost any book available on Amazon.

The monthly fee is nothing compared to the number of options you can choose from. This is great for people who read a lot daily and finish more than 5-10 books monthly.

No Distractions

We can’t emphasize how big of a pro this is. Having no distractions is one of the main reasons you should consider buying a Kindle for yourself- it is right next to Kindle’s easy-to-read screen in our benefits ranking.

The fact that you can’t do much other than reading on your Kindle is one of the main reasons you should consider reading ebooks on Kindle instead of your phone or laptop. Like a traditional book, you’re only bound to read when you’re holding a Kindle.

Sure, you can always teach yourself to be super disciplined and use the “do not disturb” features of your mobile, tablet, and laptop devices to focus better, but let’s be real here.

How many of us actually have that discipline? Even if you’re the one in thousands who have that discipline, the fact that you literally can’t do much other than reading will be your safety net on your cheat days.  

This is especially great for those trying to get into the habit of reading. A focus zone will help you read your daily page targets much easier, and buying a device for reading will mean that you’ve mentally signed up for a commitment to read. If you don’t, the guilt of wasting your money will push you to read.

Other Gimmicks and Features

Of course, owning a Kindle means that there are a ton of various gimmicks and features that can improve your reading experience, features that traditional books (or even your other day-to-day devices don’t offer).

These are features like the options of increasing or lowering your brightness, adjusting text size, using Kindle’s in-built dictionary to search for meanings as you read, page flip transitions, the ability to search for text in your ebook, and a hyperlinked table of contents, and so much more. 

The Downsides (Cons) Of Getting a Kindle

After a lot of thinking, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why you might regret buying a Kindle but don’t be surprised if we can’t come up with many. Kindle is a great product for most users with little to no downsides compared to its alternatives.

You Don’t Own the eBooks You’ve Paid For

This is perhaps the biggest downside of reading through Kindle. While you retain ownership of the documents you transfer to your Kindle via other devices, you don’t really own the books you purchase on Amazon- you only receive the rights to use the documents.

As soon as the original seller of the book removes their posting, you lose access. In contrast, you can keep your traditional books forever.

They’re an Additional Expense

This one is only true for people who don’t read a lot. That’s because these people won’t be able to cover the cost of their Kindle devices through the low prices of ebooks. If you fit into this category of people, maybe Kindle isn’t right for you.

They’re Kind of Slow

Compared to other devices like your laptop, phone, or tablet, Kindle is pretty slow- they take more time to load the books you want to read. It’s nothing too bad, but it is a con, nevertheless.

Just Another Device to Carry Around

Granted that you can read ebooks on your study laptop, phone, or tablet, carrying a Kindle can become a hassle. It’s just one other device you have to carry and remember to charge.

No More Smelling New Books

Yep, we actually added it to the list. Part of why reading traditional books is so great is that you get to smell the soothing, woody smell of new books. You can say goodbye to that experience once you get yourself a Kindle.

Pros

Cons

Is a Kindle Worth Buying? – Our Verdict

Now that we have a decent understanding of the pros and cons of buying a Kindle device for reading, let’s answer the million-dollar question: Is buying a Kindle worth it? Well, we say yes… and no.

That depends on how much you read (or how much you want to read). For frequent readers, this device is a great way to save money and protect eyes from the strain of staring at a screen.

This device will be a waste of money for people who barely read at all. Any reading tasks they get, they’re probably better off doing them on their laptops or tablets.