For the longest time, I only had disdain for Kindles and other eReaders. “Nothing can ever replace books,” I said, “Books are the best and reading on a screen is dumb.”
Well crap, I was kind of wrong. Don’t misunderstand me – I love paper books and my bookshelf is my favorite thing in my apartment. In Nov. 2015, I was scrolling through Amazon on Cyber Monday and I noticed there was a great deal for Kindles. I knew that I wanted to travel sometime soon and that I’d want to travel as light as possible. You just can’t do that when you’re carrying a bunch of books. So, I grit my teeth and bought it.
And you know what happened? I ended up loving it. I got one that is only 6″ tall, glare free, and there’s no backlight, so it looks as if you’re actually reading a paper page. I needed it to be easy on the eyes because I like to read at night before I go to sleep and I already spend all day looking at a computer. The battery lasts for a whopping three weeks, so unless you’re traveling for very long periods of time, you don’t even need to bring a charging cable with you.
It’s small enough to fit in most purses or large coat pockets, so it’s perfect for traveling light. If you’re laying in bed, you’ll never drop the book and lose your place. Even if you’re reading a 600 page book, it’s as light as a feather, which makes it perfect for elderly people who can’t lift a lot (bonus: you can make any book large print), and you’ll never get a paper cut.
My sister and I went to the Netherlands last year and we only took a backpack each as our luggage (honestly, it’s the best way to travel – the airline can’t lose your carry-on). I was so glad I brought my Kindle with me on the trip. I downloaded several books before we left, so even though I finished a book on the flight back, I didn’t even have to pause before I started the next one. I carried the Kindle around just about everywhere we went. It fit perfectly in my purse and I even carried in my rain jacket pocket sometimes.
I don’t just use it for traveling though. I took it to work and I’d read it during lunch. None of my coworkers knew that I was reading romantic trash novels if they couldn’t see a cover. That’s actually one of the best things about the Kindle. You can read whatever trash you love most without fear of judgment from other people, because for all they know, you’re actually reading Anna Karenina or some other tome instead of the latest Lisa Kleypas novel.
The Kindle versions are also cheaper than the hard copies. I bought all eight Outlander books because I wanted to have my own collection (my mom owns the hard copies) and be able to carry them around with me whenever I want. They’re excellent travel books because they’re long and engrossing – perfect for long flights – so I was able to save money by downloading the Kindle versions.
There are also a ton of free Kindle books on Amazon. They’re not all great, in fact, most of them are self-published and not good, but you might be able to find some free gems. Amazon also has this new thing called Prime Reading, where if you have a Kindle device (or the app) and Amazon Prime, you can “borrow” books indefinitely on your Kindle and then you just “return” them when you’re done.
I’m a big fan of my Kindle. It’s light, small, and does exactly what I need it to do, which is let me read, not hurt my eyes, and travel well. So far, it’s been perfect!