What makes Kindles better than reading paperbacks?

The latest Kindle, Kindle Touch, can hold up to 3000 books... and fit in your coat pocket. Here is more about why Kindles are fast taking the place of paperbacks, newspapers and magazines.

09 Feb 2012


It has been four years since Amazon launched its first version of the Kindle and the pertinent debate is now why, rather than if, ebook readers are better than paperbacks.

Kindle Touch

The fact of the matter is that until they develop a Kindle that can do the housework, take the dog for a walk and convert water into wine, some traditionalists will blindly argue that the written word belongs exclusively on paper.

While extreme technophobes might consider owning a Kindle akin to spitting on the graves of literary greats such as William Shakespeare and JD Salinger, modern-minded folk will have little difficulty in reeling off a long list of reasons why using a Kindle to read their favourite books is a much more rewarding experience than opting for the paperback variety.

For starters, the first generation of Kindle can store up to 200 novels, while memory cards and newer models like the Kindle Touch, with a whopping 4GB of memory, enable the user to store up to 3000!

Amazon's Kindle ebook store features a seemingly endless catalogue books, magazines and journals which can be accessed, albeit at a small price and short wait for download, at the touch of a button or the click of a mouse.

At the risk of sounding facetious, it would take a library the size of a small English city to house a similar number of texts in paper form. And while we have all been in a situation where we have gone to the library to take out a book only to find no copies on the shelf, it is important to remember that this rather annoying occurrence never happens while browsing Amazon's vast ebook catalogue.

Furthermore, ebook readers are helping to prop up the newspaper and magazine industry, which have seen circulations decline in recent years, as an increasing number of people opt to download the day's headlines via subscription, much like the way iPod downloads rescued the music industry from dwindling CD sales.

Then, of course, there are some cosmetic attributes that are important to consider. While the first incarnation of the Kindle was, for want of a better word, a little clunky, the Kindle Touch is small and light enough to fit in a coat pocket yet still features a crystal-clear six-inch display to ensure the reading experience is still as scintillating as ever.

The masses, as they say, are voting with their feet and there is no better proof to illustrate the fact that an increasing number of people think reading using a Kindle is better than a paperback than Amazon's revelation in January that its ebook sales had eclipsed its paperback sales for the very first time.

As time marches on and Amazon launches improved versions of the Kindle that enrich the reading experience further, even the staunchest of paperback exponents will find it almost impossible to argue their case.