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How the Kindle Paperwhite completely changed my reading life

Ebooks are great, but reading on a tablet has challenges

Like it or not, ebooks are here to stay. Many readers prefer print books, but many others enjoy reading digital versions. Ebooks are great for ease of access and portability. They make it easy to adjust to your context. Stuck on a crowded subway train? Pull out your phone. Relaxing in bed at home? It's time for the tablet. For me personally, ebooks have changed everything about how I read. I carry my Kindle with me wherever I go.

So many more people are embracing ebooks, but not that many are actually using a dedicated reader. According to a study published in 2014 by the Pew Research Center, 28 percent of adult Americans had read at least one ebook in the past year. Also, in 2014, 42 percent of adults owned a tablet and 32 percent owned an e-reader. This means a big chunk of ebook-reading adults were probably reading on a tablet.

Using a tablet to read isn't terrible. I read tons of ebooks on a tablet for about two years before purchasing my Kindle. At first, I was hesitant to purchase a dedicated reading device. Why spend over $100 when you can just read on a tablet you already own? (Saving money is always better, especially when it means you can buy more books.) But last year, I finally gave in. I purchased my Kindle Paperwhite while it was on sale and it has rocked my entire reading world.

I read the most in bed right before I go to sleep, mostly in the dark. In my life before owning an e-reader, I turned my tablet's brightness down to its lowest setting and put the book in dark mode. While I could read reasonably well, the tablet always seemed just a little too bright and I often found myself squinting into the screen.

I also experienced problems even when reading with the light on. Tablet screens are made to be reflective. It's good when you're watching a show or movie, but annoying when you're trying to read text. And reading outside? Forget it. Even with the brightness turned all the way up, it can still be difficult to see anything in broad daylight.

So, I gave an e-reader a try and everything changed. My Kindle Paperwhite solved every single one of my ebook reading woes. The gentle backlight lets me read in the dark without having to squint against a bright screen. I can read indoors without having to deal with annoying glare and I can even take my ebooks outside with little trouble. I often look forward to reading on my Kindle every night. After staring at a computer screen all day long, it's nice to take a break from the traditional reflective LCD screen and experience a story on an e-ink display. My eyes never feel any more strained than they do when I read a print book. The Kindle really does closely mirror the print book reading experience.

I love every moment I've spent with my Kindle Paperwhite. If you read ebooks and you're not using an e-reader, you're just causing yourself headaches and eye strain. An e-reader is totally worth the investment, I promise.