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Kindle or classic? Should I invest in an e-reader or read books the old fashioned way?

Readers all have their preferred way of consuming content and it can be hard to make a switch from one method to another. Kindles and physical books each have their own set of benefits.

The release of the Amazon Kindle e-reader revolutionized the way books are read. 

Many avid readers read exclusively on the Kindle, while others only go with an old-fashioned book. 

Some choose to do a combination of both. 


There are pros and cons to both of these methods of reading. 

This guide will go over the highlights of both, and help you make the decision to buy an e-reader — or stick with your physical books. 

No additional light needed 

One of the biggest pros of the Kindle is that you don't need any additional light to read. 

For many, reading happens in the evening, right before bed. While having a lamp on the side of your bed can help shed some light on your physical book, the bright light can be distracting to your significant other trying to sleep on the other side of the bed. The extra light can also be a little too bright for you as you're trying to wind down for the night. 

The Kindle projects very little light, but allows you to read, even in dark settings.

Books on demand

When you stumble across a book you want to read, you have one of two options. 

You can either buy the book at the store, or get it at the library.

Buying books at full price can quickly add up, and securing a popular book at a library may take a while. 

The Kindle offers a third option that falls in the middle of these two scenarios. If you have a Kindle, you'll have access to Kindle Unlimited. There is a monthly fee associated with this service, which is $11.99 a month. There are usually offerings to get your first few months at a cheaper price. 

Kindle Unlimited offers a large selection of books you can add to your device for no additional price. You can borrow up to 20 titles at a time with Kindle Unlimited as a part of your subscription and download them immediately. 


One drawback to Kindle Unlimited is that there will be books that aren't available, so in that case, you'll have to buy them at full price or borrow from the library. You can also borrow e-books from your library, but again, those may take a while to deliver. 

They're customizable 

The Kindle itself is pretty bland, but you can choose from a variety of different covers to dress it up. 


Amazon has many affordable designs you can choose from. 

Easy to see how much you have left in a chapter 

When you're reading a physical book, you can count the pages until the end of the chapter, but the Kindle makes this a lot easier. 

The e-reader is able to determine how long it takes you to read, and will display at the bottom of the screen how long it will take you to get through the chapter you are on. 

If it's getting late, and you're getting tired, you can easily make a decision and figure out if you should go onto the next chapter, depending on how long it will take you to read it. 

The Kindle also provides the percentage in the corner of how far along you are in the book you're reading. 

Easy to grow your vocabulary 

When reading on a Kindle, it's very easy to look up the definition of an unfamiliar word. 

To get a word's definition, all you have to do is press down on the word on your device, and a definition will pop up. 

Easy to travel with

The slim design of Kindles makes them very easy to travel with. They won't take up nearly as much space as a bulky book. 

Borrowing from the library is cheaper than a Kindle

If you're looking for the cheapest option, borrowing from the library is your best bet, because Kindles can be on the pricier side. 

Kindle Paperwhites, which many readers prefer as it looks more like a book than a tablet, run between $100 and $150. 

Kindle Fires tend to be a little cheaper, but they have more of a tablet feel than a book. 

The feeling of a book

It sounds simple, but some people just like the feeling of reading from a book, and a Kindle takes away that feeling. 

Even with the Kindle Paperwhite, the e-reader at the end of the day is a device and many don't like that feeling. 

No eye strain 

Since the Kindle is a screen, it does cause eye strain for certain individuals. This can make reading a lot harder and a lot less enjoyable. 

If you experience eye strain when reading off a Kindle, a physical book is the way to go. 

Books don't need charging 

Even though the Kindle does have a long battery life, it will eventually need to be charged. 

This is an extra factor you need to worry about that you don't have with a physical book. 

This can cause frustration if you are outside reading a book and nowhere near an outlet, or worse, on vacation with no charger, and your device runs out of battery. 

Ideal for the book collector

If you love to collect books, an e-reader probably isn't ideal for you. Book collections can make for beautiful decor in a household. Plus, if you ever want to reread a book, you'll always have easy access to it. 


Easy to trade and borrow 

One of the best parts about having hard copies of books is being able to trade with friends. 

If you have a group of friends that all like to read, you can exchange books among yourselves, without having to buy them all. 

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