Welcome to your Kindle Paperwhite 2!
Did you just get the new Kindle Paperwhite?
If so, welcome!
I’m allowed to say “welcome” because I have one, too.
While I’ve already done a menu map (linked above) that will give you the details, I just thought I’d take a minute to sort of introduce you around the place…er, device.
Of course, you aren’t all starting from the same spot. Do we have anybody here coming from an earlier Kindle? Great! Anyone upgrading from the Kindle Paperwhite 1? Good to see you! How about folks who are just getting into e-books for the first time? Terrific! I thought I’d break this down into different sections, so you each get the welcome you need. At the end of the tour, you’ll all have an opportunity to ask your own questions.
Ready? Here we go!
Switching from paperbooks
If this is your first time with an e-book reader (EBR), you are in for a treat. Oh, I know you might be feeling anxious and be worried about what you are going to miss…I felt that way myself, back in the last decade. You see, I used to manage a bookstore…yep, one with paperbooks in it. I love books, and that’s really the most important thing.
In my experience, the more you love books, the more you love e-books.
After all, you can have pretty much all the books you want whenever you want them…no packing an extra suitcase just full of paperbacks…for a one-week vacation.
Know something else?
You can get lots of books for free! Try getting that from your local bookstore!
With your new Paperwhite, you are never going to say that you don’t have anything to read.
I see some folks with glasses here. Anybody just use reading glasses? That’s me…but I don’t need them with my Paperwhite! Every book is a large print book…if you want it to be. Totally up to you.
I see a couple of university sweatshirts. Well, you can search in an e-book, make notes…even share them, if you want.
There is something that’s important to understand, though.
When you “buy a book” in the Kindle store, it’s not like buying a book in a bookstore.
When you buy a book from a store, you just get that one copy. You’re responsible for it. Leave it on an airplane, and it’s just gone.
What you buy in the Kindle store is the right to read the book. Leave your Kindle on a plane? Well, of course that’s sad, but you don’t lose your library! You can still download those books to other devices you put on the same account.
Oh, and Amazon stores them for you! Think about the last time you moved and you had all those boxes of books. You don’t even have to put the books on your own computer: you just get them again from Amazon’s Cloud, when you want them.
One more big thing: you can share them with other people! As long as those folks are on your account, you can all read the same book…for one price! Usually, six of you can even read it at the same time!
That’s a lot easier than mailing your used Harry Potter to Peoria for your cousin Petunia, right?
Yep, I think you’re going to like the Paperwhite.
That’s okay…it doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can read paper sometimes and e-books sometimes. Amazon’s even started the new Kindle MatchBook program, where you are going to be able to get a discount on many books for buying both the e-book and the paperbook.
Coming from an older Kindle
How many of you had a Kindle Keyboard? Touch? Kindle 2? Kindle DX? Basic Kindle? Anybody out there who had the first Kindle, from back in 2007? Me, too!
I’m not going to tell you that the Paperwhite has everything each of those models did, but it does have one big improvement: a built-in light!
Now, that’s not a “backlight”…anybody heard of that? Good! A backlight shines right into your face, and some folks find that uncomfortable. Not only that, it takes a lot of battery to keep a backlight going.
The Kindle Paperwhite has a “frontlight”. See, what happens is that the light is pointed at the screen from your side…not at your face from behind the screen, like a tablet.
That might not sound like much, but it makes for a really comfortable reading experience. How many of you bought a booklight for your older Kindle? I did…it cost about $25, and the lighting just wasn’t that good. How many of you have tried to read a tablet out in the sun? Not easy, right?
With the Paperwhite, it doesn’t matter where you are…outside, inside, in the basement, or on the roof. You can turn the light up or down as you need it…it’s a mellow glow.
How long does the battery last if you use the light?
Amazon says up to eight weeks! That’s if you read for half an hour a day…so even if you read for four hours a day (don’t I wish!), you’d still get a week…on one charge!
That’s not to say the Paperwhite is perfect…it doesn’t have sound, so if you are used to listening to text-to-speech, audiobooks, or Guy Lombardo while you read, you are out of luck.
Still, I think you are going to enjoy it!
Coming from the Kindle Paperwhite 1
Making the move up from last year’s model, the first Paperwhite?
Sure, it’s likely to look brighter to you, and the processor is faster, but I think the big thing is “page flip”. You can look ahead in your book…without losing your place!
When you tap the top of your page (just like you did on your old Paperwhite), you’ll see a lot of familiar icons.
The new part is down at the bottom, where it tells you which chapter you are in.
Tap that, and you can start flipping ahead. You can go page by page, or down at the bottom of the page, jump chapter by chapter!!
If you want to actually go ahead, that’s fine, but you can also tap a link to get right back to where you were.
That’s not the only thing, of course…you get inline footnotes (no having to jump to the back of the book and getting stuck there), a vocabulary flashcard builder, and soon, it’s going to work with GoodReads in a brand new way.
I think it’s going to feel as comfortable to you as driving your old car…with a revved up motor and a new heads-up display.
New to books
Finally, I want to address those of you who haven’t really been readers. Oh, maybe you read for school, and then kind of drifted away. Maybe you just never really learned it, and are coming to recreational reading as an adult.
I’m not going to make you raise your hands, because I know a lot of people are embarrassed by the situation.
You shouldn’t be embarrassed…you should be proud.
It’s not where you’ve been…it’s where you are going.
Oh, and now you can go anywhere! Even to places that don’t exist!
Reading a novel is like dancing with an expert…only instead of using your feet, you are using your imaginations.
The author doesn’t do all the dancing for you…it’s a partnership. Sure, the book leads you…but it can’t go anywhere unless you go, too.
Well, I think that’s about it. Any questions? If you’ve got them, feel free to leave a comment on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.