Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: An Honest Review

Hey, loves! I am SO FREAKING EXCITED about today’s blog post, because I really am so in love with my Kindle. Oh, that was kind of a spoiler wasn’t it? As I’m sure you already know because I haven’t shut up about it, Matthew very kindly bought me a Kindle for Christmas and it’s quite literally become my pride and joy. I had tried the Kindle concept a little in the past as I had dabbled with reading on my iPad, although I really didn’t love that and still favoured a paperback or hardback instead.

I have to admit, prior to my first time reading on my Kindle, I was really apprehensive if I would enjoy it because I love books. I could – and still do – lose hours walking around a book shop, I love the feel of a ‘real’ book and I also really like that you can pass them on to friends and family once you’re done with them. Books also have a very nostalgic, beautiful smell to me which I know some people may think is bonkers, ha! I’ve been a bookworm since before I can remember, although when I was younger I definitely wouldn’t have shouted it from the roof tops because I was so consumed by what people may think. That’s crazy to me now, I couldn’t be more proud to be a book nerd!

I made little notes in the Notes app on my phone so I could remember my thoughts and feelings to share with you guys on the blog at some point. The very first thing I wrote down was that my Kindle was so small and light. I hadn’t even held a Kindle before so really I had no reference but I expected it to be a lot heavier, and I just couldn’t believe how teeny tiny it was. This for me is definitely a positive thing; so many books are released in hardback first and the paperback version doesn’t come out for up to a year after that, so I’d lost count of how many times I’d struggled to hold up heavy books for long periods of time. I should probably go to the gym LOL. I love that the device is very compact which makes it easy to carry on-the-go and perfect for travel; one of my (only) pet hates about books is the they’re so bulky and annoying to travel with! I did buy a case (this one, if you’re interested) and I love it, it works perfectly.

Buying books has become a completely new experience for me, which wasn’t something I’d thought about. I was used to logging into Amazon, ordering whatever took my fancy and thanks to the Prime Gods, new books would turn up at my door the following day. I thought that was SO fast. Now, I download my chosen book(s) through the Amazon Kindle Store and they sync straight to my Kindle in seconds. Wi-Fi is just the best technology ever, right?!

Prior to having my Kindle I had no real reference of how inexpensive Kindle copies are in comparison to the paperback/hardback copy, as I’d only read a few books on my iPad’s Kindle app. Almost every single book you purchase through the Kindle Store is a fraction of the price in comparison; when I first started loading up my Kindle I spent £12.99 … but if I’d bought paper copies of those books it would have cost me £62.49. That is NUTS! This is already proving to be huge cost saving for me, because I read books pretty quickly (I’m currently reading book #8 of 2020… I think I’m going to have to write the most epic round up of all the books I’ve read at the end of the year if I cary on reading like this) and that’s a great bonus I hadn’t anticipated. Not to mention, e-books are way more sustainable than paper books!

I really enjoy the whole reading experience on my Kindle. The text is super clear and easy to read, and you can also make changes if necessary to suit your needs better. I personally kept everything as it came because that works really well for me. One of my very favourite things about reading on the device is that there is a small percentage marker at the bottom of the screen, which shows how far you are through the book. You can also swipe to see how far you are away from finishing that specific chapter, which is great if you’re like me and can’t stop mid-chapter. I also find it really motivating to see how far I’ve read in X amount of time, because I am #TypeA.

I always try to intentionally make time to read each day. My bed has always been one of my favourite places to read as I love to read for at least twenty minutes before I go to sleep, but if Matt was super tired I felt bad having our bedside lamp on so often didn’t bother. I often wake up in the middle of the night (that’s a whole other post) and I always thought it would be a great time to read until I could fall back to sleep, but putting the lamp on then isn’t really an option either. Now that I have my Kindle this hasn’t been an issue at all! The screen has a built in light which makes reading convenient anywhere, and I know this will also be great for airplanes when I don’t want to disturb any sleeping neighbours by using the overhead lights. If you do have a light above you when you’re reading, the screen is glare free guys, they’ve covered everything. There is also no blue light emitted from the Kindle Paperwhite, which helps to reduce eye strain and eye pain!

Another of my favourite places to read is in the tub. I love my baths filled with bubbles and bath salts, and I like my bath water hot. Like, if I’m not bright pink when I get out it wasn’t a good bath, LOL. I figured reading in the bath would be a little tricky with a Kindle but no… it’s fully waterproof. W A T E R P R O O F. This was the realisation that made me really fall in love with it I think! If you’ve ever used your phone in a bath, hot tub or sauna you’ll know what I mean by saying it makes the phone screen wet and almost cloudy. A phone screen cannot cope with the heat, water or steam and it’s just easier to not bother using your phone. However, the Kindle is completely oblivious to the Satan level heat being emitted around my bath, and it works perfectly! There’s no pesky fingerprint marks, no trouble with the screen not picking up where I’m tapping, and absolutely no need to throw it out of the bath and grab a paperback instead. I know this means it would be great for a spa day or by the pool on holiday – no matter how hot the weather may be – and that my friends is why I’m going to say this is the BEST technology I’ve ever owned. My inner nerd is psyched!

The last thing I wanted to mention is that the battery life is fantastic. I use my Kindle every single day, for anywhere from twenty minutes to over an hour, and I’ve barely had to charge the device since Christmas. Maybe four times?! Unlike my phone – which I’m pretty sure I sometimes just look at and my battery goes down by 10% – this is a great feature, and I hope it continues to last as well once I’ve used it for years!

So… are you on Amazon ordering yourself a Kindle Paperwhite yet?! Apologies for any enabling that may be caused by this post, they’re really just the best things ever. Do you love to read as much as I do? Have you already invested in a Kindle? What’s your favourite thing about it?! Be sure to check out my reading list I shared last month, there’s so many great books in there!

-G x

How I Find Time To Read & My Current Picks

Hi, loves! Today’s post is one I’ve teased on the blog for a little while, and I’m so happy to be writing about BOOKS. *Warning: it’s a long one, and perfect if you want to carve out a little self care time this bank holiday weekend. I’d recommend you grab a cuppa and settle in!* I love love love reading and it’s something I really wish more people were passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, I know lots of people love to read, but I really don’t know that many people who do! I have loved reading since I was a child; my parents and grandparents always read to me whenever they had time to, and I learned to read so quickly myself. I read my beloved Jacqueline Wilson books so many times I swear I knew the stories off by heart! When I was around 10 or 11, I was helping my granddad clear out a bunch of stuff, and discovered all of my mum and auntie’s old books by Enid Blyton. He kindly gave them to me, and I spent the rest of my summer engrossed in those books! The Secret Seven and Famous Five series ignited a serious love of reading (and dogs – I wanted my own Timmy SO BAD) and I’m forever grateful. I literally spent so many nights in my lilac groovy chick themed bedroom, curled up with a blanket and a book thinking I was so grown up. Ha!

In the years since then, I’ve never lost the joy in browsing book stores, talking about books and of course, reading them. I literally can’t walk past a bookstore without dragging Matt in ‘for a look’ – although, if you’re on a budget (aren’t we all?) have a perusal in store and check the prices on Amazon whilst you’re there; I can pretty much guarantee you’ll always get a better deal on Amazon! No, this post isn’t sponsored by Amazon, I just really love it.

Whenever I talk about my love of reading I am often met with “I wish I had time to read”. News flash: everyone has time to read. Let’s be honest; if Michelle Obama can find time to read, so can you. I have time to read so often because I literally set time aside to do so; making reading a priority is really important to me and it makes the world of difference to my mental health. It’s the perfect self care treat for me (along with a pamper evening and a cuddle from Matt, of course) and it truly opens your mind to SO much you may otherwise not know. Books can cover all different topics, issues and situations, and it’s crazy how much you can learn from a book. My mum and Matt’s mum share my love of reading, and we’re always swapping our current reads, like an unofficial book club! So, how do I find time to read? What are my top tips to help you make reading a priority?

Keep your book on your bedside table
Possibly the most obvious tip, but it makes sense guys. I always keep my current book on our bedside table, and take a little time to read most evenings/mornings. Matt often has to send a few work emails just before we settle in for the night so I take those twenty or so minutes to read a few chapters and get my reading fix. Similarly, he starts work early several times per week (which means a 6am alarm for us both) and I also take a little time once he’s left for work, before I blog or get ready for my work day, to read too. It’s a lovely way to begin or end your day, and if you’re struggling to fit reading time in, this will make a huge difference.

Set goals
Like with anything else, setting goals to read X amount each day/week, will make you hold yourself accountable, and make reading a priority. I love to set goals and have things to work towards, so of course this is no exception! I really think being able to tick a goal off a list helps to visualise it; of course this is a very niche goal but if you want to read more you need to treat it seriously. Maybe you could set out a week Monday to Sunday in the Notes app on your phone, using the bullet point system you can tick off, and then you can see how many days out of seven you read each week. Doing this week by week until it becomes a habit (which it should within two months, as scientists say on average it takes 66 days to create a habit) means that within a really short space of time reading would just become part of your everyday life!

Incorporate reading into your day-to-day life
Similarly to reading before bed or first thing in the morning, it’s amazing where you can fit time in to read. If you spend hours scrolling mindlessly on social media (your phone literally tells you how much time you spend now so you can’t avoid it) you could easily spend at least some of that with a book in your hand instead. I love to read in the bath, I seriously take super long baths just to be able to read for longer, and it’s the ultimate self care time for me. Matt sometimes spends a little time in the evenings working or playing on the playstation, which gives me a good chunk of time to read and not feel guilty about it! I also will spend a little time reading whilst sitting in the garden when it’s warm, or on a cold day I love to curl up with a cuppa and a book. I really should take my lunch break at work away from my desk, as that would be the perfect time to rack up some reading time.

Read digitally on your iPad/Kindle/phone
If you find reading a struggle or would just like to switch things up, I’d really recommend downloading a book onto your tablet or phone. I have been really enjoying reading on the Kindle app on my iPad recently; it’s so convenient as I always have my iPad with me anyway, and it’s very accessible no matter where I am. Downloading books onto a tablet is so handy when travelling too; it limits the weight/bulkiness of books (although I do think you can’t beat a ‘real’ book!) and it allows you to take several options, not to mention ebooks are way less money than a physical book. I am still so mad at myself for not picking up a Kindle Paperwhite during the Prime Day(s) sale, and it’s very high on my wishlist right now.

Carry a book with you day-to-day
If reading on a tablet is not for you I totally get that, but you need to carry your book with you if you want to make the most of reading time as and when you can. If you take public transport to work I’d really recommend making the most of your journey time and lose yourself in a book (just make sure not to miss your stop). Side note: I drive to work each day, and spend lots of time during the week in my car; I’m tempted to try Audible but it’s just not something that’s crossed my mind before. Please let me know if you would recommend! If you’re going somewhere where you may be waiting around, hospital appointments spring to mind right away, pack a book and the wait definitely won’t seem so bad.

Find authors and genres you find interesting
Another thing people tell me, is that they have the time to read, but they can never find a book they actually want to read. This is a little trial and error, but if you put the effort in to finding what makes your heart sing, you’ll see the benefit of it. Personally, I love fiction stories that feel like you’re right in with the characters but as you’ll see from my current picks below, I do like varied content. I really want to read more mystery books as I’ve borrowed a few from my mum that I’ve enjoyed, so that’s something I need to explore more in the coming months. It’s the best feeling finding an author you love, as you are drawn to their writing style and therefore can find so many books. Amazon’s ‘Recommended for you’ section pretty much always brings up amazing options, and I’ve found so many books I love that way!

My current favourite author is hands down Taylor Jenkins Reid. Two books I’ve read (and loved) recently are Forever, Interrupted and After I Do; both books are filled with love, heartbreak, sadness and happiness, and you truly feel like you’re experiencing the emotions of the lead characters. Zoe Folbigg is an amazing author and I’ve loved every book of hers I’ve read! I just finished The Postcard, which was the sequel to The Note, and it left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Two books that changed my life (in different ways) are Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton and How To Be A Grown Up by Daisy Buchanan. I’ve read both several times; they’re incredible and would make for brilliant presents for the gals in your life!

Michelle Obama’s Becoming is a must read for everyone, everywhere; she is, in my opinion, the most inspirational woman of our generation and I’m so happy she shared her story. The best non-fiction book I’ve ever read was This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay; I don’t know anyone who disliked this book, it’s filled with so much emotion – I’d literally be laughing one page and sobbing the next – it’s a must read. If you like books that let you escape from every day life, I’d suggest anything by Elin Hilderband. She writes about Nantucket (and Martha’s Vineyard) in so much depth I feel like I’ve been there myself; it’s a book that takes you on holiday from real life, and her stories are always so enticing. My favourite book of hers is hands down The Identicals. I’ve just downloaded a new Elin Hilderbrand book called The Perfect Couple (and One Minute Later by Susan Lewis) onto my Kindle app for literally 99p each! Order while you can! Shoutout to the lovely Savannah for originally recommending Elin Hilderbrand books to me!

Some of my current ‘to read’ list include the last in a wonderful series by Louise Pentland; Wilde Women. Louise is someone I’ve loved and admired for years, from way back to her Sprinkle of Glitter days, and I’m so happy that she’s began to write. She writes from the heart, her characters are lovable and I’m so excited to see what is happening with Robin, Lyla and Kath in the final installment! Queenie is a book I saw in Anna‘s reading pile and immediately purchased (the girl just knows her books, and also wrote a cracking book herself, An Edited Life) and I’m so excited to read; the book talks all about love, life and race issues and has rave reviews. Another author I’m very interested in is Jane Fallon, I often see her books featured on Instagram and I need to order one soon!

Thank you so so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post and found my tips and tricks helpful in some way. Can you believe my boyfriend (who is perfect in every other way, if I do say so myself) doesn’t like to read?! He’s literally been ‘reading’ the same book since Christmas 2017… maybe you take a few pointers from this post, Matthew?! Ha. So, are you a bookworm like me? Where’s your favourite way to make time to read? I’d love to share my favourite books every few months if that’s something you’d be interested in? Please leave me all your book recommendations below, I love to hear what other people are reading!

-G x