These days with people gradually adopting e-books, more and more devices are adding functionality for reading them. I own several devices that can read e-books, but not all of them are ideal for the task. In the interest of decluttering, it’s time to examine which e-book readers will stay, and which should be recycled, donated, trashed, or sold.
Here are my current options for reading Kindle books:
Phones these days can do just about anything your computer can do, including reading e-books. I have the Kindle app installed on my phone, and I use it every day to read books while working out at the gym. It’s also useful for reading while waiting in the doctor’s office, waiting in really long supermarket lines, or waiting nearly anywhere.
Verdict: Keep it.
Amazon Kindle 3
I was skeptical of e-books for a long time. I just really enjoy having a big bookshelf filled with books and flipping through them. Then my brother gave me an Amazon Kindle 3 for Christmas. I gradually got used to reading on the device, and now about 98% of my book purchases are electronic.
However, my phone can do everything the Kindle 3 can do and more. These devices still go for about $20 on eBay, so…
Verdict: Sell it.
Kindle Fire HD
The Kindle Fire HD is a tablet computer similar to Apple’s iPad. It’s easy to read Kindle books on the device, and its full-color screen is helpful as more e-books add color and pictures. It also provides a text-to-speech option for most e-books and plays video. Because it runs Android as an operating system, you can install apps and use the Kindle Fire HD as a tablet computer, though its small size and slight lag make it not ideal.
I replaced my Kindle 3 with this device, mainly because it is backlit so I can read books in the dark before I sleep. It was so convenient to keep it on my nightstand until I realized I could just use my phone to read before bed, and the phone is also back-lit. These still go for about $30 on eBay, so…
Verdict: Sell it.
Computer or Chromebook or MacBook
For people who prefer not to carry an e-book device around, Amazon also has a Kindle website set up where you can read e-books on your computer. I find this very useful for going through my notes and referencing my books while working at my computer. I still use my computer and Chromebook, but the Macbook is 10 years old and still sells for $70 on eBay, so…
Verdict: Sell the Macbook, keep the computer and Chromebook.
For reading Amazon Kindle books, I find my iPhone is the most useful e-book reader. The Amazon Cloud Reader is also very handy for accessing my books from any computer. I’m keeping my iPhone, desktop computer, and Chromebook because I still use all three regularly.
While the Kindle 3, Kindle Fire HD, and MacBook are neat devices, they are simply redundant in my life. I should be able to sell all three for around $120 on eBay, and I’d say that’s a good trade for things I don’t use anymore.
One Final Thought
Recent research has shown that the backlights from most electronic devices (including iPhones, Kindle Fire devices, and computers) suppress your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone your body produces to regulate your sleep. That means looking at back-lit devices like your phone at night may be giving you insomnia. If you want to read e-books at night, it’s best to find a front-lit e-book reader.
One thing I am considering is to sell my Kindle 3, Kindle Fire HD, and MacBook, then use the proceeds to buy a Kindle Paperwhite (affiliate link). The Kindle Paperwhite is front-lit, so I can read my books at night before bed without worrying about getting insomnia.