I am a bibliophile who loves to read about new concepts and ideas. The next step almost always involves testing them out in real life.
Don't Get Me Wrong, I Love Physical Books..
For the longest time, I have been an advocate of physical books. You can touch them, you can feel them, and most importantly – you can smell them!
The downside – I was running out of storage space at home. Recently, I had to give away a lot of my books and that was such a heartache.
I then slowly shifted towards the Kindle App. I installed it on my laptop and mobile. It was very convenient. I could read on the go, access features like highlighting, increasing the font size on the Kindle app. I then became a Kindle app advocate. I recommended the app to all my near and dear ones.
I was convinced I would never get a Kindle device, because hey, my Kindle app was more than enough for me.
But then the eye strain began.
What They Do Not Tell You About the Kindle App
The eye strain. The dreaded eye strain.
My eyes would feel heavy after reading for an hour. I experienced a dull ache over my eyelids too.
Because my phone and laptop weren’t dedicated reading devices.
Your desktop, laptop, iPad, tablet, mobile – they all have to perform many functions. They are not dedicated reading devices. Their screens are developed to display everything sharp and bright. Colors should pop, design elements should be crisp and clear. But this creates havoc for your eyes. Why do you think computer glasses are being sold nowadays?
It got to a point when I couldn’t deal with the strain any longer. I wasn’t getting much reading done.
What Makes the Kindle So Reader-Friendly?
Dedicated readers do not emit blue light (for the most part). Instead of using a backlight like most devices, the Kindle uses a sophisticated light system that guides the light from the edge-mounted LEDs towards the surface. The light bounces off instead of directly hitting your eyes.
The electronic ink eliminates the fuzzy imagery you get when you stare at an online font for too long.
Due to all these features, reading on a Kindle feels like you are reading a flattened physical book with the added convenience of reading it however and wherever you want (including low light situations) without straining your eye.
I own a Kindle Oasis. It has page flip buttons that allow me to handle my “book” single-handedly (literally). On the other hand, if I am lying down reading a physical book, I need to support it with both hands.
The Most Comfortable Way to Read the Kindle Oasis – My Personal Experience
The Kindle Oasis is a little bit tricky to adjust to. But once you get the hang of it, reading becomes a breeze. The exterior is made of aluminum and is smooth and a bit slippery. This makes it tough to grasp the device while reading.
The metallic body is also cold to the touch. There is a thicker side that is meant to help you in handling the device but it does not always serve its purpose.
I have found that the second-best position to read the Kindle Oasis is by lying down, letting my bed or sofa support one end of the Kindle.
The first best position is obviously sitting up.
I have heard that getting a Kindle Oasis case/cover resolves the grip issue. I have not yet tried that out.
The Perks of Owning a Kindle Oasis
- The biggest perk for me – was the reduction of eye strain! In a matter of days, my eyes felt less fatigued (almost 80% recovery). I fully recovered in a week or two.
- You can build your vocabulary using the vocabulary builder. In case you check the definition of a word (by pressing on it), it automatically gets added to the vocabulary builder. You can then access the vocabulary builder by clicking on the 3 dots at the top of the screen. Once you have mastered the word, you can remove it from the list.
- You can convert PDF to Kindle format. You just need to send the PDF to your Kindle device (use the designated Kindle email ID) with the subject “Convert”. To find out your email, go to Settings > Your Account. Once it is converted to Kindle format, you can increase the font size, select and highlight text, add notes, etc.
- I can now read in low-light conditions. With a physical book, you need a well-lit room to read comfortably. The Kindle can be used anywhere even when it is pitch dark without hurting your eyes.
- The page up and down buttons on the Kindle Oasis is a huge plus while lying down. You need not swipe to turn to the next page. You can single-handedly maneuver the device.
- It offers a distraction-free reading experience. With the Kindle app, I tend to get distracted a lot with all the incoming notifications from other apps.
- I am less dependent on my phone now! This means my phone charge lasts much longer than before.
- The auto-rotate feature is very convenient. The screen auto-rotates based on how you hold the Kindle.
- I am reading more than usual! Because of less eye strain, I am able to comfortably read for hours on end.
- You can share passages/quotes directly to Goodreads.
- I use the warm light feature at night! It feels like a warm, soothing hug for your eyes. You can also adjust the brightness of the screen depending on your requirements.
- There is an experimental web browser, which many people use to read articles. I have consciously stayed away from this till now so as not to become addicted to the Internet on yet another device.
- Kindle Oasis is waterproof. It can be immersed for up to 2 meters of freshwater for 30 minutes without damage. For seawater, it can survive 0.25 meters for 3 minutes. I have no intention of using it near water though. But if you are someone who likes to read a lot in your bathtub, this is something you can consider.
- Lots of free books are available for Kindle owners. You will never run out of books for reading ever again.
- Includes Audible (audiobooks) in selective places.
- Better for the environment! No paper is involved.
The Things I Miss From the Kindle App
- Color highlights. You can highlight text passages in color on the Kindle app – yellow, pink, blue. But you cannot do that on the Kindle. Everything is highlighted in a dull gray. But honestly, this is not a big issue for me. They might have done this on purpose to reduce eye strain.
- The width of my phone is smaller compared to my Kindle and it is much easier to hold. But the flip side is that my phone feels heavier.
Hope that was helpful! If you are thinking of getting a Kindle, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Treat it as an investment for your eyes.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Kalpana Iyer
Kalpana Iyer (author) from India on October 02, 2021:
Thank you, Peggy, for taking the time out to comment! Yes, it all depends on one's preferences. Many I know still love real books and might never opt for e-books or Kindle books.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 01, 2021:
I am old-fashioned enough to still appreciate holding real books. You make a good case for the Kindle Oasis in reducing eyestrain. If I ever decide to start reading books online, I will remember your advice. Thanks!
Kalpana Iyer (author) from India on September 20, 2021:
Thank you for taking the time out to comment :)
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on September 19, 2021:
Thanks for sharing this. Enjoyed this.