Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

I used a Kindle for the first time in 10 years and it totally changed how I read

As someone who writes for a living, I admit that I don’t read as much as I should — at least as far as actual books go. On a daily basis, most of my reading is done through various online news media, but that’s pretty much a part of my job. In my free time, I simply find it hard to make time to pick up a book and read (and even write creatively).

I used to love reading books when I was younger, and when e-readers were first becoming popular in the early 2000s, I thought they were fantastic. I picked up my first Kindle over 10 years ago, and I liked the fact that I could carry a collection of books with me everywhere. But I eventually got lazy with book reading. And it remained that way for about a decade. But then I got a chance to check out the Kindle (2022) this year, and I’ve been enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. In fact, it’s basically reignited my love for reading.

A tiny, compact collection of books in my hands

Amazon Kindle (2022) Store
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

I purchased my first Kindle many years ago. But back then, Kindles were a little taller, and perhaps still very lightweight, but still big enough to be noticeable when throwing one in your bag.

One of my favorite things about the new Kindle is the size — it’s incredibly small and lightweight with a 6-inch screen. In fact, I can fit it into the pockets of my coats and hoodies, and I have no problem throwing it into my Tom Bihn Small Café bag or one of my many Loungefly mini backpacks. Because it’s so compact, I really can take it with me everywhere, and it’s so lightweight that I often forget it’s even there. It’s similar to the size of your typical paperback book, except it’s much thinner, less bulky, and can hold an entire collection of books — not just a single title.

This new Kindle also offers 16GB of storage, which is four times the amount of storage from the previous iteration. I’m not sure if I’ll ever come close to filling all of that up, but it’s great not to really have to worry about running out of room for books. I’m trying to read at least a book or two every month since I received my new Kindle, so 16GB should be more than enough space.

And since a new Kindle purchase includes three months of the Kindle Unlimited service, and Prime members have access to Prime Reading, I’ve been discovering plenty of titles that I wouldn’t have known about. I think after my trial is up, I may continue to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, just because there are plenty of hidden gems out there to discover. Plus, it would continue to give me a steady stream of things to read.

A backlit screen with dark mode

Amazon Kindle (2022) Dark Mode
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

I prefer to read before going to bed, as it eventually helps me fall asleep. The problem, though, is that my old Kindle from the ancient times did not have a backlight in the display; if I wanted to read in the dark, I needed a clip-on light of some kind — how tedious.

Thankfully, those days are long gone thanks to the Kindle; even the base models now have a backlight. Sure, it may not be the brightest as it only has four LEDs compared to the 17 LEDs in the Kindle Paperwhite and 25 with the Kindle Oasis, but it’s good enough to let me read, especially in direct sunlight or even a dark room. And speaking of dark, despite being the entry-level version, the Kindle now has dark mode, making it even better when reading at night. With dark mode, you won’t disturb your sleeping partner with a bright white display in pitch-black darkness. The only caveat is that you have to adjust the backlight manually — there’s no ambient light sensor like in higher-end models, but that’s entirely fine for me.

No distractions

Amazon Kindle (2022) reading view
Christine Romero-Chan/Digital Trends

Though it’s not impossible to read on a smartphone, such as the iPhone 14 Pro that I primarily use, they’re full of distractions. You have social media, games, messages, emails, and everything else under the sun. I mean, sure, you could use something like Apple’s Focus modes to stop said distractions, but even then, I usually end up searching for other apps or things to do once my brain wanders.

The best thing about a dedicated e-reader like the Kindle is that there are no distractions. You just have your book, a digital bookstore, and nothing else. For someone like myself, who may be easily distracted, using a single-purpose device like the Kindle is just what I needed to fully immerse myself in a good (or bad) book like I used to.

A basic Kindle that gets the job done

Amazon Kindle (2022) e-ink display
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Amazon has several different models of Kindle available, including the Paperwhite and Oasis, as well as the all-new Scribe. Those models have many extra features, such as more LEDs for the backlit display, waterproof IPX8 ratings, auto-adjusting ambient light sensors, cellular connectivity, and even stylus support on the Scribe. They’re pricier, but can also do so many extra things.

But if you just want to read, the base model Kindle is simple and basic, which are both great traits to have for an e-book reader. For $100, this Kindle is a fantastic upgrade from whatever older model you’ve been using, or even a great first Kindle. Its simplicity makes reading an absolute joy, and I’ve been trying my best to set aside some time each day, mostly before going to bed, to squeeze in some reading. Whether that’s just a few pages or several chapters of whatever book I picked up, the new Amazon Kindle has made me love reading books again.

Editors' Recommendations

Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
The best personal finance apps in 2023 for iPhone and Android
best personal finance apps.

When managing personal finances, there are many tasks to remember — from budgeting and tracking expenses to saving money and investing for the future. Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to stay on top of your finances, and plenty of apps are available for Android and iOS users to help you manage your money effectively. This means you can use them on any of the best mobile devices on the market, including the iPhone 15 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

We have compiled a comprehensive list of our favorite apps to help you find the right personal finance app for your needs. These apps can help you track your spending, create a budget, monitor your investments, and more. Whether you're looking to save for a big purchase, pay off debt, or improve your financial health, these are the personal finance apps you should use.

Read more
Don’t wait for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Just buy this phone instead
The back of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is nine months old, and over the next few weeks, talk of its successor — the inevitable Galaxy S24 Ultra — will start to gather pace.

I went back to the S23 Ultra to see if it was still as exciting as it was in February this year. I also wanted to see if waiting for the sequel instead of buying it today would be a wise decision to make. Here's what I learned.
What makes the Galaxy S23 Ultra unique

Read more
Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are still at their Black Friday prices
The home screen on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

Best Buy has some fantastic phone deals with both the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro still at their Black Friday prices. That means you can buy the Google Pixel 8 for $549 thereby saving $150 off the regular price of $699. Alternatively, you can buy the Google Pixel 8 Pro for $200 off so it costs $799. If you’re interested in either, take a look below at what we have to say about them before you commit to making a purchase.
Google Pixel 8 -- $549, was $699

The Google Pixel 8 offers great value for money. It has an attractive 6.2-inch OLED “Actua Display” with 2400 x 1080 resolution, up to 2,000 nits of brightness, and a variable refresh rate between 60Hz and 120Hz. Performance is speedy with Android 14 working great on this phone. It also has a strong set of cameras with a main 50MP lens along with a wide-angle camera with 12MP lens and a 125.8-degree field of view. There’s also a 10.5MP selfie camera with fixed focus. One of the best Android phones for value, you’ll love its other features too. The Google Tensor G3 processor is speedy while there are useful software options like the Magic Eraser tool you’ve probably already heard about which is changing up photos for the better. It also has an adaptive battery so it’s possible to run for up to 72 hours between charges depending on what you’re doing with it.

Read more