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After 10 years of thinking about it, I finally broke down about six months ago and bought a Kindle. I’ve always wanted to read more, but figured I could make due with my phone, especially after tech companies made the jump to four- and five-inch screens. Half a year later, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long; it was easily one of the best tech purchases I’ve ever made.
I bought the Kindle Oasis, the highest-end model there is at $270, for a few reasons: it has a slightly larger screen, support for audiobooks, dedicated page-turn buttons, and is the first one to be waterproof. All of those features really mattered to me while I was making my purchase, but none of them are what make the Kindle special.
What truly sets the Kindle apart is how easy it makes reading. And that goes for any model — not just the Oasis.
Rather than only supporting books from the Kindle store, Amazon designed its devices to be open. That means you can legally download tens of thousands of free digital books from Project Gutenberg and brush up on the classics you used Spark Notes on in high school.
You can sign up for the free read-it-later service Instapaper to save articles you think are interesting, and have your daily reading list sent to your Kindle right before you leave work to stay entertained on your commute home. It’s even possible to digitally check out books from your local library. All you need is an active library card.
And, of course, you can buy new titles from Amazon and carry thousands of books around in your bag, reading them on a device that weighs about as much as an average paperback with a battery that lasts weeks between charges.
By making reading so simple, the Kindle Oasis has encouraged me to do it more often. I can’t use my tired excuses like “I don’t want to carry a book around with me” or “I don’t have anything to read right now.” If anything, I’m now carrying around a ton of reading material, which is a pretty big change for me.
Like I said earlier, the features of the specific Kindle model you buy don’t necessarily matter too much, which is why I recommend either the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite. The Paperwhite doesn’t have turn page buttons, has a slightly smaller screen, and isn’t waterproof, but it supports all the services I mentioned earlier and costs less than half of the Oasis’ price.
Not very many gadgets have actually had a meaningful impact on my life or routine, but the Kindle Oasis has been one of them. It’s gotten me to read more in the past six months than I have in years, and I’m just getting started