While my old Kindle wasn't huge or cumbersome, the smaller size of the Paperwhite was very appealing, especially for when I travel. I apologize for the pictures of the Kindles in their cases, but it isn't straightforward to remove them. Besides, since I always have the case on my Kindle it seems a fair comparison. (My old Kindle is in the blue cover, the new one is in the purple cover.)
It might not be apparent from the pictures, but even though the Paperwhite is smaller overall than my older model Kindle, the actual screen size is the same.
|Paperwhite on the left, Kindle 3 on the right|
The older cover has a pop-up light in the upper right-hand corner, but the Kindle itself doesn't have a light. The Paperwhite has a built-in light. You are able to control the brightness or turn it off completely if you don't need it. This is one of my favourite features! Also, the battery is much better on the newer Kindle. I use mine every day and so far I have only had to charge it once since the middle of February.
I like the new keyboard, which is similar to what you have on a smart phone or iPad. It is much easier to use than those itty bitty little dots on the older model.
It turns out one of the features I like the best is one I didn't realize it had before I got it. My biggest complaint about reading on the Kindle has been that I often can't tell you the name of the book I am reading. I never realized how much a book cover matters until I started using an e-reader. Without seeing the title, author and cover art of the book each time I interact with it, that information just doesn't stick in my head. (This might not be a problem for those of you with better minds than mine. And I am sure one of those better minds is going to tell me there was a way to set my old Kindle so I could see this information every time I used it.)
Up above in the picture with the two Kindles side by side and the covers opened, in each of them you are looking at the home screens displaying my collections. Even though it is the same information, it is in a completely different format. The biggest difference though is when you go to one of the collections. On the old Kindle it would just have a list of the names of the books. In the Paperwhite when I tap on the collection it brings up the book covers, as you can see in the picture on the right. This is another one of my favourite features! Now if you ask me what I am reading there's a fairly good chance I will be able to answer the question.
My final favourite feature is the cover. It works much like the cover to my iPad. When I open it up the Kindle automatically comes on. There is one downside to this feature though. The cover doesn't have anything to keep it closed, which means when I shove it into my backpack it is in danger of coming open and running down the battery or getting the screen scratched. So I decided my new Kindle needed a cozy. Someone on Ravelry suggested a simple cable pattern, and this is what I came up with. Details here.
As you can see from the stack sitting under my Kindle, I am a two-timer when it comes to reading. I enjoy both my Kindle and real, old-fashioned, "hold in your hands and turn the pages" books. I had hoped when I started using an e-reader a couple years ago that the book acquisition problem would be halted in its tracks. Clearly, old habits are hard to break.