Growing up I remember that my dad had a room with four or five bookcases full of books that he had accumulated over a great many years. There was a wide variety of topics: a manual for field medicine, a pilot’s operating manual to a Robinson R22 Helicopter, James Clavell’s Shogun, Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead, an aged set of the encyclopedia Britannica, and so on. As a kid I loved to look through those books at the world’s deadliest viper or cross sectional diagrams of the sweep wing F-14 Tomcat. I used to just imagine my dad having the most incredible adventures during his life. He always told me that one of his greatest passions was learning as much as he could by reading as many books as he could get his hands on. I didn’t share his enthusiasm as a bibliophile till much later in life and he had passed away. Unfortunately, now the nature of my work highly encourages personal development through reading but requires that I move somewhat frequently. This unfortunately means that I am unable to have a library like my dad did. This is where the Amazon Kindle and audiobooks on Audible have changed my life. I bought myself a Kindle E-reader when I was finishing up college so I didn’t have to carry so many books across campus. I remember long days of lifting weights early in the mornings, carrying heavy books all over campus in the afternoon, and working late into the evenings.
To be entirely honest I didn’t even buy an actual, physical Kindle E-reader for two years after I started reading E-books. I was a broke college student. I was all about spending as little money as possible. So I just downloaded the kindle app on my smartphone without spending a single cent or giving anyone any credit card information, which I hate.
Amazon.com – Read eBooks FREE
I read books whenever I had a couple of minutes: the waiting room at the doctor’s office, waiting for my burrito to be made, sitting on the couch during commercial breaks, etc. You would be surprised at how much time you spend waiting for things through out an average day. I always had my phone on me and reading a couple pages here and there I could knock out a book in a day or two depending on how long the book was. This was extremely convenient. I mean you can’t always fit a book in your pocket, but with kindle I had my entire library with me everywhere. This was a game changer. I was reading book after book and absorbing knowledge at the cyclic rate. I also took a speed reading course that actually helped me increase my reading speed and comprehension after a couple hours of practice too. So buying that many eBooks has got to dent the wallet right?Not necessarily. There are several websites that allow you to download books for free not to mention many libraries offer books on eBook as well. If you’re a Amazon Prime member, you already have access to a ton of books you can read included in your prime membership, There’s even an unlimited membership that allows you to download as many books as you want: Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
It was at this point, I thought it might be worth the investment for an actual physical Kindle E-Reader. So I caved and bought one like this. Saves me the headache from staring at my phone screen and saves my phone battery too.
My Kindle is the Paperwhite edition, which uses a proprietary ink display and back light that doesn’t cause your eyes to strain after prolonged use like the LED screen on my phone. Other useful features include:
-Wifi and free cellular connectivity, so I can download a new book anywhere
-A built in dictionary. Look up any word just by pressing and holding the word.
-Weeks of battery life
It has a rudimentary internet browser included, but haven’t really used it much. I intentionally didn’t get the Fire tablet version so I wouldn’t be tempted to check social media or watch movies instead of reading. If that’s what you’re looking for I would just get a regular tablet then download the Kindle App for it. Unless you’re really into the whole Amazon Alexa thing. I’ve never taken mine into any really austere environments so I can’t really speak to its durability. I’ve had mine for years and it is pristine. I did buy the slick magnetic leather case for it. I learned the hard way many times to protect your gear.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather CaseIf you’re the kind that really needs to take your Kindle into harm’s way I’d recommend looking into the Kindle Oasis.
All-New Kindle Oasis E-reader – 7″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Waterproof
The new Kindle Oasis boast IPX8 waterproofing, you know just in case you’re clumsy, accident prone, want to read a book in the rain, or while swimming? Some of the new Kindles also have Audible and Bluetooth so you can take your quest for knowledge to the next level.
I’ve always been opposed to audiobooks. My attention span is somewhat short and my mind tends to wander. I never seem to absorb as much information from books when I listen to them in an audiobook format. After my wife let me listen to some of her audiobooks on Audible, my whole paradigm shifted. I was able to finish books so much faster than I would be able to if I physically read it, even despite my ability to speed read. This happened because I could listen to a book in situations I wouldn’t usually be able to read like when I was commuting to work, working out, cleaning a gun, going for a run, cooking, or any other activity that demands my hands. As far as retention, I realized I also often zone out when I’m physically reading a book and I don’t really retain everything that way either. Using Audible in my car and when I work out has over doubled the amount I am able to read. The Audible App is also free, which is one of my favorite features. A monthly membership includes a credit for a book a month, which can accumulate. With Amazon’s household system, I have access to all of my wife’s books and prime benefits. I also have access to my work’s ebook library which I just email to my kindle’s email address. So I haven’t spent any money at all on my favorite app. If you use this link below for a free month trial, you get two books for free. You can keep the books even if you cancel after the free trial. So give it a try! Pick up a book on how to be more likable or one on how to workout better for free: Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
If you still like reading in person, Kindle’s built in Whispersync automatically matches your progress in Audible and in your Kindle. I’ve really been able to do some awesome things and learned an incredible amount with Kindle and Audible, I do have physical books still that I like to read, something about the feel and sensation of reading a real book, maybe that’s just nostalgia from my dad’s old library. One day I will have my own library, where maybe my future kids will learn there is a giant, scary, and beautiful world out there. Until then, I’ll stick to the convenience of Kindle and Audible.