kindle paperwhiteI saw my first Kindle Paperwhite over the weekend! Here in Canada, land of the Kobo, Kindles are a rare sight even for older models. But thanks to my dual-citizen sister (who chose the Kindle because she plans to move back to the U.S.) I got my hands on one this weekend.


I liked it! Here were my thoughts.

Kindle Paperwhite Screen and Light

These looked good to me. I had been told it was much less blue-looking than the Kobo Glo (which I have) but I didn’t find it overwhelmingly different. It looked fine to me. Nothing special, but fine.

The Book-Reading Experience

Reading a book itself was smooth and beautiful. The page turns seemed quicker than they are on my Kobo, and the text was crisp and beautiful. There are fewer font choices, but I felt that the Kindle respected these font choices more. The Kobo will often over-ride my own font preferences if the publisher specifies a font in the book (which is a pet peeve of mine!) It seemed the Kindle always used the font I chose.

The Home Screen

Ugh, it was awful. Busy, busy, busy. There were icons and buttons and little tabs and windows and panels everywhere. Ick! The Kobo home screen offers a much more streamlined and minimalist look.

The Bonus Features

Loved them! I think the vocabulary builder is a great idea, and I have been reading some more challenging books lately where this would have been useful for me. I also like the Goodreads integration. On the other hand, Kobo has the stats and the Reading Life awards, which are super-fun…

The Verdict?

So, my verdict? I liked it, but not enough to trade in what I have. I like that the Kobo uses the more open ePub format instead of a proprietary one (in fact, that was my sister’s chief complaint—she wants to read library books, and our local library network does not offer a Kindle option). And I like the less cluttered Kobo interface. I do think the Kindle has some nice features, and I appreciated the way the books always displayed with the font I selected. But the Kobo has some nice features too, and so it comes out pretty much a wash for me. ‘Some’ nice features and ‘enough nice features to make it worth an upgrade’ are not the same thing. My Kobo is fine for now!

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. I have a 1st generation paperwhite and the home screen is customizable to the point where I could get rid the the cover view and recommendations. I really hated the default home screen too. But now all I see is text: my six collections and any new titles not moved into a collection yet.

    Amazon has a big fault in that they try to push ads and recommendations. I want neither. I would switch to Kobo if Amazon ever tried to make viewing ads or recommendations mandatory. Fortunately, I can opt out.

  2. I picked up a gen1 Paperwhite last February at retail in Canada. The Source (old Radio Shack) stores carry them, as well as Staples.

    Just go to or and type kindle in the search box.

    Kindles aren’t that hard to find in Canada.

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