Is the Kindle Paperwhite 2021 (11th generation) worth the money?

Yes. Yes it is.

The new Paperwhite does look and feel like the previous Paperwhite, and the one before that and so on.

A Kindle, however, does not need to surprise with amazing new features and clever tricks because to do so would be to negate what they are design to be, which is to mimic books as closely and naturally as possible.

The new 6.8″ display is the big bonus here and, to me, it does offer a very similar reading experience to the Oasis which is a mere 0.2″ bigger in screen dimensions.

It is now waterproof against accidental immersion in up to two metres of fresh water for up to 60 minutes and up to 0.25 metres of seawater for up to 3 minutes which is of course handy and the battery has been upped to 10 weeks.

USB-C is here to speed up charging and to make dealing with multiple cables a little easier and the Signature edition (£50 extra) throws in wireless charging, audiobooks, auto-adjusting light sensors and a charging cradle.

With warm lighting now available, a must have feature for me, it has all of the features of the Kindle Oasis apart from the hardware page turn buttons. The Oasis also feels more premium, the Paperwhite is a fingerprint magnet of extreme proportions, but when you consider the price difference (£129 vs £229) it is hard to recommend the Oasis.

After 10 minutes of use!

The Oasis is a brilliant eReader and in my opinion the best available today, but it is 2 years old and so I don’t believe that £229 is worthwhile when there is likely a new model around the corner. The Paperwhite is slightly quicker than the Oasis in use, it includes every feature of the Oasis in the Signature edition and it offers the kind of reading experience the majority will want.

Is the Paperwhite worth £129? Absolutely yes. Is the Paperwhite Signature edition worth £179? That’s more difficult because the Oasis is a more premium feeling device and those hardware buttons are advantageous, but for me I would suggest that the new Paperwhite is the new eReading king of the hill when it comes to value.

I still want to see a folding Kindle, I really do. When I hold the Paperwhite in landscape and imagine it folded in half the size would be perfect for any pocket and to enable the user to carry their library of books anywhere.

The Lightless Sky

The boy who fled Afghanistan and endured a terrifying journey in the hands of people smugglers is now a young man intent on changing the world. His story is a deeply harrowing and incredibly inspiring tale of our times… More here.

Some people commenting on this today would benefit from reading this book.

Reading nook ideas

Reading nook ideas can take advantage of a home’s features such as a bay window or an alcove. But they can equally be designed into a square or rectangular room, allowing these regularly shaped spaces to provide the cozy surroundings you crave.

A reading nook should be intimate, so creating one or even a few around a home won’t involve the sacrifice of large amounts of space. What is crucial, though, is seating to spend time on, and colors and textures that are appealing… More here.

I wouldn’t go as far as creating a ‘nook’, but I do find that I have to read in very particular places to really enjoy a book. It’s an odd thing, but true.

The original 1851 reviews of Moby-Dick

“To convey an adequate idea of a book of such various merits as that which the author of Typee and Omoo has here placed before the reading public, is impossible in the scope of a review. High philosophy, liberal feeling, abstruse metaphysics popularly phrased, soaring speculation, a style as many-coloured as the theme, yet always good, and often admirable; fertile fancy, ingenious construction, playful learning, and an unusual power of enchaining the interest, and rising to the verge of the sublime, without overpassing that narrow boundary which plunges the ambitious penman into the ridiculous; all these are possessed by Herman Melville, and exemplified in these volumes.” More here.

Always fascinating to compare how ‘new’ works are viewed compared to how we perceive them decades later.

Do They Know It’s Christmas Yet?: They took a trip back to 1984 and broke it.

Thirty-somethings Tash and her brother Jamie didn’t mean to time travel back to October 1984, but bizarrely they did on the very day that Bob Geldof watched the BBC news report which moved him to form Band Aid and record “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Except their arrival caused him to miss it. So because of them, there’ll be no Band Aid, no USA For Africa, and no Live Aid.
Jamie wants to find Bob and put things right. Tash wants to go straight back to the 21st century – she has a 5-month-old baby waiting for her… More here.

I just know that I will enjoy reading this.

Berlin U-Bahn Architecture & Design Map

The fifth in our series of public transport design guides, our Berlin U-Bahn Architecture & Design Map is now shipping. Written and curated by transport design historian Dr Verena Pfeiffer-Kloss, with original photography by Nigel Green, this two-sided cartographic guide offers fascinating insight into the U-Bahn’s 20th century architecture and graphic design for transport lovers, students of design and anyone interested in the history of Berlin. The map texts are in English and German… More here.

There is something oddly fascinating about underground transport architecture and Berlin is a very good example.

Shift happens

Shift happens will tell the story of keyboards like no book ever before: 150 years of keys, from the early typewriters to the pixellated keyboards in our pockets. It’ll show the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the awkward, the forgotten, the gross, and the inspiring… More here.

If this is your kind of subject I suspect the book will offer a huge amount of interesting content. Could be worth picking up when it’s released.

A Kindle user interface overhaul

Amazon’s Kindle e-readers get new software updates regularly, and they’re mostly of the nondescript, invisible “performance improvements and bug fixes” variety. But the most recent operating system update (version 5.13.7) is rolling out now, and it refreshes the device’s user interface for the first time since 2016 or so. Amazon says that redesigns for the Home and Library screens, which are mostly untouched in the current Kindle update, will be coming “later this year.” More here.

For many of you this will seem about as unexciting as tech can be, but for those of us who adore our Kindles these small changes can mean a lot.

Why Everyone is Shouting and No One is Talking

In this wise and very funny journey into the outrage industry, Ashley ‘Dotty’ Charles explores how by shouting about everything, we have lost sight of the fights that actually matter – and created a world where our outrage feels with consequence… More here.

This is on my reading list purely because it is a subject I am somewhat fascinated by.