An ode to the Kindle Paperwhite

Oh Paperwhite, my sweetest Paperwhite

In softness clad, and black as moonless night

Submerged in all thine words, I do thee clutch

And thou, to me, feel’st like a lover’s touch

My eyes aloft o’er fonts as clean as dew

So easy ’tis to lose myself in you

Caecilia and Palatino, my dear

Did not before look quite so fine and clear

I loved thy sister, trusty Kindle Touch

But next to thee, my sweet, she lacks so much

Face sunken in and fussy as a bee

Could not tell cloth from skin, it saddened me

And when the sun at day’s end went to rest

The words at once became as dim as west

So dark were they, I huddled by the light

of bulb, or tube, or candle in the night

One day I laid the words on fine a slate

A thing with bigger screen and greater weight

Yet soon my eyes grew weary from the glare

And seeing the faint reflection of my hair

But thee, O fairest reader of them all

Have no such flaws, no penchant to appall

When set all day upon thine front-lit face

Mine eyes do not fatigue, do not give chase

To chapter’s end, to hasty epilogues

They seek the words like famished pollywogs

And though ’tis true you are not free of kink

One glowing edge, one corner tinted pink

Your screen, when dimmed to match the light around

Is fairer than what printed things abound

Except, perchance, a Gutenberg Bible

But paperbacks were never as noble

*  *  *

Comments closed
    • 9 years ago

    My only gripe with the Kindle Paperwhite is that the screen is too small, and this Kobo Aura HD looks to be near perfect.

    I wish I had known about the Kobo Aura HD, before I bought my Kindle. Oh well.

    • epoon2
    • 9 years ago

    Jesus, wait until he recites this on podcast.

    Almost made me cry. lol

    • cynan
    • 9 years ago

    For me, being basically locked into a single source for content was a deal breaker for considering the Paperwhite, regardless of how swank the Amazonian ecosystem is. Plus, it’s not as if you’re giving up performance to go with one of Kobo’s readers. If anything, the opposite is true. Especially with the Aura HD, as you point out.

    The Aura HD does look pretty nice. However, the funny thing is, when I went shopping for a reader last holiday season, I had my sights on the Kobo Glo. What did I end up with? The older Kobo Touch. What was I thinking? Well, I compared the Glo and the Touch side by side for at least 20 minutes. Yes, the Glo has 1024×768 while the Touch is only 800×600. The fact remained that I could hardly tell the difference with ebook text, which is what I use it for 99% of the time. Yes, graphics did look a bit better on the Glo – but again, not what I use it for. Once the Touch is updated to the newer firmware, it is just as responsive as the Glo. Yes the Glo has the light, but I didn’t think I’d miss that feature too much (though I have felt I could have used it on a couple of occasions in retrospect).

    As the difference in price at the time was $40 ($20 less purchase price plus $20 gift card), I decided to save the money and go with the Touch.

    I wonder if the 1440×1080 (261 dpi) on the Aura HD makes a bigger difference for text than with Touch vs Glo.

    • HolmesIV
    • 9 years ago

    @Cyril, that made me laugh. You are by far the most interesting writer on this site. (No idea if the best, no idea if your coverage is better, I do simply know that I enjoy reading you more).

    @cynan Heh, you beat me to it. I shall not write in verse, but I would venture to say the Kobo Glo as a device is possibly marginally superior to the Paperwhite. More customization options, can acquire and use ePubs from virtually any free and commercial source, stronger and I think more even light.

    Where the Kobo falls short is of course Amazon’s excellent well-thought out cloud infrastructure, and no free WhisperSync (3G support), and no easy emailing of books to devices.

    But… I just got my fingers on an Aura HD from Kobo. This is amazing and beautiful. The Paperwhite doesn’t even come close. It’s not in the same time zone. (I own a PRS-T1, a Kindle Keyboard, a Glo, and have used a Paperwhite for 25 days, so have some standard for comparison).

    The Aura HD is really lovely. Is it worth it for everyone? Heck no. Kobo’s spin is that if you read 50+ books a year, and aren’t troubled by an extra $40 (169 vs 129), then the answer should be yes. I tend to agree.

    The 1440×1080 screen is an excellent step up. The 6.8″ screen does deliver surprisingly more real estate. (Since IIR geometry, this is proportional to the square of the diagonal measurement of the screen, I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising).

    And while Amazon has surrendered to the dark side of capacitive touch screens, Kobo still kicks it old school like Amazon used to with IR. Result: slightly thicker reader, but no extra layer between you and the text. (Sensitivity and touch reliability is fine).

    Not playing a fanboy here I hope. Amazon is superior in cloud infrastructure, frequent sales, especially if you are American or UKian. (Iffier if you are Canadian and many other nationalities).

    The eReader community is small enough relative to the tablet community to not get into crazy internecine wars. Kindle, Kobo, everyone else are all great products, and anyone with an eInk reader is a gentleman (or lady) of style, refinement, taste and pure awesomeness.

    But fairest reader, leaving aside infrastructure, of them all? Aura HD. For now.


    • jibkat
    • 9 years ago

    Why a kindle and not a kobo?

    • tipoo
    • 9 years ago

    Even better, combine the two. Make the opening of the Haswell review a poem which includes both verbal beauty and numerical fact.

    • torquer
    • 9 years ago

    Roses are red
    violets are blue
    this poems disturbing
    and krogoths unimpressed, too

    • cynan
    • 9 years ago

    Oh Paperwhite, though thow art fair
    A major fault you bring to bare
    Whilst function-wise thow art robust
    This lingers leaving me nonplussed

    Thy paucity of audio
    Useful for some while on the go
    Mars little thy status as leader;
    For foremost thow art a reader

    More crucial than the absence of sound
    Thy uneven lighting doth abound
    Yet even this fails to be so stark,
    Of concern only while in the dark

    Thy intractable Achilles heel,
    Cruelly wrought with draconian zeal,
    Is thy bonds to a relentless Sire
    From whom all content we must acquire

    Alas, another suitor exists
    Equally worthy of reading trysts
    And whilst thy love comes shackled in chains
    With Kobo my steadfast heart remains

    • Cyril
    • 9 years ago

    I haven’t heard anything, but Amazon seems to release new Kindle e-readers every year or so. The last launches were in October 2012 and September 2011, so I’d probably expect some new hardware around the same time this year.

    • tipoo
    • 9 years ago

    Pandora Tomorrow?

    • slowriot
    • 9 years ago

    Excellent Cyril. I enjoy my Paperwhite quite a bit too.

    • tipoo
    • 9 years ago

    Oh Barnes and Noble Nook (ST),
    You seemed pretty cool,
    But your buttons get stuck
    I felt like a fool,
    To forsake Bezos love
    For a fifty dollar…Bool.

    • asdzxc57
    • 9 years ago

    Cyril — this is why I keep reading The Tech Report. Thank you. Nice to take a break from the CPU specs and work the other side of our brains.

    • DrCR
    • 9 years ago

    “I’m shocked and amazed”

    Bonus points if you know that game this is a quote of. 🙂

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    No battery version


    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    *slow clap*

    • mightymightyme
    • 9 years ago

    I love my paper-white, I completely understand.

    • Johnny5
    • 9 years ago

    Eloquent beyond measure
    Your words I so treasure
    Hunters speak of dead does
    But I see just the Meadows

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    I… ugh.

    • Prospero424
    • 9 years ago

    Rhyming “epilogues” with “pollywogs”…

    /Five-finger-tips-to-the lips kissing motion

    • Johnny5
    • 9 years ago

    Ladies and gentlemen, The Great Kowaliski.

    As it happens I just started Gatsby earlier this week. Still only on page six though.

    • sunner
    • 9 years ago

    thats quite a nice poem : ).
    I’m toying with idea of getting a Kindle Paperwhite, but hoping if I wait a couple more months Amazon will come out with a newer fancier model.
    Have you heard anything in the rumor department?

    • drfish
    • 9 years ago

    *clap, clap, clap*

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    That’s from Borderlands 2!

    • cheerful hamster
    • 9 years ago

    Kinda ironic that an e-reader moved you to verse, yet support for verse on e-readers is just terrible.

    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 9 years ago

    Wow. Uh…


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