Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite

Originally published at:


I do find the Paperwhite display to be much more pleasant to read than on a tablet, and I love the very low power consumption. I’ve started reading a lot more since I got mine!


“…I have at least a hundred books on it…” A hundred books? A HUNDRED BOOKS??? That’s it? Wow. Just…wow. The thing I like the most about my Kindle (currently a Fire 7) is that I can carry more than even my current library of ‘real copy’ books with me every where. A HUNDRED BOOKS? Try 4000+.

I sometimes read /r/books on Reddit and the most recurring thread of all time always starts with “I enjoy reading on my Kindle”. This kicks off the exact same discussion each time about somebody else preferring paper then it devolves into the same list of pros and cons for each format. Where does this tribalism come from? It seems nuts.

Mark - I wonder if you’ve just kicked off that thread?

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In my case it’s because that the amount I read has gone up significantly since I got an ebook reader. I can modify the text layout so my dyslexia does not cause as much of a problem. I cant change typeface or linespacing on a paper book.

Other than that, I don’t really care what other people use.


I seem to remember there was this blog I used to read a lot that was always complaining Kindles had some crappy DRM and licensing rules that meant Amazon could just snatch stuff you purchased right off the device.


Bet this was Cory. Also, you don’t have to use the DRMed stuff. Amazon doesn’t insist on it, many titles are sold DRM-free. And it’s easy to side load or even to manage everthing with Calibre. Even strip the weak DRM Amazon uses, or so I’ve heard.

About remote deleting: IIRC they got sued for that once and as part of the agreement with the court committed themselves to not do that anymore.

Though technically they have a closed device and I understand that people do not them being able to scan what you read.

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I have three Paperwhites, one beside each of the places in the house that I like to sit and read. I also have the Kindle app on my iPhone, iPad Pro, and Windows desktop, but I’m less inclined to read on those. What makes this work is the synch function that allows me to stop reading on one and continue where I left off on another. It goes through batteries more quickly because WiFi has to be left turned on, but each device has a charging cable right next to it.

I have about 1,000 books currently, most stored on the Amazon cloud and in the Calibre library. Six years of subscriptions to Analog and Asimov’s, and complete sets of Travis McGee and Nero Wolfe. I use Calibre quite a bit to assemble masses of material into a single book; for example, I’m currently doing that with the set of Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga articles from

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I replaced my second edition Kindle with a Paperwhite two years ago when they went on sale for $49. Somehow $80 for a refurb one doesn’t sound very practical.

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Even if I read a new book every single day it would take me 11 years to get through 4000 books, at which point I expect I’ll likely have a new e-reader anyway. I’d rather have a device that’s actually optimized for reading (long battery life, non-reflective display suited for reading indoors or out, etc.) than a device equipped with more storage capacity than I could ever possibly need for that purpose.


I mostly use my Kindle Paperwhite to borrow eBooks from my local library. It’s fantastic for that purpose and you can even get around the borrowing time limit if you put the device in Airplane mode until you’ve finished reading the book.


You can still load your own ebooks, of whatever vintage. They will also mesh up with libraries’ “Overdrive” ebook-lending service, which is pretty cool.

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Ah, but I’ve had a Kindle since they were first introduced, and many of my books are old favorites I like to dip into now and again. I also like to borrow books from the library, and as for the DRM? Calibre has helped with that problem. Reading is my escape, my passion,has been since I learned to read back in my 1960 first grade class (no kindergarten in NM then). And with ever-worsening eyesight, being able to adjust font size is a dream come true. My family would tell you of the trips taken where I had more books in my luggage than clothes - but the Kindle freed us from that, lol.


The newer Paperwhite is nearly a full gram lighter.

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I bought a new one a couple months ago for $80 with a Prime Deal. Amazon routinely drops the price on these. And it’s Christmas shopping season - the Paperwhite is $90 new on Amazon right now. Not a good deal unless the refurb price is the no “special offers” version.

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IIRC German libraries don’t support Kindle. Though I don’t mind, since they don’t carry enough of the stuff I’d read on it.

Huh. Does the syncing works for side-loaded books? I’ve purchased quite a few books directly from Amazon. But the vast majority comes from other sources, usually converted from epub.

Non-Amazon are synced if you email them to your account, but I don’t think they are if you load them to the device manually. But emailing is no problem - there are browser extensions, Calibre can do it and, of course, any email app or service works. As I recall, copying a book over via USB results in it a ‘local’ version - but this may have changed, as I’ve just been using email for a while.

The weak spot for sync is the ‘cloud reader’ web app, which won’t show you personal documents, or notes from them. So if you make a lot of use of personal documents, you really need your device on hand (the iOS app shows everything, so your phone may do in a pinch - but I wish the web app was better).

The Kindle is still geared towards Amazon purchases for the best experience, which I suppose is to be expected, but it can certainly be used as a general reader, provided you know how to convert epubs. Most of the frustrations I have tend to be a result of shoddy formatting in the source file - the device itself is fine.

Thanks. This probably explains the confusion on my system, with regards to local and cloud collections and where what shows up.

Yeah, I basically use it just a reader and not for note taking or other documents at all. That’s what my smartphones and tablets are for.

Formatting, oh yes. I spend way too much time to fix etexts from irregular and regular origins, often by stripping it down to text/plain and then turning them into ePubs, complete with my own fonts. Though Bookerly made that one obsolete for me.

Edit: No by hand, though. I once took 1.000 Perry Rhodan pulp PDFs from the usual scanners and wrote a chain of conversion scripts, which still serve me today. Though since then there’ve been decent DRM-free collection from the publishers, so I simply buy those. (Especially since I bought only the first 300 pulps back in my youth.)

I will occasionally go into the book editor in Calibre for a few simple fixes, if there’s no easy alternative and the problem bugs me enough. It’s hard to stop once you’ve started, though - I’ll just tweak this, and that needs a capital C, and I might as well space that out a little better… etc. etc. So I try not to, whenever possible. But I do aspire to one day picking a public domain text I love and building a comprehensive, well-constructed free version.

The chief value of the Calibre editor, for me, is being able to remove unnecessarily large images, often shrinking the file down to a small percentage of the original size.