New Kindle help

My wife would like a kindle for a gift. She had one a long time ago but then it just got old. Are they still a thing? What’s a good one ? Is something better than the kindle? I don’t know much about it at all and she doesn’t know much about them anymore.

Yes, still good, and arguably still the best. They are simple, have a great library, and just work. The new one with a pen is neat, but the software is really lacking compared to other brands. Just for reading, all the Kindles are great. I have an Oasis (the expensive one) and love it.

Stay away from Boox. Android based, poor software support and they release new models every 6-12 months, basically leaving old models to die. Bought one, and I liked it at first, but in the end I don’t use it because every time I do use it, I end spending an hour trying to figure out how to use it.


They’re definitely still a thing.

I have the current Kindle Paperwhite (6.8-inch screen) and really like it. The basic Kindle is a little smaller (6-inch screen), and is reputed to be quite good.

I also recently acquired a new Kobo Clara Colour and am really liking it. It’s about the same size as the basic Kindle. I probably don’t really need the color display, but I like it a lot.

What’s your wife’s primary purpose for the Kindle? Assuming it’s primarily reading and not note-taking (also assuming she’s not interested in an e-ink Android tablet, which can get pricey), here are some things to think about:

Do you want a color screen?

Kobo’s your only option in the e-reader space. The Clara Colour has a 6-inch screen. The Libra Colour has a 7-inch screen, and supports note-taking.

Do you want to read library books on the device?

If you live in the U.S. and your library uses Libby/Overdrive, either Kindle or Kobo is fine. You can only do the borrowing on device on a Kobo, but you can send a borrowed book to your Kindle with just a few taps in the Libby app on your phone. No need to connect any cables. Note for clarity: by “You can only do the borrowing on device on a Kobo,” I meant that Kobo is the only device on which you can directly borrow library books. You can also borrow using the Libby app and then send the book to the Kobo.

If your library uses Libby/Overdrive and you live outside the U.S., Kobo is your only option.

If you don’t care about color

The Kobo Clara BW (6-inch screen) should be good.

A Kindle Basic, Kindle Paperwhite, or Paperwhite Signature edition would also be good. Amazon provides a comparison chart at the end of each Kindle’s product page (here’s the one for the Paperwhite).


I’ve owned the Paperwhite Signature Edition since it released. It comes without ads, charges via USB C and Qi charging, and has an auto-adjusting backlight (not sure if that is a Signature feature or Paperwhite feature). I absolutely love mine and have read dozens of books on it since owning it. Finances permitting, I’d recommend this one.

A few notes:

  1. If you buy an ad-supported Kindle, Amazon support will remove the ads for free if you ask. This has been a thing for years now so hopefully it still works.
  2. People like to recommend Kobo devices and for good reason. You aren’t supporting Amazon, they have built in Overdrive integration, and the Clara has buttons! My “ordinary folks” will not want to switch out of the Amazon ecosystem however. The hardware quality is great and their Kindle libraries and highlights will sync over automatically.

I have a 10th generation Kindle paperwhite that’s four years old. I’m pleased with it.

If she wants a Kindle to read books, get her the current Paperwhite

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Agree - Boox are harder work than Kindles. If you only want to read books then a Kindle is the way to go.

However… the main reason to buy a Boox is that it enables other reading apps (in addition to the Kindle app), especially Readwise Reader.

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The biggest difference between the old ones (dependent on how old you’re talking) and the current ones is that unless you buy the Oasis (which is expensive) they do not have page turn buttons, rather you have to tap the screen. They also now come with Ads as standard

I found this really annoying.

If that’s not an issue, the Paperwhite is probably the one you should go for.

It looks like the Kindle Oasis is no longer available - at least in the US. My spouse has one and while she likes the screen and physical buttons, the battery life wasn’t competitive even when it was new.

With that gone one of the Kindle Paperwhites is probably the best combination of reading experience and value for most.

Speaking of getting old, she also has the original Kindle. It technically still works, but…

I still use my kindle paper white from circa 2014. Mostly reading ebooks books from the library these days.

As others have said, the Paperwhite is probably the way to go. And for $20 more than the baseline price, you can remove ads from the lock screen permanently. I’d rather pay for the product than be the product, so that’s the route I went.


I highly recommend the Paperwhite! The waterproof case and warm light make it worth the upgrade from the basic. FYI…Both the basic and Paperwhite are on sale in the US right now. If you have any old Amazon device you aren’t using, you can trade it in for an extra 20% off.

I’m using the latest Kindle Paperwhite and have used Kindles for years. They work great and give the best selections of books from the Amazon store, library services, Project Gutenberg public domain, even your own docs.

Regarding the ads, which save money in the purchase price, these are non-obtrusive as they only show when the Kindle is asleep, not while you are reading.

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How dark can the Clara screen go? I currently use an old Kindle, Oasis I think though possibly Voyage, and I like to read at night with the screen very dark in order to help me go to sleep and to not disturb my spouse. I’m worried that the color screen will be too bright, although I really like everything I’ve heard about this Kobo.

I have to admit I haven’t tried seeing how dark it will get, because I usually have the front light on to +/- 50% (as I do with my Paperwhite). But it’s possible to turn the light all the way off.

Unless you’re reading comic books, you’ll only have color on the main pages (such as those showing book covers) or when highlighting. So most of the time color isn’t likely to be an issue.

I’ve read (but have not tested) that dark mode on the Clara Colour (and presumably Libra Colour) only works for text, not for things like the library page. It apparently works fine on text, though

And while I’ve not done comparisons myself, my understanding from some YouTube videos and from the r/kobo subreddit is that the color screens are by nature darker. That’s due to how the color works; it’s a filter layer over the black and white layer. So the Clara Colour would never be as bright as the Clara BW at the same light setting.

This thread has a comparison of the Clara BW and the Clara Colour. The Colour is notably darker.

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I have a 6-year old Oasis. I like the Oasis / Paperwhite form factors, but I now do most of my Kindle reading on the Kindle app on my iPad Mini. The Kindle app is a very good e-reader app, and it’s easy to slide-over a Quick Note that itself is more functional than the note taking on the Scribe. The game is about selling e-books, not hardware, and if Amazon has a good multi-platform e-reader software to encourage sales, then the hardware is less important.


Wow , I’m shocked how many people replied. Thank you all.

She wants it just for reading, no note taking. Last time she had one was 15 years ago I think? If it was up to me I would get her an iPad and put the kindle app on it but she doesn’t want an iPad.

I prefer the iPad. But that’s me. I just have a question, my kids have Amazon tablets and we ran out of space on them and had to put a memory card in them. Is this an issue with the kindle also? Do I need a memory card also?

Not in my experience. I’m not an avid reader so it’s different for everyone, and I imagine there’s types/genres of books that have more images (ex: manga/anime). But I believe the average ebook size is like 1-3MB. So, ~16GB of storage on a kindle is pretty sufficient and you can remove books you haven’t read in a few years if you do ever fill that up.

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I doubt it; games and apps take a lot more space than ebooks.

Amazon keeps all the books you buy (with rare exceptions related to copyright and licensing) on Amazon’s servers,. You can delete them from the Kindle and still download them again.

Kindle is better for reading IMHO due to lack of distractions and the far superior battery life.

Kindle (the non android) devices don’t have the facility to add a memory card.