It was probably my desire to root for the underdog, but when I first decided to invest in an e-reader, my feet were planted squarely against an Amazon Kindle. Now, after trying the Kobo and the Nook, I’ve become fully invested in the Kindle. The latest enhancements to the Kindle Paper White and Amazon’s acquisition of Audible.com have made for my perfect reading experience.
Whipsersync for Voice (WfV) and the combination of Kindle & Audible.com allows one to have almost non-stop reading. When it is available on a title, its like magic! I might pick up my Kindle in the morning before work and read a few pages. When I’m finished reading, my position is automatically updated to the cloud. If I hit the gym over lunch, I can fire up Audible on my phone and it jumps me to where I left of reading on my Kindle. In the evening before bed, it takes me to where my Audible audio book left off! This is the perfect companion of those who enjoy the convenience of being able to multitask with audiobooks, but also enjoy reading when they have the time.
Many of the titles that are available with WfV allow you to buy the Audible book and Kindle book at a reduced rate together. I’ve found the average price of both the e-reader version and the audiobook are usually equivalent to the cost of a hardcover print edition. Still a great value for the convenience. Amazon has a separate category for Whispersync enabled titles, but I still wish they would add more titles and make it easier to tell which titles are enabled. Amazon also provides a number of free e-reader titles with only small fees for the audio version ($2-3) to test out the service!
Since not every book is available with WfV, I have a few tips on making going from audiobook to e-reader easier. If you have finished listening to the audiobook, note the last few words that were spoken. Back on your e-reader, do a quick search for those words and it should jump you right to where you left in the audiobook. Be careful for spoilers here, if you pick a phrase that may be common throughout the book, you might accidentally jump to the wrong location.
There isn’t a fantastic way to go from e-reader to audiobook, since the chaptering is often inaccurate in the Audible table of contents. However, they usually are broken into some form of chaptering, so if you finish your reading at a natural break you should have at least an easier time finding your spot… And thanks to my other favorite new feature of Paper White even that should be easier.
Built into the Paper White is chapter and book time estimation. Based on ones average reading speed for a given title, it tells you how much more time you have for the entire book or chapter. This is awesome for those nights when I’m really engrossed in a book, and a chapter ends on a cliffhanger, I can decide whether or not I want to start into the next chapter without skipping ahead to see how much more is left.
Another benefit of a Kindle e-reader versus a print book is the addition of x-ray. This lets you explore the architecture of a book, highlighting characters, events and locations with summaries and graphs of their usage. This is great for long, involved books, like Game of Thrones where there seems to be a new character every fifteen pages, or forget about certain characters when they appear many chapters later. Hit the x-ray button, and you are given information about key words (character names, titles, locations, etc) on the current page- click on them and get more information. You need to be a bit careful about spoilers here, but it certainly has been a great help when necessary!
As far as the Paper White goes as an e-reader, its light, responsive and the backlight is a great addition for reading in the dark or just in dim light. The official case adds nice protection without much bulk. I couldn’t ask for much more. My only complaint has more to do with Amazon than the quality of their product and services. It would be nice to have better filtering and notifications for which titles are available with Whipsersync for Voice. Perhaps a wish-list feature that would notify you when a book is available. I recently purchased all the Game of Thrones books since their Audible credit price was reduced from two (~$30) to 1 (~$15) thinking I could whip through them all by listening and reading. Unfortunately, none of them are WfV enabled yet. Other than that, I am very satisfied with the service and products.
Some of my recent reads using Whipsersync for Voice are shown below.