Dangit! I broke my Kindle!

Y’all, this sucks. Yesterday, I was plugging in my Kindle to charge it for my trip. As I was setting it down on my nightstand, it slipped out of my Kindle brokenhands and fell. Normally it’s not a big deal, as it has a very protective cover. It’s fallen many times before, and never been hurt. But I had been reading and neglected to close the case. My beloved Kindle fell, screen first, right onto the power strip. Now it is all banged up and the screen is broken (sob).

Sooooo it looks like I have to buy a new Kindle. There are so many options now! The last time I bought a Kindle (two years ago) there were two available, and the only difference was size. I definitely don’t want a Kindle Fire, but instead want one with E Ink, because it’s not backlit. It looks like the main functional difference between my old Kindle and these new Kindles is that there is no built in keyboard. Other than that, you now choose:

  • Regular E Ink or the Paperwhite that is backlit
  • $20 discount if they can send you special offers (which are supposed to only be on the screensaver and not interrupt reading)
  • The regular size of 6.5”x4.5” or the DX at 7.5”x4.8” (the DX includes the keyboard but is $200 more)

I don’t think I want the backlit one (it hurts my eyes). But another (very annoying) change is that the regular E Ink version is not available with 3G. So is dealing with the backlight (and an extra $100) worth getting that 3G? Is  it worth the savings to put up with the special offers? Is not having a keyboard as irritating as it seems like it would be?

I just realized I will also likely have to buy a new case. Ugh!

Readers, what are your thoughts?


  1. Don’t worry about the special offers. It is simply a screensaver, it doesn’t affect the user experience at all, and sometimes it even gives you coupons and some (mostly useless) freebies.

  2. I have the Paperwhite and love it! To address your concerns:
    – I usually keep the backlight fully dimmed, but enjoy the option of turning it on when a reading light actually makes sense. Since I keep it dimmed, it doesn’t hurt my eyes even when I read for an extended period of time (unlike my laptop and iPad, which both bother me).
    – I have the special offers version and it definitely does not appear when reading. You see the ad every time you swipe to get out of its resting mode, which isn’t hugely annoying, but I’d probably pony up the $20 next time. Their claim that the offers are relevant and interesting hasn’t been true for me and I haven’t taken advantage of their special ofers.
    – I never had a version with a keyboard, but I’ve found the touchscreen keyboard adequate for setting up collections, searching through books, etc. If you’re sending e-mails or something on their web broswer, you’d probably want the keyboard. Maybe checked for used/refurbished Kindles if that’s important to you.

  3. You can turn the backlight off. Get the Paperwhite, the screen contrast is a vast improvement over E-Ink, and leave the backlight turned off.

    You probably also never use the keyboard, so I wouldn’t worry about adapting to a new one. Also, I think the special offers are cheap looking. For me it would be worth the $20 to make sure my screensaver isn’t advertising some sleazy book.

  4. I have the non-3G Kindle Touch with special offers. Occasionally it’s annoying to try and search the store with the touch screen, but the vast majority of the time I just send books to my Kindle from my computer – much easier to search and purchase. I make a point to download anything while I’m at home so I don’t have to worry about wireless. I’ve never been stuck somewhere without wireless and wished I’d had 3G, so the 3G just isn’t worth it to me.

    The special offers only show up as a screensaver/when it’s turned off, and I’ve taken advantage of them a couple of times. Save the $20.

    My experience with the Paperwhite is limited, but it might be worth checking out. I’ve never done any long-term reading on it, but it’s a vast improvement over reading on the iPad.

  5. I had a Kindle Touch for about a year before I got the Paperwhite for my birthday. With the Touch I was not as wowed as I had hoped to be (preferred actual books), but with the Paperwhite I’m a convert! Go for the Paperwhite, keep the backlight dimmed, and you should be very happy.

  6. Sorry…forgot to mention the Paperwhite is very compact and light – great for when you want to travel with multiple devices. Been trying to reduce my number below four, but still prefer my iPad for movies/videos over my work-issued Dell laptop (UGH!), and I prefer my Paperwhite for reading.

  7. Awhile back I picked up a used Kindle for my wife for around $25 on cowboom.com. That makes it close to being a disposable item (or the cost of one hardcover book)

  8. The paperwhite is great. You can also usually get a refurb at a discount though amazon and an even deeper discount if you send them back your broken one.

    As everyone else said, keep the front lighting off if it bothers your eyes.

  9. The screen on my old Kindle (the keyboard version, same as yours) cracked last year. It was a couple of months out of its 12 month warranty but I called Amazon and they let me buy a replacement for £50…not sure how prices compare between the UK and US but I’d have been looking at more than double that to just order a new one. Worth giving them a call to see if they offer you something similar – there’s a lot less profit in the hardware than in keeping you tied to buying their e-books!

    FWIW I also now have a Kindle Fire HD but really only use it as a tablet. For reading I still prefer the original as I’m not a fan of the backlight, especially when my eyes are tired. I took the cheaper version with ads and its not annoying at all – just a screensaver as others have said, it’s not like the pop up ads which come on some free iPhone apps for example.

  10. My Kindle broke a few months ago (2 years past warranty). I was offered a deal by Amazon on the Kindle Fire only. I had the keyboard version which came only with wireless and without 3G, but the only keyboard version available when my old one broke came with both, so I think you may have it backwards.

  11. so i’m kinda cheap and went with a basic kindle that has the up/down/left/right arrows. it’s my first e-reader ever, so no complaints!

  12. Have you called Kindle directly? When I broke my Kindle last year they sent me basically the same one for only $89 if I sent the broken one back. I have/had the Keyboard version.

  13. Get the paperwhite. Hubby bought it for me for Christmas to replace my old 2nd gen, and it’s great. It’s not actually “backlit”. It’s a small distinction, but the light is reflected onto the “paper” from the glass front, so you don’t get the glare/fatigue from it. That being said, I almost always read it at a low light setting (about 2 bars). Hubby loves it since I can read at night without needing the nightstand lamp on to keep him awake.

  14. Ditto what Elwing said about the paperwhite not actually being backlit. I had an older Kindle, but replaced it with a paperwhite last fall. It’s wonderful – in regular daylight you can’t tell it’s there (I generally keep it at about 2 bars), but in low-light situations it makes an amazing but subtle difference.

  15. A very similar thing happened to me. I had the same Kindle as you, and had had it for two years, so it’s out of warranty. I have a almost identical case and was reading while going down the stairs in my new sandals. The result is a cracked screen. I immediately contacted Amazon via their ‘Chat’ section and was put through to an operative, who told me it was unfixable. She did give me a discount on future Amazon Kindle purchases, but the old model we both had is unavailable. I don’t want a newer model, and have decided to buy the exact same one on eBay. I am annoyed though, as several people in the same position received new, free Kindles when they contacted Amazon, and all I got was a very small discount on future purchases.

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