Kindle Oasis Review

November 28th, 2020

Physical books are great, especially if you have a house to put them in. But they also tie you down. They make moving cumbersome. The books you buy and don't read become a monument to your laziness. They sit on your shelf, staring at you. Mocking you.

Of course, for academic textbooks, coffee table books, and religious texts, there's no substitute for the real thing. For everything else, the Kindle Oasis is a great option.

Kindle Oasis Advantages

1. Capacity

The 32GB model holds ~12,000 titles, or 230 years worth at a clip of one book per week (my first 100 books averaged ~2.5MB).

2. Dictionary

On any Kindle, you can look up the definition of a word by pressing it. Those words are automatically added to a word bank for review.

If you're curious about diction or the finer points of English, this feature is addictive. A few recent examples of things I've learned:

  • The etymology of the word "bellwether" -- apparently the lead sheep in a flock walks around with a bell on its neck.

  • The definition of "geomancy" -- the art of placing or arranging buildings or other sites auspiciously.

  • The meaning of "recrimination" -- I thought it meant "revenge." It's actually a counter-accusation. People misuse this word routinely.

3. Excerpts

Exporting excerpts is seamless. Just highlight the passage and upload it to your account.

I used to do this by dog-earing, underlining, and occasionally typing. If you're not fussy about destroying your books, this works well enough. But when you start dog-earing it's hard to stop and mayhem ensues.

I gradually evolved from underlining to vaguely resolving to underline to never underlining, and never typing up what I underlined regardless.

Now, whenever I come across something funny or interesting, I have a permanent record. It's easier to share excerpts with friends and relatives and to sell them on my book recommendations.

4. Travel

If I had to sell all of my possessions save for what I could fit into a backpack, the Oasis would go in the backpack.

5. Horizontal Reading

Kindles are generally better than physical books for reading on your side. Dedicated page turn buttons make the Oasis more compelling. With physical books you have two bad options for side reading:

a.) Prop yourself up for every alternate page.

b.) Suspend the book in mid-air.

6. Miscellaneous Perks

  • When you doze off while reading, you never lose your place.
  • You can easily see how many pages are left in the chapter.
  • Some physical books are unwieldy. The spine gets in the way at the beginning and end.

Gripes

  • I feel cheated paying $9.99+ for an e-book, especially when used copies are cheaper.
  • The Oasis is pricy.
  • Battery life is shorter than advertised, closer to 10 hours than 40 hours. You can extend it by using airplane mode or turning off other features.

Summary

The Oasis is worth it for serious readers. It's the only e-reader I would recommend over a paperback.


James Shapiro, 2021