Case of the Kindle cases: Let there be light

As the passenger in a car that travels frequently up and down 280 and 101 highways, there are several occasions I want to read on my Kindle when it's dark.

After several weeks test-driving my Amazon Kindle 3 and deep soul searching on the move from paper to digital, I decided I was ready for a long-term relationship with my latest gadget fling.

As technology becomes more social and personal, the selection of the technology in our lives transcends issue of performance and power (“How many gigahertz does it have?”) to does it fit my lifestyle and my values (“Is it aligned with my world views on privacy and ownership?”).

However, today, I don’t want to get too philosophical. Instead, I want to discuss a very practical, yet equally complex matter. Kindle case choice. Granted, this choice is far more simpler than Apple iPad or iPhone case selection since there are fewer of them on the market and the Kindle was born for a single purchase, to be the ultimate reading machine.

I had already decided of the Kindle Cases available, I wanted a leather case that had a book-flip style. I like the durability of leather and the convenience of flipping the case closed instead of struggling with a slip-on case which really has to fit snugly or look like a sloppy sock puppet.

The color I want is black. Although apple green looks fun and cool, I pictured myself staring at the case day-in and day-out and realized I wanted a classic color that did not try to steal the limelight from the word on the electronic page. Same reason why if I could only have one ice cream flavor for my entire life, it would be vanilla.

The grand question I had was really regarding the light option. This is a question I’ve contemplated for the last two weeks as I took my Kindle on the road. In general, I don’t like integrated multi-purpose electronics. I think it compromises design and also if one element breaks or becomes obsolete, you need to replace the entire unit.

So my natural inclination was to save the $25 and get the black leather Kindle case with no light option. I figured a real paper book has no light appendage sticking out of it and I’ve survived very well. Secondly, I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to change the light in the Kindle case if it broke and I also have a book light my parent-in-law gave me last Christmas.

I was wrong. Now I have decided to get the Kindle case with light. Why?

Because I know it can

Technology, especially personal technology, changes your expectations. Whereas before I was happy with the limitation that I could only read my paper book if I hauled around a book light or moved myself to an area that was lit, the very knowledge of what is possible makes me, well, dissatisfied.

With winter approaching, the days are getting shorter. As the passenger in a car that travels frequently up and down 280 and 101 highways, there are several occasions I want to read on my Kindle when it’s dark. At each of these moments, I imagine the convenience of a lighted Kindle case. I brought my book light one time and something that seemed pretty compact before now was an unpleasant projection.

That’s it. Unlike my previous entry with many reason for the contemplation of switching between paper and digital (The Amazon Kindle Experience: From paper to digital) where I had several reasons. This decision for the lighted Kindle cover which is $25 more than the one without the light boils down to this single desire.

After getting a Kindle 3 and case, I want to be able to read anywhere, including in darkness.

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Loni Stark
Loni Stark is a self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker, and yet is also passionate about technology’s impact on business and creativity. She's the host of our Stark Insider video features. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite. Loni's story...
  • Saxman_83201

    Jeez…it took me all of two minutes to decide i wanted the lighted case…your thought processes are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too complicated…blue lighted cover for me thank you…i want to think of my roots in beirut,lebanon by the mediterranean sea when i read…Black? are you SURE you made the right choice?…:)

    • LOL – I’ll admit I do spend quite a bit of time selecting products/services I know I’ll be living with for a while.

      You do bring up a good point about color. Black is boring isn’t it?

  • Michael

    It depends on your tolerance for vocal bobbles, but instead of a light, I prefer the spoken voice because I am usually the driver, not the passenger. For long trips I bring along headphones so I don’t have to intrude on other passengers. Of course, at home in bed I prefer to read and I look for lighted solutions.

    p.s. The biggest issue with vocal bobbles is that my Kindle 2 is overly aggressive with abbreviations. End a sentence with the word: alas. It assumes the alas. is an abbreviation for Alaska. One of my favorite authors has a lot of alaska in his books.

    • LOL. I tried the read out loud feature and all the variations of voices sound too mechanic. Couldn’t immerse myself in the story.

  • Saxman_83201

    Jeez…it took me all of two minutes to decide i wanted the lighted case…your thought processes are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too complicated…blue lighted cover for me thank you…i want to think of my roots in beirut,lebanon by the mediterranean sea when i read…Black? are you SURE you made the right choice?…:)

  • I would like to get the Kindle Light case but I need to know the costs in replacing the LED Light Bulb. If I have to get a new case each time the light goes out then I’ll just settle for the $25 cheaper case instead.

  • Rea Mc

    I have been using my kindle lighted leather case for 3 months now and I have had no problems with it..My only little gripe is the light illumination.. the fact that it splashes and illuminates the top right-hand corner and the top of the kindle face more than the bottom part.. bit unsettling.Don’t get me wrong I still can read my kindle quite well but that maybe that should be looked into for the upgrade. Brilliant kindle light device though.