I’m glad you asked.

I am a long-term Kindle user. I started using one when they had keyboards and no WiFi. They’ve come a long way since them

The Kindle is my reader and my audiobook listener. I have thousands of books and probably even more audiobooks. I also have a ton of music, too. When I don’t feel like reading in bed, I watch Amazon Prime for movies and TV.

My HDX 8.9-inch Kindle was getting old. I liked it for its size. As my eyes have gotten less sharp, I find I need a bigger font. To use a bigger font, I needed a bigger surface and my previous 7-inch Kindle was too small. It was also old enough several parts no longer worked. When I got the “big one,” I thought I would might continue to use the small one when I traveled, but I discovered there was no going back. That 7-inch device is somewhere in a dusty corner of my bedroom — long out of use.

The Big HDX has been great for the past four and a half years. Lately, the battery has not stayed charged very long. Download speed has slowed, too. While I can still download and play books or music using my Bluetooth speaker, it takes a long time to download and the device doesn’t connect well or consistently with the router.

The last time I called Amazon for help, she subtly suggested I might consider a newer model. I pointed out my older HDX was a better model than the newer ones.

“True,” she said, “but even good ones get old. Everything gets old.”Β I pointed out that I was getting old. She sighed and agreed. That call was two years ago. What was getting old then, got old.

Meanwhile, Garry stopped using his 7-inch Kindle because it was too small and too quiet. The email stopped working months ago and it too has just been gathering dust. I thought “I could get him a new Kindle for his birthday.” Which is in April. Except I don’t wait for holidays or birthdays. I’m not a good “waiter.”

For the past month, I was checking prices on new Kindles. Prices have dropped a lot, but the other day they were also having a sale. Wonder of wonders, a twofer sale. Two 8-inch Kindle Fire Tablets for $99! They were also available in multiple colors, so I chose one in red and the other in black. I invested in two 32 GB micro SD cards ($10 each) plus two modest covers (also $10 each) and nice pair of Bluetooth headphones for Garry.

Today, I spent all day setting them up. Normally, they are not difficult to set up and in fact, they come pretty much ready to go. All your Amazon stuff automatically downloads to your new machine. All your previous settings, your books, audiobooks, music, and games.

All I had to do was log on. Except the first one I set up was for Garry. It needed to have his email address in it rather than mine. Google went wacko. I set the password and after accepting it, it would promptly reject it. I would try the new password on the computer (Garry’s computer) and it rejected it, so I changed it, but when I tried to use the new one on the Kindle, it wouldn’t recognize it either. It took half a dozen tries until finally, one password was accepted on the Kindle and the computer. Yay me!

The last time I had this particular problem, it was an iPad that refused to recognize the password. It’s good to know that problems repeat and don’t even have to be on the same kind of equipment.

Then I paired Garry’s Bluetooth headphones and turned them on. Garry put them on his head and … smiled. Yay me again.

Then all I had to do was the same thing on MY Kindle. But at least I didn’t need to change passwords. I did have to pair my new Kindle to my old speaker, but that only took a couple of rejections before the speaker calmed down and decided it was okay to unite with a new device. I feared it might be faithful unto death.

I probably should mention that Alexa comes bundled with the Kindles. I have NO idea what to do with Alexa. Anything that works on voice never understands me. There is something in me that deeply resents sitting and trying to get me voice-activated system to understand me. So I disabled Alexa. If someone can explain to me what, exactly, I could do with Alexa, I might try it. But as far as I can tell, the only thing I could use it for is ordering stuff on Amazon. I think I’m safer doing that by hand. Accidentally ordering stuff on Amazon? Does that sound like a good idea?

So that was how I spent my day and if I didn’t get much else done, I feel I have, nonetheless, spent my time profitably.


There was far too much spooling on video. I never had that problem on the older HDX. Also, I’m not thrilled with their new format, though I suppose I’ll get used to it. It’s fine for books and audiobooks, but not so fine for video. It IS much lighter. The battery is definitely an upgrade.

I may continue to use the older 8.9″ HDX for video, though. All that spooling makes me crazy.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


  1. A little over a year ago I bought a new, top of the line, Kindle Fire when it was on sale for dirt cheap. I hated it. So I went back to and still use my HDX 8.9-inch Kindle. Poor battery life and all (I can still get two days worth of email and news reading), it is 100 times better than their upgrade.


    1. I was using the new one last night and it definitely isn’t as good, at least for video, as the 8.9. Lots of spooling. That was disappointing. I also don’t like the new format, but I’ll get used to it. At least this one is lighter, but I may go back to the 8.9 for video. It just works better.


  2. My tenant uses Alexa to play music… that’s about all I know of Alexa but she has the Alexa Dot? I think it’s called a Dot, which is quite loud. Does it come with a device like that? If so, you could play your audio books over the Dot. That’s all I know of the Alexa.


    1. I don’t see why telling Alexa to make the book play is so much easier than pressing “Play.” It doesn’t seem like less work to me. But then, I don’t think pressing a key is hard work.


      1. Well, if you have the Dot or whatever, it would play over the speakers instead of on your Kindle, and you could be in the kitchen making coffee and say, “Alexa, play…” and it would play whatever. I dunno. I don’t have one. My tenant does. He (I used the wrong pronoun before) uses it in that fashion…


        1. I think you’d need to have an electronic house — which i don’t have — for Alexa to be of much value. It’s just not a big deal to press “play” or even — heavens! — turn on speakers. I mean, the house isn’t that big, you know?


            1. I looked at it and there was obviously setup information required … and I actually gave it 15 seconds of thought before clicking “Disable” … Not a plus for me, but maybe for someone else?


    1. I noticed the deal is already gone, so I was really lucky! It was exactly what I was looking for at a very reasonable price. What is it with the passwords? You fix it on one, but it doesn’t work on the computer, so you fix it on the computer and the Kindle doesn’t recognize it. I did it maybe six, seven times — exactly the same way — and finally, it worked. Why?


      1. Wooot! My tablet is 7 or 8 inches, not sure, it was a birthday present 3 years ago and it has been a godsend. I’m starting to really enjoy all the perks. Takes me awhile as I can’t see well to navigate, but what I do know, is certainly a pleasure and brought pleasure too.


        1. I have another friend with serious vision problems and he has learned to really enlarge the letters so he can read better. The big one gives him that option. Actually, a big paperwhite might be even better for you, if text is the issue because you can make the letters very large and black against the white background.


          1. That might work. I have trouble with light colours or gray on white or light colours. I was shocked to notice how much color and seeing it is diminishing. It’s easier to read on the computer as I can make the letters big as I like.


  3. I love my Kindle, It is a Voyage and with an extra to be able to upload books if I am away from home. I only use it for reading books as I also have a very good iPad which enbles me to go surfing, make comments on Internet sites and gaming or reading online newspapers. I also often listen to the radio via my iPad.


  4. I have two Fires….I thought I lost the first one, and could NOT find it for long enough to have given up and ordered the second one. Within a day I found the first one again…I like them and the book feature is 2017 my hands decided they would cause massive amounts of pain if I tried to hold a regular book for any length of time, so the Kindle is wonderful, I can hold it and not die in agony in a short time. That said, both of the tablets have some odd glitch…the sound shuts down randomly. I use these things as an alarm clock now and then and that’s how I discovered the sound was gone the first time. Since then it’s happened twice to both tablets, and now a third time for the second one….ARRRRGGGH. I had no idea was “Alexa” was, save they (Amazon) kept pushing it. I just kept rejecting the offer. Apparently that was a really good idea, given what I’ve read here today. I spent my own Sunday “Sparking”..


  5. I have a special USB stick with all my passwords and places that I need to access. But I forgot the password. (just kidding).

    MacAfee claims to have a service application where you can put all your passwords in there and it will open everything. Haven’t tried it though.
    I shoulda made some kind of joke outta that. But it’s not funny.

    Quit laughing.


  6. I had the password rejection experience for the first time when i recently opened a new Windows Live account.

    It seems the passwords we oldies usually want to choose aren’t ‘secure’ enough now for the major tech firms and they think they are too easily ‘hacked’. So they make you make them longer and with greater and greater variations in the text format. It took me 4 goes for one account before i got it right – 3 were too short or not complex enough and once i was rejected because the one i entered was TOO long! ??

    As for Alexa (Siri, Google Home, etc.) they are the first stages of moving us into the future world of Star Trek where you never actually touch a computer, light switch, heater, elevator floor button, door handle ever again, you just tell (or ‘ask’) ‘The Computer’ what you want done and it does it for you…. until the power goes out and you are totally stuffed when nothing in your house, car, shopping mall, workplace, can actually be used! πŸ˜‰


    1. That’s a good explanation, except it is much more of a random pattern than that. Eventually, it DID accept exactly the same password. There was nothing wrong with it. It was just (I think, but I’m not sure) getting both units to hook onto the same password at the same time. Sometimes it IS “not the right format” — but as often as not, it takes the equipment a while to say (at the same time) “Oh, okay, new password. Got it!” What’s infuriating is that you wind up doing the exact same thing over and over an eventually, it accepts the password — in both devices — and voila, no more problems. Until, oh no, you have to do it again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Synching of multiple machines is something i have never fully understood! – I suspect those who write the software don’t either. πŸ˜‰

        My biggest gripe with computers is when the machine i have done nothing to change does something it never did before, or does not do what it normally does.

        This happens far more often now they update themselves or programs install new versions via wi-fi that i never ask for.


        1. Yep. Corrosion. It happens. Software gets wonky. No discernible reason. One of my bosses said there IS a reason but usually, the amount of time and effort it would take to figure it out greatly exceeds any gain you’d make. We call it a glitch and just fix them, but somewhere — there IS a reason. We just don’t know what it is.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Precisely! i am a strong believer in cause and effect. The problem is we humans are not all that good at determining what cause gave us a particular effect – and all too frequently we are not all that sure of exactly what the effect was either, which only exacerbates the problem(s)! πŸ˜‰

            Have you seen ‘Glitch’ – the Aussie TV series? It’s a sort of supernatural/sci-fi drama with some weird twists. You may enjoy it. πŸ™‚


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