I was thinking of buying a Kindle Paperwhite, because I’m just as tempted by the newest shiny gadget as the next person. While I was deciding, I spent some time searching for covers. Planning ahead is important. 😉

In the end, these two were my final choices.


Choice 1) Pretty, and functional–light and thin, great protection, magnetic clasp, and the front folds out of the way. This one is all about making your shiny new gadget safe without adding bulk or weight.

finite case

Choice 2) Gorgeous, handmade, and referencing a favorite book–but it’s bulkier, with no clasp, and the back doesn’t fold back.  This one is just lovely, and well made–the equivalent of the special hardback that looks so pretty on your shelves.

klever case cover

Both are nice to look at, and both do the job of protecting the e-reader.

This inner debate led me to thinking about form versus function. Leaving aside art (it’s made to be beautiful, that’s its function) which do you favor? Does a useful object need to be the best at its function for you to want it, or will you make some sacrifices for a more pleasing form? (Something so beautiful to be useless isn’t even up for consideration, in my book.)

I think of this when I see beaded throw pillows, laser etched spatulas, bulky phone cases, elaborate but tasteless food, etc. Pretty and useful is best, but sometimes you have to choose…


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

10 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    First, I can’t say enough good things about a Paperwhite. I have the original one, AND the newer one, the Voyage. Both are excellent. If you read books only now and then, and want your Kindle to be for browsing and gaming, etc, then the Fire is fine. But if you, like me, read for hours on end, every day, then you want one that is designed NOT to tire your eyes out, and that is the Paperwhite/Voyage choice, because they are lit on top, just like a book is, and SO much easier on the eye it isn’t funny. So, good choice!! You’ll love either one.

    As for me, I have dropped mine so many times, it isn’t even funny, and if I didn’t have a protective case around it (like the top one), it would have had to be replaced several times by now. I found a really nice little case for my Voyage (slightly different size than the Paperwhite) and it’s only $12. I did crack my first one (told you I dropped the dang thing too many times), and I’ve replaced it. Both have magnetic closures on them, but I usually turn it off manually, anyway, because sometimes it looks like it’s not going off right away. It comes on immediately upon opening, whether I turn it off or not.

    I had a similar case, but slightly pricier, for my original Paperwhite. Pretty is nice, but it won’t make you happy if you damage your Kindle, somehow. (Though I’m sure you aren’t as clumsy as I.) BTW, even though my cases aren’t fancy, they are still pretty colors, and look like leather. My first was turquoise, and my new one is purple, and they make me happy, while protecting my Kindle.

    There. A testimonial in favor of case #1. 😀

    • I have the Touch, which they phased out, and is basically like the Paperwhite’s little sister–slightly less screen resolution, and no backlight, but otherwise nearly identical.
      Which is why I ultimately chose not to replace it this year–I may wait for next year’s sales and get it then.
      I will probably settle on #1 when I do get it, though. I wouldn’t get something useful and ugly, but something useful and slightly less pretty? Definitely.

      • Marcia says:

        Good choice! The top one is cute as anything, and looks like it’s made the same way mine are, only I think mine only comes in solid colors. But the Voyage takes a slightly smaller size cover than the Paperwhite (or the new incarnation of it). Yes, backlighting is really crummy for your eyes when you read as much as you and I do. I dearly love the Voyage, though there really are very few differences between it and the first Paperwhite I got. Either is great, I think.

        You’ll be so happy! 😀 And stylin’ with a new protective cover and all, too!

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Thanks for the useful discussion of various Kindles, as I’m in the market for one. I’m ready to throttle my Kobo, which has developed a ‘personality’, i.e. it works when it wants to and if you talk nicely to it. Other than that, it’s been a great little reader. I may have to buy a case that really conceals it, though. My daughter in law works for the company that makes Kobo … but then, she and Scott are transferring to Amsterdam in a few months, so she isn’t going to see it any way.

    • I would recommend you check out the nifty comparison chart Amazon has on all their different Kindles. You can get a simple one for cheap, a backlit reader, or a reader/tablet.
      And if you keep an eye on them, Amazon has sales throughout the year. 🙂

  3. I vote for the functional one. I have a feeling the pretty one will start to annoy you after a while when it doesn’t do what you want it to do.

    • Normally I wouldn’t consider a cover that doesn’t have some kind of securing mechanism or a front that folds back, but the second one is just so lovely it turned my head. 🙂 And they have The Secret Garden as a cover, which was one of *those* books of my childhood, you know?

  4. Matthew says:

    Function option one

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