Kindle Paperwhite 2 Review


I know, I’ve been on hiatus for months but writing workshop and certain cases of plagiarism did drain some of my enthusiasm. I’m getting the groove back, don’t worry. Yes, feel free to blame Dragon Age and Mass Effect trilogy for this too.

But I am working on a science fiction romance (while I was restructuring back my Malaysian Urban Fantasy novel, on contrary of what people say, Malaysian folk myths are extensive, I might just get an anthropology degree with this amount of work). I’ve been busy writing and rewriting and editing that I don’t really devote my writing hours on reviews. The science fiction work is in my pseudonym. I am not interested in writing a ‘Malaysianesque’ scifi, so you guys don’t really need to get all hot and bothered about this.

If you don’t follow me on twitter, you wouldn’t know that I received a Kindle Paperwhite (with a catch and merely weeks before the announcement for Kindle Paperwhite 3 but there’s not much differences except for slightly higher PPI). Unlike my previous experience with Kindle 4, somehow I tempered my excitement and I manage to get to know the Kindle better before I start reviewing it.

ScreenHunter_13427 Aug. 10 03.11


  • Kindle Paperwhite looks and feels like a buttonless Kindle 4. It was noticeably lighter than the fourth generation Kindle Touch. I remember the first time someone handed me their KT for comparison, it really feels like I’m holding a slab of glass.
  • Black color made it feel sleek and expensive. I just hope it doesn’t scratch or rub off easily like the silver case in the older gen.
  • E-ink is great in general for reading under sunlight. Which is good if you’re an outdoorsy type but I’m living in a tropical country and now its El Nino. Nobody should stay in the sun longer than they need to be.
  • Fortunately, the ereader is great for indoors with bad lighting and for night reading. I notice that I sleep a lot easier with the front lit reader than with back lit tablet.
  • Additional fonts (Baskerville/Caecilia/Caecilia Condensed/Futura/Helvetica/Palatino) for the font-sensitive. This is where high PPI can be useful as it allows the screen to render these fonts with sharper darker text.
  • Darker lines which is great for black and white manga (remember to read it from right to left.. which is great for left handers)
  • and comics…screenshot_2015_08_10T03_44_46+0800

and then he became this hunk… hyaaan…

j6kp8Jn.gif (496×280)

  • Touch sensitive. This is the part that I like. It was way easier to type on the Kindle than any glossy touchscreen. I didn’t need to hold the keys longer than necessary.
  • Less visible ghosting and fast refresh rate. The only way I could find significant ghosting was when I was browsing on the experimental browser.
  • Fast charging even when the battery was depleted at 50%. Which is great considering…
  • Kindle Freetime as the new user-friendly parental control feature for kids. I thought the feature was pretty neat even though I didn’t exactly use it for kids but it was a cool feature to activate especially with Word Wise on.



  • And gamification! I adore these~~screenshot_2015_08_10T03_34_00+0800


  • Officially, Kindle are not available in Malaysia. Third-person vendor don’t really offer warranty or easy replacement. Kindle generally could last for years if kept in good condition and you don’t really need to replace it that frequently but if anything happen to your device, you’re on your own.
  • You need VPN and American-address account and credit card to buy books on Amazon. A lot of publishers region-restricted a lot of their ebooks to Malaysians. Most of the time it isn’t because of Amazon themselves and a lot of digital ebook market do have regional restrictions.
  • Kindle Paperwhite can come in 2GB and 4GB version. Fortunately, I have the later version but the actual space that was allocated to you was around 3GB. I don’t really like transferring my books into the cloud. It wasn’t exactly click-drag-drop like Dropbox or OneDrive.
  • Which means, if you need additional storage so much, you’ll fare better with ereaders that came with SD slot especially if you like reading larger PDFs (manga, textbooks, picture-heavy books).
  • PDF viewing on a 6 inch screen aren’t really that impressive. I find its harder to navigate when the screen struggle to render and scroll.
  • Battery drain faster than unlit ereaders. I really could last a month on single charge because the device would only use its power when changing pages. With a lit ereader, the device is still working even when if you’re not actually reading. Fortunately, it will shut by itself after a few minutes.
  • Touchscreen interface means you’ll be swiping a lot. Don’t hold your device with one hand while riding a train or something, I won’t be responsible if you drop it.
  • Buttons > Touchscreen. There’s a lot of reasons why I still use phones with buttons in this age of touchscreen phones. I know gestures seems futuristic but I appreciate precision.
  • Not very left-handed friendly. You need to eyeball the page turn area and accidental page turns are expected. I’m not left-handed but I do use my left hand to read when my right hand became tired.
  • Dust-magnet and it hates oily fingers (I’m still looking for decals but shipping is just as atrocious as with local decals resellers)
  • Experimental browser can be problematic. But I found the solution for certain issues that bugs me.
  • Since the device wouldn’t read epub (whatever Apple…), you need Calibre to handle most of file conversions so that they’re compatible with your device.
  • Kindle Freetime need Wifi to switch from the kid-friendly mode to the regular reader mode.screenshot_2015_08_10T03_40_01+0800
  • And it can only sync ebooks from Amazon cloud. This also includes the achievements 😦
  • Goodreads-sync can be a hassle. I can’t really control what types of update from my Kindle to the site and I haven’t explored much of Goodreads via Kindle but I find its easier to navigate on the actual site.
  • I don’t really like that the Kindle would immediately sync your reading progress. I want better control on my reading progress and I can’t do it from the reader.

Overall, I do like Kindle Paperwhite but I would be just as happy with a regular Kindle. There’s no drastic change from the previous and current versions and it is the best reader in the market. If you find that you need one, Kindle is always a cheap alternative compared to other China-made ereaders.

and the first few things I learn from my previous experience as a Kindle owner;

  1. Do not unload all your digital library into the ereader. You want to read these books, not endlessly swiping to find which books that caught your interest. Its a single-purpose device for reading. Not your digital bookshelf.
  2. Take care of your USB cable. It was your lifeline.
  3. Stock up on Amazon gift card!!!!!
  4. No. You aren’t betraying your physical books by reading ebooks. And for certain books, it was more feasible to read in actual physical copies than in ebook form.
  5. And seriously, if you miss the smell of books so much, just grab a random book and sniff it and then get back to reading. In my humble opinion, badly-written dead trees books always smell nice too.
  6. No. You’re not stuck with ‘Amazon ecosystem’. Even if anything an ebook apocalypse do happen to Amazon, there’s always other options. Amazon isn’t a bookstore and it thrive on other marketplace to profit and survive unlike a lot other ebook stores.
  7. If you have time, do organize your Amazon cloud manager, so it won’t be a headache later.


I didn’t realize I was reviewing the ereader while it was on version, basically I’ve been reading on gimped ereader for months, lol. The update file is too large for my Kindle to update on its own so I have to update version 5.6.5 via USB transfer.

I found that Amazon did made the PDF experience bearable but ghosting is still prevalent with image heavy book. If you’re reading books in PDF format, I do think it does reading a tad easier but not as perfect as on a tablet.

There’s some subtle additional features but most of all was the addition of a new typeface.



Politics of the Temporary: An Ethnography of Migrant Life in Urban Malaysia by Parthiban Muniandy


ScreenHunter_12731 Mar. 04 00.16

Politics of the Temporary is a collection of ethnographic essays about various the transient migrants of Kuala Lumpur and was divided into three parts: ‘Restaurants, Cafe, Culture and Identity’, ‘Race, Ethnicity and Street Politics’ and ‘Quiet Encroachments and Tortured Smiles”. Within each parts of the books was stories that ranged from simple observation of known streets of Kuala Lumpur, to discussions between people of different background and nationalities and the author’s own narrative on the situation faced by the most visible people in our society who are also the most unrepresented.

The book was written in academical style as it was a dissertation on urban anthropology. Frankly, social studies dissertations is far more pleasant to read than the scientific dissertations that I used to read. The narrative style was refreshing, honest and critical without being judgmental (which are more commonly seen in any articles by general media on issues relating on migrants or everything really…)

It was interesting that the author manage to give me fresh perspectives on the issues and highlighting many more issues relating to the growth of migrant populations from Burma (The author’s own preference use throughout the book. Interesting.) to the issues relating on people taking advantage on migrant’s labor into a form of indentured servitude to the deculturalization of certain areas of the cities to xenophobia and persistent issues regarding immigrants and sex trafficking including among minors . Even more interesting was the authorities’s attitude on these communities themselves, corruptions and exploitation that they suffered in the name of development and capitalism.

I’m still digesting the book and analyzing the content. For most part, I was familiar with the subject matter from my years living in Kuala Lumpur as an undergraduate in which I do a lot of people watching for someone learning to be lab scientist and partly due to my recent endeavour with UnRepresented KL in which I played at being an amateur ethnographer but it does help me a lot with my writing and my views on diversity in literature (which is still a hot topic in my general writing groups). The book does gave me a lot of things to think about especially on people around me and whenever I walk outside.

The content can be distressing but also illuminating. For most part, it was hardly anything new to me but it gave me new perspectives on how these transient migrants see about us. How we Malaysians are known to take things for granted. How for most of us like to see everything through tinted gaze from our windscreen or from the comforts of our home. How we distract ourselves with menial issues that blinded us from the atrocities commited around us. How we’re coddled to ignore their existence as human beings and how we allow the rot to set and fester. How one sided it was the narrative that we’re being feed daily about these people. How we often complain to ourselves about how disadvantage we are as we blind ourselves to the people around us.

Yes, Malaysia is hell to a lot of the people inside this book. Malaysians are demons and monsters to a lot of people inside this book. Does that idea sit well with you? How desensitize can we be? While this review isn’t a self-flagellation session but it was discomforting nonetheless.

The review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Big Bad Wolf Fire Sale 2015: 2 – 9 February @MIECC



For some reason, my blog traffic ballooned during BBW season every year…. and I’ve been talking about it since my second year university. days…  oh well.

Firefly inside the Komuter and me going to a Firesale


Yes, I was there yesterday. Apparently, everyone like my old blog post on how to get to MIECC on foot… and one person actually followed me there. Except its morning, and the door to the center was locked.

And I’m not amused….

Its the normal Big Bad Wolf sale…. -____-

Which means, stacks of same books in one table.

I rant a lot about this yesterday and I know you read my blog, Big Bad Wolf people but have you seen bookstores that put out ALL their stock on one table? As in 100 copies of the same book in one table? I know the venue got bigger since 2012 but seriously? If you have people manning the table, you don’t need to stick mountains of same books in a limited space…. and don’t stuck all single random copies books under the table.

I guess, I’m still pissed that I didn’t get a single scifi book… or Mass Effect books.. sigh

Multiple copies of Halo, Star Trek and Star Wars doesn’t make them the representative of Scifi genre. At least I hardly see Tolkien books hoarding the tables this time..

And I guess its an improvement to see there’s extra side table for literature and SFF section but… I’m amazed that the Romance section dominated the Fiction section…. I saw some paranormal romance in that area too but most of them was chic lits and contemporaries… must be overprinted stuff.

I miss out on last year’s aftermath/fire sale because Suria was in town but I went to the later Box Sale and the fantasy/scifi section was a treasure trove. But on 2013, I got nice random stuff during the Firesale. It was a joy to scan each titles to find them.

Sigh… I guess I have to make do with mostly fantasy books. At least they’re cheap and I get nice lunch afterwards because I don’t splurge too much.


And I think I’ve contributed to mainstreaming of this sale…… this is the first time I saw a huge morning crowd during a firesale and I’ve been to a almost every BBW’s firesale… Holiday huh?


p/s: My sister got a Preview pass for this December’s Big Bad Wolf Sale… heh, now to get another one for the driver.

p/p/s: book blog are getting abandoned… lmao.