Simplifying with the Kindle Paperwhite (Giveaway)

June 12, 2017

I consider myself a minimalist in many ways, but my biggest exception has always been books. It's the one thing that I never felt guilty about owning "too many" of. Over the years I've scoured secondhand shops for interesting titles, owned multiple copies of the same novels with different cover art, and I even have two ongoing Amazon wish lists (one for me, one for Ramona) filled with all the titles I'd like to one day read or own.

But as much as I love books, and as much as l love being surrounded by them, little by little over the past few months I've started simplifying our literary collection.

Suddenly the unabashed book hoarder that I once was started to feel some guilt creep in - at all the titles that sat untouched on our bookshelves after they'd been read, or waited to be read in the endless que. And if I'm honest with myself, the amount of book titles I want to read or own is surpassing the amount of physical space that I want them to fill. I mean, sure, in my wildest fantasties my ideal home would be the library in Beast's castle (Belle was my favourite Disney Princess, after all, for her love of books), but I think that actually owning that much of anything would give me anxiety.

So, the day finally came that I never believed would come: Minimalism infiltrated my library. Which is where the Kindle Paperwhite comes in.

To be honest, my first thought when I was offered a Kindle was the episode of The Office where Darryl buys an e-reader ("So light. Like a croissant."), and covertly tries to hide it from his coworkers, with some mixture of guilt and shame.

I think that book lovers (or me, at least) tend to feel like they're somehow betraying books by owning an e-reader, or like they're caught in the middle of a war between the past and future of technology. The very thought of reading a literary classic like Pride & Prejudice on an electronic device feels nothing short of treachery. But I also had to consider how much this tiny device could change my life - without diminishing my love of books by any measure. Even Darryl from The Office realized that.

“I work at a paper company. Those things terrify me. They could put us out of business. I heard those things hold like 10 books at once.”
“Actually, it’s 10,000.”
“Holy ####! What? Let me see it…”
(Later on)

This is a device that's smaller than a paperback, can store thousands of titles at a time (if I'm feeling particularly ambitious), and makes reading easy while traveling - or at night (thanks to the adjustable light), or awkwardly pinned beneath a snoring toddler. As someone who is a little timid to write in the margins of their books, I love the highlight and notes feature to save any quotes or passages that stand out to me.

With the Kindle Paperwhite, I can download the e-book of those lighter, modern reads, cook books, parenting books, magazines, biographies - or simply borrow them from the library through the convenience of home wi-fi. And meanwhile continue to pare down to a modest physical book collection of those truly special titles - the ones I need to tangibly feel in my hands to absorb again and again (or children's books - those get a lot of mileage around here these days). A nice balance of old and new technology, print and pixels, with no sacrifice of love for the written word.

The first e-book that I downloaded onto my Kindle Paperwhite was In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs.

"Success to me means being able to continue to do what I love. It means making meaningful work that promotes inclusivity and community."
Tanya Aguiniga
The women who share their story (in interview format) in this book come from diverse backgrounds, sharing parts of their individual stories of success, sacrifice, and motivation within their own businesses - it's both inspiring and empowering to read their words. It was the author's (Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge) desire to share the successes of women, but also to represent all women, after realizing that the majority of women in the business world being represented were "the same type of woman over and over again ... young, straight, white, cisgender women."
"While each woman's story is unique, their messages are universal. They've overcome adversity, gone great distances on their own, and learned the power of working together to achieve their goals. In many cases, they have inspired one another, and they are role models for the generation to come. Any one of these women would inspire someone to pursue their passion, but together, they are an undeniable force."
Grace Bonney; Author of In the Company of Women
When I look around, there is no shortage of female entrepenuers, creators, businesswomen, to be found. They've turned the things that they love, their interests, their lives even, into a business that allows them to further pursue those interests, to further stretch their creative goals. It's wonderful to see women collaborating and working with other women to build their business, and each other up, creating a supportive community of inclusion instead of competition (I say this as I set you all up to compete in a giveaway, ha).

I am excited to be giving away a $100 Amazon Canada gift card to one of my readers. To enter, follow the link below, and leave a comment answering one (or both of these questions).

- Who are the female mentors in your life?

- Who is your favourite female author who inspires you, and why?

$100 Amazon Canada Gift Card Giveaway

This contest will be open until the end of the day (midnight EST) Monday, June 19th. Open to Canadian residents only (sorry!). The winner will be contacted directly. Good luck!

*For this post I received a Kindle Paperwhite to review and credit. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. Lol, Steph and I were on the same wavelength as you, we both bought Kobo's, and have been reading free books on Gutenberg, library books on Overdrive, buying epubs from Humble Bundle, Google play and Kobo.. Paperwhite is cool too. I have been using Kindle for many years in digital format. Eventually I realised why I wanted e-ink.

    Happy minimising!

  2. And.. female mentors-. My mom, my wife, my programming teacher in college Wendi, and my Unix teacher in college Ellen. Also my data structures and algorithms teacher Hoda. And last but not least, my seminary teachers Sherry, Darlene, Cheryl.. All of them encourage me to achieve more than what I aim for. All of them show faith in me and my abilities.

    Female authors? Jane Austen showed me amazing wit and romance and left me speaking in poetry for weeks, and sometimes months. J.K.Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Diane Wynne Jones and Monica Hughes sucked me into their worlds of adventure and fantasy, always stoking my imagination. They are just a few of the excellent models/examples of great fantasy fiction writing.

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  4. My mother remains the most inspirational woman I have ever known. She was loving and supportive and taught me that I didn’t have to live in chaos. I was in control of my life, and I had the power to change whatever it was I didn’t like. I could be whatever I wanted to be, have whatever I wanted to have, and achieve whatever I wanted to achieve.

    When it comes to female author(s) Ursula K. LeGuin shook my foundations. Margaret Atwood gave me words I didn’t know I needed. J. K. Rowling lit a path from my childhood to adulthood in which I never had to put away my books in order to grow up

  5. A few years ago, I cleaned out my library. It was a bit heartbreaking but I rid myself of all books I've never read as well as my multi copies of the same book. And then I vowed never to buy another book (for myself) unless I've read it twice and will most definitely read it again.

    And my favourite female author is Jane Austen. So cliched, but I just love her and her wit. She must have been highly intellectual to have made such astute observations for the social commentary in her books. And, she simply creates such likable heroines.

    I also love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. To be honest, I haven't read any of her books yet, but her essays/talks on feminism are so relevant and compelling.

  6. I have a dear older friend who intentionally builds into my life, and I will call her a mentor for sure. Also, young moms that are in the same parenting journey as I am continue to build in and encourage me.

  7. There are too many female mentors in my life to name! It's not just one female who did anything. I believe that no one female does anything for one female. We do things without even knowing we're touching other people. I've been very fortunate to have many women help me. I have to start with family first because you have to start with your mom. She is my shining light, my inspiration and she has sacrificed so much for me. She is loving and supportive and taught me that I didn’t have to live in chaos & she inspires me to be the best version of myself.

  8. My favourite female writer and mentor are the same person, my grandmother. She was a writer and I only discovered her work a few years ago once she was gone. I loved reading her short stories and her one novel, it made me feel as if there's a part of her here still.

  9. My favourite female authors right now are Mary Oliver and Ann Voskamp. Mary Oliver has a way of seeing and expressing a love for nature, and Anne Voskamp has a beautiful way of making you feel utterly grateful for the most ordinary days.

  10. wonderful giveaway!
    for female mentor definitely my grandma to these days and my mother in love,also truly my friends mothers-women juggling in every day life just like me
    for women author its for sure Astrid Lindgren for me,her books were the very first I ever read and till today I love to introduce her books to my kids)

  11. Jonathan Porter15 June 2017 at 10:13

    The female mentors in my life are my mother, who taught all of her sons to be feminists, and the refugee mothers I work with who show me the strength of women.
    My favourite female authors who inspire me are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Imbolo Mbue and NoViolet Bulawayo. They inspire me because their writing shows that people are people everywhere and that every life story has multiple sides.

  12. I would say Lisa Congdon as my favourite mentor, author and artist. She didn't have a standard career path, perhaps it makes her even more interesting and inspiring. She's definitely a woman that I look up to.

  13. Mentors in my life, my twin sister. She's the one I always turn to for advice and I'll forever look up to her. It's hard to pick a favourite but there's just something about Margaret Atwood writing style that fascinates me.

  14. Mallory Broadley19 June 2017 at 14:13

    As for female mentor I have to say any woman who has made an impact on my life that wasn't blood related. I find that friends are the family you get to choose and there have been women who choose to be a part of my life. Whether they know it or not, it's shaped me into the woman I am today.

    As for favorite female author... My husband just bought this book for our daughter. It's incredible. It's called bedtime stories for rebel girls. It's written by over 60 female authors throughout the world. Full of true inspirational stories of women who were brave and strong and fearless. Absolutely amazing and beautiful to read these stories to our daughter.


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  16. My mom is my greatest female mentor. I owe almost everything to her! I've also had many other less significant/constant female mentors, including teachers, colleagues, and friends -- too many to name/count!

  17. My mentors are my mom and sisters hands down. Almost in any situation where I'm uncertain I find myself picturing one of them and wondering how they'd react to it. All three of them are very different and have admirable qualities that are each their own. So I know that one of them will have an answer that will work for me and help me on my way to becoming my own version of an admirable woman.

  18. I was actually just talking with my significant about who inspires me (actually the topic was who's my female crush) and I chose Wendy Watson Nelson. She exudes peace. I went to hear her speak one time and peace is really the best word that i can think of that would describe what i felt in her presence. She has so much certainty in everything she says and does. I would very much love to be like her. I shook her hand at the end of the night and i think I cried, the feeling was that powerful. I have met some spiritual men before but i think because she is a women it was all the more powerful.

  19. My female mentors include, past dance teachers, various women I have met through church and some of my very dearest friends. I love seeing a women who is devoted to her family and her success as a self actualized person where that be in a career or family or personal​ life. One of my most favorite female authors would have to be Margaret Atwood. A lot of her work was influential to me as an adolescent and young adult. I love her style of writing and exploration of controversial topics.

  20. My female mentor is my oldest sister. We are 18 years apart in age, yet we are so close. She is the light in my life and is truly my keeper. I love the way she loves others and she always encourages me through motherhood and life. I could not imagine my life without her, she is such a gift to me.

  21. My mentor is my grandmother. She is the most sincere person I have ever met. I have never heard an unkind word come from her mouth, or heard her say "no" when being asked for help. She is constantly doing things for others. She also hosts book club every week, alongside doing meals on wheels, picking up grandchildren from school, and babysitting. She is a living angel, and I know she is adored by many.

  22. My greatest female mentors are my mother and grandmother who are the strongest women I know. They are endlessly talented and supportive. One of my favorite female authors is Jeannette Walls. Walls' work is so wonderfully constructed and engaging.

  23. My female mentor is definitely my mother. She taught me at a young age what it meant to be charitable, giving and to love others. She included me in her service projects from as young as I can remember and I've been brought up to believe that kindness is a virtue. I've been so blessed that she taught me as well as she did because it's a lesson I have proudly passed on to my own girls. They have already been involved in numerous service projects and I couldn't be any more proud of them than I already am.
    My favourite female author is Jane Austen. Classic but timeless. Above and beyond her time she was inspired.

  24. I know this isn't an author, but Mia Michaels is a female who inspires me. Every time I see, and listen to her talk about, one of the dances she has chroeographed, I leave feeling so uplifted! She once said that we are human first, then an artist, then a teacher. I like that. No matter what, stuff happens and we deal with it - hopefully positively. (Mallory)

  25. I know this isn't an author, but Mia Michaels is a female who inspires me. Every time I see, and listen to her talk about, one of the dances she has chroeographed, I leave feeling so uplifted! She once said that we are human first, then an artist, then a teacher. I like that. No matter what, stuff happens and we deal with it - hopefully positively. (Mallory)

  26. I know this isn't an author, but Mia Michaels is a female who inspires me. Every time I see, and listen to her talk about, one of the dances she has chroeographed, I leave feeling so uplifted! She once said that we are human first, then an artist, then a teacher. I like that. No matter what, stuff happens and we deal with it - hopefully positively. (Mallory)

  27. My female mentor is my big sister Cassandra. She taught me everything I know and is an example of what I should be on a daily basis.
    My favorite female author is J.K. Rowling. She created a whole new reality that inspires me to be better. She also showed me that good can win against all odds if we stick together. I just love her, and her truly inspiring life story.

  28. Flippen J K Rowling. Cliche. But for a reason. The things she came up with are so dang wise. Pretty much everything that comes out of Dumbledores mouth is genius. She inspires me to be smart over worrying about my looks, to stand up for my beliefs, even if no one else is, and to stand up for and be kind others, even if you don't like them. And this is barely scratching the surface.

  29. It's sad that I've never been a big reader and I only started picking up books like 2 years ago, but now I see how much I've been missing out! I feel highly unqualified to even say who my favourite female author is because I just don't know very many! (Hides in embarrassment!) I really enjoyed read Celeste Ng's Something I've never told you! And so I'm going to say her! Her book was the first piece of fiction that showed me that reading is actually fun and that despite being a slow reader I can enjoy 'reading'!

  30. My favourite female author is Jeannette Walls. She is inspiring to me because she was able to take her childhood struggles and experiences growing up in a dysfunctional family dynamic and turn that into something that ultimately drove her success and aspirations. Those experiences are now a positive part of her character/story and who she is now.