Kindle for Beach Reading?

Kindle beach

An interview with The Washington Post’s Rob Pegoraro aired this morning on NPR. The topic? Whether the Kindle makes for good beach and poolside reading. The verdict was mixed.

On the pro side: a few drops of water aren’t going to kill the Kindle, and the fact that the screen’s not backlit makes it easy to read even in the sun.

On the con side: the Kindle isn’t going to survive getting buried in the sand, and you’re going to be a lot more worried about it getting stolen than a dog-eared paperback.

All in all, I think even if I owned a Kindle I’d fork over ten bucks for a paperback at the beach… just for the peace of mind of being able to leave my book thoughtlessly behind for a dip in the ocean.

13 thoughts on “Kindle for Beach Reading?”

  1. I own a Kindle and have been taking it on the beach inside of a clear zip-lock bag. I have small kids, which makes this endeavor somewhat risky. If Amazon (or someone else) would make a hard, somewhat waterproof enclosure I would buy it in a heartbeat. The ziplock bag is good, but I have to open it to open the front flap of the Kindle cover. I’m not willing to put it in my beach bag without the cover closed (too great a chance of screen damage). The ziplock bag has the advantage of low cost and easy replacement.


  2. @Spark Strange that nobody’s made a waterproof case, though I’m sure you could find one built for something else.

    Meantime, I think the biggest problem with the Kindle is that a lot of folks don’t read a lot of books, which makes it difficult to shell out the $$$. Sad, sad, sad. My mother, an avid book reader, is still a big Kindle fan. Not a beach fan, so no worries there.

  3. Yes, I think I just need a “hard” case of some form, combined with a ziplock back, and things would be fairly good. You have to be able to press the page forward/back buttons while reading, so a generic hard case would only work for transport. It would be fortunate indeed to find one that had a way to allow you to press the buttons AND had a clear window. However, the ziplock bag works fairly well.

    Overall, I really like my Kindle. I like it for two reasons that are separate from paper books: 1) I have access to the Project Gutenberg texts and 2) I can purchase books at 11pm from my bed and start reading them 30 seconds later. It is nice for traveling as well, since the size and weight is better than carrying 2-3 books, but I must admit this is a fairly minor convenience. I think you need a good reason to buy it. But, if you have a reason, it is a great platform for reading on.


  4. Funny Mari and Rob should mention the Kindle in regards to the beach… I saw one on the pool deck of my ship and wondered if the woman would take it to the beach in Mexico. Sand is a concern, but I’d be more worried that it’d wander off while I was snorkeling. I had no such concerns with the paperback I left on my chair.

  5. It’s not a Kindle, but my wife and I just took two Sony Readers to a beach vacation in Belize. They both survived fine (though the idea of a ziplock bag is a good one for future travel). Taking enough books along for two for a week would have severely impacted our “travel light” style.

  6. I finally bought a Kindle largely because I had an upcoming beach vacation and didn’t want to carry heavy books with me. It worked out great and now I can’t imagine going to the beach without it.

    I go into more detail in a blog post about this subject (linked to my name above).

  7. I used the ziploc bag approach on my last beach vacation. I had a bit of trouble with condensation inside the bag….if anyone has a solution let me know.

  8. I just took my Kindle 2 to the beach and was completely unable to read the screen in the sun. The words on the screen just vanished in the direct sunlight! It sounds like everyone else was able to read their Kindle just fine . . . could mine be defective? First time I’ve ever tried to read it outside (or at least not in the shade outside). Anyone else with this problem?

  9. I think your Kindle is defective if you can’t read it on the beach. I can read mine perfectly in the bright sun. I’d call tech support. They’re very helpful.
    I would love a “soft” Kindle case that enables me to press the buttons through it. I take it to the beach and am very very careful. I keep in a a bag (not a zip lock though that sounds like a good idea) I make sure the bag is not in the sand. I am just very vigilent about it. My iPhone is in the same bag!
    It’s true that I get anxious when my dripping kids approach me while I’m reading. “Stand back!” I cry.
    At this point I can’t bring myself to buy a paperback after paying for the Kindle version. Oh well. I’ll keep trying….

  10. have none of you seen the water resistant cover? it’s at and seems to solve all the problems of water, splashing, etc. check it out!

  11. I had the same concern but came across a very inexpensive fix to this. This past summer I tried an iLoc Kindle Case for just a couple bucks. It protected my kindle from the sand. It was great to be able to throw down my kindle and go play volleyball without any worries. I got mine at

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