Reading Manga on a Kindle – a size comparison

Like many people on the internet, I spent my entire life reading manga from random scanlations scattered across various sites (some sketchier than others). However, since the start of this year, I’ve realized that I now have the means to support the creators, so I’ve moved to reading manga on my Kindle. I do try to use my local library when I can, but for anything else, this is what I’ve been using. I chose this for three reasons:

  1. It’s cheaper than physicals.
  2. It’s easier to read while lying in bed.
  3. It’s more compact – I’m planning on doing a big move in 2022 and the idea of having a large collection to move scares me.

The consensus on the internet seems to be uncertain on how good the Kindle is for reading manga. I personally didn’t found an issue with it and really like it, but there are some that think it’s too small or others that think it doesn’t work because there’s no color (that argument is thrown out the window though because clearly they have no idea what manga is). There’s also the argument that if the screen isn’t sharp enough then you might lose detail in the artwork.

However, there are shockingly few actual photo comparisons out there. I’m not good at comparing things based on number dimensions and I like pictures, so I’ve gathered all my books of different sizes (disclaimer: I only have eight physicals in my collection…) to compare.

Sooooo maybe the naysayers had a point, because I totally didn’t realize how small the screen was in comparison until I actually put things next to one another.

I don’t remember the exact model of the Kindle I have (I’ve had it for several years by now), but it’s the cheapest model they have available, and it looks relatively similar to the ones currently on the market. I’m also pretty sure that because it’s the cheapest, it’s also the smallest.

Here is a comparison of two versions of the same thing:

And this is a close up of the text on the Kindle screen:

It’s definitely readable, but it’s not very clear. I can definitely see people being very annoyed about this or even being unable to read it. This also happens to be one of the smallest fonts in the entire book, so this isn’t the norm, but I still think it’s good to analyze the extremes rather than the averages.

Maybe it doesn’t bother me because I’m so used to reading on my phone, which has small text most of the time. Admittedly the letters are much sharper, but I think it bothers me less because of that.

Does this short investigation mean I’m going to start buying physicals or get something with a larger screen? Probably not, but I’m definitely more aware of how small it is now.

If anyone else reading this short post has been thinking about trying it out for whatever reason, hopefully this comparison highlights the difference between the e-reader and the physicals. Though to be honest, my real recommendation would be to just try it because one volume of Kaguya is $6.50, and I’m pretty certain that most digital versions are around that price.

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