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Why I Love My Kindle Scribe

. . .and why no one is talking about it.

I don’t want to overstate the obvious here, but I’m a writer. I’ve been living that sweet, sweet, paper-filled existence my entire life, from bad poetry and my self-important band days, to graphic novel obscurity, however, when I left my job and uprooted my life to move across the country, one thing became very clear — paper is heavy, and I have a lot of it.

I was a little behind the curve on the Kindle Scribe and if you’re not familiar with the device, it’s essentially an iPad-sized Kindle released late in 2022 to some fairly lackluster reviews. It does all of the Kindley Kindle things you’d expect on a gorgeous, backlit Paperwhite screen that’s not only larger, but is now equipped to be WRITTEN on.

The Scribe is also capable of playing your Audible audiobooks through Bluetooth headphones, which is a great way to eat up your internal hard drive space, (they offer 16GB of storage for the base model, and up to 64GB for the Premium Scribe), although I can’t for the life of me understand why you’d lug this thing around when you could do the same through the Audible app on your phone, but hey — who am I to judge? Maybe your phone went flying from the crow’s nest of a pirate ship into the ocean just before you finished the last chapter of Treasure Island. Now you don’t have to wait to get back to shore and replace your phone to finish the book!

All of these things are wonderful options, but I’d like to look at some of the features that mean the most to me as a writer, which is primarily where this article will focus, with some occasional detours to discuss daily use and the pros and cons of Scribe life. As I mentioned earlier, my collection of notebooks, journals, planners, etc., was reaching peak insanity. If you’re packing up your life and find that you’ve labeled multiple boxes “DESK STUFF”, it might be a good time to start considering some other options.

That’s where the Scribe comes in.


If the Kindle Scribe was already on your radar, then you’ve likely seen a number of articles and videos comparing them to the other options out there for E-Writers/Readers. Some are better for artists, while some have better options for writers. All of these distinctions, (in my mind), come down to a mixture of personal preference and functionality of the display surface and pen you'll be writing with.

This thing writes like a seamless dream and it’s a wonderful experience. I’ve replaced all of my expensive notebooks, where I outline and plot my novels, my weekly planners where I track my schedule and to-do list, AND my personal journal, where I unleash the hell that is my brain out onto the page. That’s a LOT of replacing and a great savings over the course of a year.

None of the reviews I’ve read seemed to cover the fact that there are nicely formatted, (and inexpensive), PDF planners for whatever your preferred planning style is, be it Gratitude, Daily, Monthly, Health-focused, or something more specific for tracking your Bills, Tasks, Goals, and even Affirmations. (BTW, I found one that has ALL of these features and I love it.)

If you like games, I have great news for you as well. There are PDF’s with all of the Sudoku, Word Searches and Crosswords your brains can handle. Sometimes you need a break, and this is a great way to hit pause on your day and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. With the premium pen, it’s as easy as flipping it around to erase any mistakes you’ve made like you would with a pencil. You can also assign the extra (shortcut) button on the pen with any task, but for me, using the highlighter function makes the most sense.

Journaling and taking notes on the Scribe has been an absolute pleasure. As I mentioned before, the feel of the pen on the screen and lack of latency, creates a natural pen/paper experience with a plethora of options from the size and style of brush types to using the pen to “lasso” select something on the screen, which can then be erased or even cut / copied / enlarged.

Create a new notebook in your desired folder, select the type of paper you prefer, and get writing. You can not only quick-email these documents to yourself in a matter of seconds, but there’s also an option to convert your scribbled notes to text. Now, I have to say, I am more of a printer when I write, (as opposed to the girls in middle school who wrote in bubbly cursive), but this has worked flawlessly for me.

While there are some odd bits of functionality and some options I wish were present, overall the performance here has exceeded most of my expectations. (I dig into this a bit more down below.)


The primary function I saw myself using the Scribe for was editing my own work. If you didn’t know this already, you can send any document you want from your computer to your Kindle and read it there. I’ve been writing in Atticus lately, and it’s as simple as exporting an EPUB file, uploading it to the Kindle and BOOM — you’re off and running.

However, on the Scribe, the functionality of this is a little complicated and frumpy. If you have no interest in the minutia of how this works, feel free to skip ahead. If you’re here for it, let’s dive in.

EPUB files or Word Documents for books I’ve written or borrowed, (in other words, books that were NOT officially purchased through Kindle), don't allow the function of writing notes or highlighting passages with the fancy pen. These Non-Kindle options still offer Dictionary and Wikipedia “look-up” features, which is great, but any highlighting is done by selecting a word and then choosing the highlight option when it pops up. Pretty simple, and it works well. If you want to select more than one word, you can drag the highlighted portion across anything else you want selected.

For adding Notes to a book or document, it’s similar but different. In a Kindle book, you can select a word and get the option to write with your pen (or type) in a small window that opens up. In a Non-Kindle book, a window still pops up, but the pen writing functionality is gone, leaving you to slowly type out a note with the on-screen keyboard. Again, it’s there and it works, but it’s nowhere near as convenient as using the pen.

NONE of these, (Kindle, Non-Kindle EPUB, or Word Doc), give you the ability to write or doodle in the margins of the book or use the special button on the pen to quickly highlight something. (Basically, any advanced pen functionality goes bye-bye.) To accomplish this, say, in order to edit one of your books, or make notes on an office memo, you would have to import the file or story as a PDF. Then you can kind of go nuts, drawing, circling, highlighting, and writing in the margins to your heart’s content.

UPDATE: As of May 2023, Amazon is now beginning to filter in “Write-on Books” for Scribe users only, that feature on-page writing, but I’ve yet to test one of these out.


I wasn’t lucky enough to receive the Kindle Scribe as a review copy, but I was fortunate to catch it on a big sale. I got the top of the line model at a nice discount, (Amazon does have good sales from time to time, so keep an eye out), and I traded in my old paperwhite, (and I mean really old), for an additional 20% discount. Honestly, not too shabby at all.

Having said that, these things aren’t cheap. The base model with 16GB of storage and the basic, (let’s face it — lame), pen starts at $369. Personally, I think they should make the entry point for users a little cheaper and let them upgrade the pen later if they want, but for some reason, Amazon hasn’t put me in charge of this. The gap between the base model and top of the line, 64GB Scribe with the premium pen is only $50. Maybe they’re hoping to get people saying, “hey, it’s only $50, might as well get the big one,” and that’s a fair point, but I think they’d be more competitive getting new users in with a lower cost of entry.

To be completely transparent, with all of my discounts, I ended up paying around $280 for the high-end model. To be absolutely see-through, I bought it with the full intention of trying it out and sending it back, half-assuming I wouldn’t like how it worked, or that it wouldn’t meet all of my needs, but in fact, the opposite happened and I quickly adopted it for reasons I hadn’t even considered.

While the discounted price certainly helped, the value received, in my case, was absolutely worth it.

And speaking of cases. . .


There aren’t a lot of what I consider to be sexy options for the protective Scribe cases that fall under my own personal taste. Obviously, this is a highly subjective thing. A lot of the cover designs just weren’t that cool, which had me leaning toward something a little more utilitarian.

All of the options are represented out there in the marketplace — rubber, leather, fabric, folding, spinning. Most have a built-in stand to prop the Scribe up, while others offer sleeves or pockets for storage—something closer to an executive portfolio. As you can probably imagine, you’ll have to sift through them all and likely try some out before you find the one that best meets your needs.

My first was a black rubber style that, within a couple of weeks, had a peeling film at the edges. This was no bueno. It seemed great initially, but under normal use, quickly looked funky and even dirty from the deterioration of whatever coating was on it. However, I really liked the style of the cover for the simple fact that it has a nice holder for the pen that allowed the built-in magnetic clamp to lock onto the side of the Scribe, while also keeping it secured within its own space, so it didn’t detach and fall off.

I tend to tote this thing around in my bag, so the idea of having to hunt for the pen, scrounging around the bottom, was less than desirable, not to mention breaking it or losing it all together because I clumsily knocked it off while carrying it in my hands.

Does it suck a bit that you have to spend MORE money to protect your investment? Yeah, pretty much. We’re slightly conditioned to these types of things at this point after years of dropping and spilling drinks on our electronic devices, so you’ll have to use your own discretion, but I finally found a case that I like pretty well.

It’s lightweight and functional, my pen is secure, and there are no issues, (like I’ve read about), where magnets on some of the cases actually affect writing on parts of the screen — yes, that’s a real thing, look it up.

What more can you ask for?


In a perfect world, there are two things that I’d like to ask of my Kindle Scribe.

Numero Uno — a Zoom Lock for a PDF.

My number one complaint about my Scribe is that in the midst of making a note, (although this usually occurs while playing Sudoku), I accidentally swipe the side of my hand on the screen in a way that the Kindle interprets as, “ZOOM IN NOW? YOU GOT IT, BUDDY.”

No. No, no. Do not zoom.

Then I have to stop whatever I’m doing and zoom back out to where it was. A simple lock function for a PDF file would prevent this and make me very happy. It’s rare that a hand swipe will actually turn to the next page, but it does happen. This is far less annoying and not really fixable, but I’m totally fine with having to go back a page. Not a big deal.

I’ve heard others say that they have to zoom in on each page when reading a PDF. I’ve not really experienced this, because, for me, the default font size is fine, but I could see it being very annoying to have to zoom in every time you advance a page. That would be no fun at all.

Fix this, please.

Number Two — an option to Sync Files.

This gets a little complicated, because I assume there would be some trade-off for a feature like this. You’d have to set it up, firstly, which could prove intimidating for anyone who struggles with or fears technology. Could you point it to an authenticated folder on your MAC/PC, or would it need to be a shared drive out in the ether somewhere, perhaps less secure?

How would you initiate the sync? Manually or Automagically?

I could definitely see an automatic sync decreasing battery life if there’s an occasional ping to check the versions of documents or notes. It’s less than ideal, to be sure.

The option to mail something to yourself is there and works great —there are just more steps and it requires you to remember, “oh, I haven’t done a backup in a while,” which isn’t as reliable as some kind of scheduled task. You have to mail the note from the Scribe, go to your email, save it somewhere, delete the email, etc. However, not backing up your files is just inviting disaster.

If your device dies or is destroyed and you have to replace it, your saved documents, your journals — basically anything that wouldn’t be synced with a standard Kindle, i.e., your Kindle Books, PDFs, Word Docs — are gone forever. In other words, if YOU don’t back it up, it’s NOT backed up.

Scribe competitors have figured this out, so what’s the hold up?


I’m not going to get into the weeds on the details here. There are plenty of other reviews and comparisons that will tell you these things. I’ll leave a link — HERE — and give you the basics. The glare-free Paperwhite screen is 10.2 inches with 300 ppi (pixels per inch).

The number of paper options for a new “notebook” are spectacular. There are currently 18 templates, ranging anywhere from lined and dotted paper to grids, calendars, and even ready-made checklists with a little box at one side of the page. (Truly exciting for anyone like me, who gets a little shot of endorphins every time a task is completed and a box is checked.)

I’m also an organization nerd, so the ability to structure all of my various projects and work within a series of folders is wonderful. To top it off, it’s simple and intuitive to move things around in your filing system and there’s a new “Bird’s Eye View” option that breaks out individual pages, (up to 9 on screen at a time), to find something specific, remove, or reorder the pages in a particular notebook.

The battery life is better than expected. I use my Scribe every day and charge it every 3 weeks, (via USB C), when it hits around 15%.

It reads amazing well, just like every other Kindle. As mentioned before, you can connect Bluetooth headphones and listen to audiobooks. The writing feels like a pen on paper and the pen never needs to be charged and doesn’t require a battery.


I suspect that the Kindle Scribe is a bit of a specialized device. It costs roughly the same as a game console, (your Nintendos and Xboxes, etc.), and offers a heavier, albeit larger, version of something you can already buy much cheaper.

If you’re not a writer/editor, serious note-taker, journaler, or someone who functions poorly without their daily planner, you’d probably take a look at this thing and scoff.

I am, however, ALL of those things. This device is for ME.

And while it’s hard to deny the sometimes (frankly) disgusting look of Amazon and Jeff Bezos, from his tone-deaf handling of everything from publishing to labor, to the mega-corp’s impact on local economies, the Kindle is something they got right in the early days, and have only improved upon.

In fact, to anyone who says they would never consider using a Scribe simply because it’s an Amazon device. . . I have no argument against that. In many ways, their stigma outweighs their tech.

I choose to compartmentalize these things to a certain extent, and focus on the aspects of my life that bring me love, joy and inspiration. THAT is my writing work, which is why I do what I do.

While reviews have been generally favorable, I think the price and specificity have really kept the Scribe from being catapulted into the zeitgeist. Maybe a cheaper, smaller option with some improved functionality, a few years from now, can achieve this measure of success, or maybe someone else will come along and do it better at some point.

It’s not all that dissimilar from the Apple Vision Pro. It’s providing some cool new tech that offers the possibility of increasing productivity in our busy lives, but does the world really need it?


Obviously, this is a love affair for me. I’ve eliminated my need of paper notebooks. I can edit my own work with this device in a way that saves me from printing an entire manuscript. My journals and planners are a thing of the past. I have the ability to email myself any note I create, either handwritten, or converted to text.

It’s lightweight, it’s backlit, and it keeps my focus where it should be — on my work and/or enhancing the productivity of my life, at least until it’s time to read or do a puzzle.

Could Amazon have included a series of other bells and whistles? Email functionality? Social Media apps? You bet. But I’m SO glad they didn’t.

Part of the reason I’m easily distracted by my phone is the inclusion of these things. The thought, “as long as I’m here, I might as well. . .”, never really enters the fray on my Scribe. Decisions to select this or that are more intentional and less flimsy, which means my mind is less preoccupied when I’m using it. It’s not an iPad, nor should it be. That’s not why I’m here.

I can’t really claim that it’s a great option for artists. I’ve heard that other devices, such as the Remarkable tablet, are much better suited for that type of functionality, but I’m no artist. I’m a doodler at best, so I’ll stay in my lane.

As a writer, my only real question is why Amazon is still neglecting to include Kindle Vella on the majority of their devices. As it stands, only the Kindle Fire and phone app allow readers to access this episodic storytelling format, which is. . . odd. You have full access to the Kindle and Audible storefronts, but Vella is still mysteriously excluded from the Scribe.

It’s not a perfect device, but I can tell you that my wishlist would have been longer, if not for the most recent update in May. In just two months since purchasing my Scribe, several fixes that I wanted to be addressed were remedied and even enhanced with options I didn’t know I needed, proving that Amazon is listening and working to enhance the user experience.

You’ll hear a lot of people say you should never buy something for a feature that’s promised in the future, and I agree, but I made my decision early on, and I haven't regretted it yet.

Is the Kindle Scribe right for you? Did I leave anything out?

Let me know your thoughts, questions and concerns below, and follow my writing journey, both here and on Medium at


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