I’m pretty sure my body has a peculiar electromagnetic field that wreaks havoc on the batteries of electronic devices. Not all of them: all of my iPhones have had more-or-less the advertised battery life. But all of my Mac laptops, going back fifteen years, have gotten around four hours from a charge. No announced improvement in battery power has ever changed that. (I’m typing this on a MacBook that’s supposed to get around 10 hours from a charge under normal use. It gets four. It has always gotten four.) And my Kindles have been even worse — though never quite as bad as my new Kindle Oasis, which promises “weeks” of battery life on a single charge and gets … about two days. And that’s with limited use of the light. Two days.

So I’m sending it back. It’s all boxed up and ready to go, which leaves me, if I want to read on an e-reader, with this old thing:

And you know, it’s not bad — not bad at all. Yes, it’s a little heavier and the type isn’t quite as sharp, but it has advantages: no touchscreen, so I don’t have to wipe off prints; a hardware keyboard, which is much more user-friendly for someone like me who actually annotates books; underlining of marked text, which I think more readable and less distracting than highlighting. It doesn’t have a light, of course, but I rarely use the light because I read outdoors a lot and even when reading inside it’s easier on my eyes to read by lamplight.

So maybe I’ll just keep using this device I bought seven years ago — as long as the battery holds out.