Amazon this morning announced a new version of its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, with a higher-resolution screen and a new font, called “Bookerly” — part of a broader effort by the company to improve the e-book reading experience by embracing the practices of traditional book typesetting.
The company describes Bookerly as an exclusive new font “crafted from the ground up for digital reading.” In addition, the new Paperwhite will introduce a new typesetting engine that brings traditional layout practices such as large drop caps at the beginning of chapters, fine-tuned spacing between words and new hyphenation to create paragraphs with consistent lines.
“This results in more natural word spacing and more words on each page, which allows for faster reading with less eyestrain,” the company says.
Update: The typesetting engine is listed as “coming soon” on the product page. An Amazon spokesperson says the font and typsetting improvements will also be made available to the previous generation Kindle Paperwhite, plus the $79 Kindle and Kindle Voyage.
Amazon introduced the Paperwhite in 2012, with a front-lit screen designed to minimize eye-strain. The Seattle company dominates the market for dedicated e-readers, although that market has been dwarfed by tablets overall in recent years.
Here’s an Amazon graphic that shows the differences between Bookerly and previous fonts.
The new Paperwhite will start shipping on June 30. It updates the screen resolution to 300 pixels per inch, the same as in the company’s higher-end Kindle Voyage e-reader. The Paperwhite will start at $119, the same price as in the past.