Nearly a decade ago, S. and I bought Belkin ‘Verve Tab Folio’ cases for our then-new Kindle Paperwhites (1st-gen EY21 Wifi-only units). Neither of our Kindles, which we got out of an abundance of optimism, has been used terribly often. Mine was almost always kept in airplane mode and employed as a portable PDF reader, for out-of-print books available on Project Gutenberg and transferred onto the device via USB. I’ve purchased a total of [countable-on-fingers-number] “ebooks” from Amazon in the years since and far more deadtree books during the same interval and will continue to primarily buy and read tangible, non-digital paper books for the foreseeable future.
As part of an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get one of those very rarely bought ebooks downloaded in a format that could be converted to something portable, like a PDF, I recently dug out my ancient Kindle Paperwhite and charged it back up.
Both Kindle Paperwhites still function flawlessly, but their cases aren’t doing so well. The pleather on the spine of mine, featured in the image above, was the first spot where I noticed flaking and I used some lengths of clear Scotch tape to remove the loose bits. There are other spots of deterioration, like the retention loops at each of the Kindle’s four corners. The fragments of case skin are easily removed and the surface finish of the Kindle itself hasn’t been marred.
‘Verve Tab Folio’ cases are no longer available for purchase there, but Amazon still hosts a product listing in which the case is described, first, as being made of leather and then, a little further on, as having a
leather-like exterior. It’s definitely not leather. Water beads up on the surface where it’s intact and on a larger strip of the textured matte black coating that I peeled off.
Each Belkin ‘Verve Tab Folio’ cost US$ 29.99 back in early 2013. According to an online inflation calculator, that’s equivalent to a little over US$ 38 in 2022.