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They show Kindle paperweights from $129 - $249 depending upon the bells and whistles.

They go on sale regularly for $30 and $40 less than those prices:

Would like to avoid commercials/ads if possible, especially if they are intruding or annoying....

I've never found them intrusive. You see an ad when you power-up. I barely notice it anymore. On the list of books, one book line is an ad. Again, barely notice it. 99.9% of the time I'm reading books, and no ads there anywhere.

do I have to pay for Kindle unlimited? OR don't I need that?

I don't think it's worth the $9.99 a month price. I might consider it at $2.99.

But there are SOOOOO many free books available, and they change daily. I publish new lists every day, rotating between genres:

I currently have about 20,000 books in my Amazon Cloud. 99.9% of them were free.

I have author and book watchlists on to let me know when authors I like discount their books, or when specific books become free.

Can't I just download a book from Amazon Prime for free or do they charge for most recent, up-to-date books? If so, charge is probably minimal right?

With Amazon Prime, you can download one KU book per calendar month, no charge. You can also download up to 10 of the "Kindle Prime" books, but it's only about a thousand books.

Local library here does show they have downloads for Kindles and other e-books - I guess those would be free since I do have a library card. that's probably what I would do, since I'm rather cheap (only about small

That's where you would get free mainstream books. I'm not sure I've ever seen a KU book there. It's very easy to get books from the library -- it just sends you to the Amazon site and is a very similar process to buying a Kindle book, except that you are borrowing it instead of purchasing it.

Otherwise, mainstream Kindle books are expensive. Sometimes more than their dead tree versions.

If I read a book and then delete it, it doesn't use up my storage????

I try to keep less than a dozen books on my Kindle -- the ones I plan to read next. Those other 20,000 stay in the Amazon cloud. I don't need to clutter up my reading device with hundreds or thousands of books.

I manage my books on Every time I buy I book, I add it to my "To Be Read" shelf, as well as one genre-descriptive shelf:

I see the paperweight for $129 is supposed to be waterproof and non-glare....Is that a fact?

I don't have a waterproof one. But the eInk screens don't glare, because they aren't backlit. The PaperWhite actually has it's own lighting built in, but they are FRONT lit. That's less eyestrain than a backlit display.
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