A good number of years ago I ended up "Winning" an HDX 7 from a developer raffle that a certain audio company was doing at the time. But I've never had one of their dedicated e-readers, and the only Amazonion devices I've bought over the years have been their Fire TV boxes, a product I've come to enjoy.
For me the HDX7 was both surprising and novel. On one hand, it was pretty much free; on the other it was pretty cool. The device's battery life and performance was spectacular for its day. Comparable hardware for the day would have been a Nexus 4, if you traded all the Googly services for battery life that was more like a week of mixed us / when the heck did I even plug this thing in, kind of idle time.
Back then my content was more mixed. Amazon Kindle, Google Play, and various odds and ends made up my repository of books. I have gigs of files on my private server from back when I was a heavy use of Calibre. I've made pretty good use of the lit' HDX for reading over the years.
Amazon would go on to become the dominate source of e-books over the decade. But still I never bought one of their readers. In fact, I posted nearly a decade ago about how unlikely me and an e-reader were. That was before tablets came to dominate my computing life. So even after the Tabletination I never really saw the point in a purpose built e-reader versus a standard tablet.
At best: my freebie HDX has always been an auxiliary device. A device that I would mostly use for reading books, many of them converted via Calibre, or passing an insomniac night. Typically I've stuck to my regular tablets, since last year: an iPad, and much the earlier decade Android tablets from Samsung and Asus. Even for reading, I've usually used a regular tablet about 80% of the time; maybe more.
Lately, I've been using the HDX more as a book reader because of its small size. Something that is pretty damned perfect for reading. The folks that designed that generation put much TLC into its build, IMHO.
My iPad is rather large and I've always valued the little Kindle Fire's superb build for reading. Thus not a big surprise when the device still works (hehe). Yes, I preferred paperbacks over hardcovers to the face back when I still had shelf space. After seven years though: the battery life under load isn't as Hercules strength as it once was, and honestly there are more than a few "Yeaaah pal, your software is so frakkin' old this ain't supported no more". Considering the age, I of course have no right to complain. Especially when it's a really nice device that I didn't pay a dime for, lol.
In fact in the past couple years it has spent some time as a clock or a photoframe. Being repurposed for reading once in a while, or to curiously see if the old thing was still turning on.
I've recently given some mind to whether or not to trade it in towards some regular tablet purchase, or to buy a modern Fire just for the non-reading parts. But I've not seen too much of a point to trading it in. Unless it's a killer deal, like Samsung / Best Buy sometimes run, it's too damned old to be worth much to anyone shy of being an alarm clock that reads books. Likewise, I don't really care much about Amazon's app store, so much as it can be convenient to read Wikipedia on a 7" device.
Well, after a while of thinkin' on it: I finally caved in, and bought a Kindle. So far, I rather like it.
I remember being tempted back when the 3rd generation came out with an accessible price. Think folks call that the "Keyboard" now. It helps that for some years now: the basic Kindle has been pretty cheap. Even more so with another year older, coming up soon.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be dead a few thousand years before I catch up on my reading backlog.