The Amazon Kindle – another update

As readers of this blog will know, a few months ago I acquired an Amazon Kindle. This has been something of an endurance test, because the Kindle is only for sale in America to American customers, and as you will know I live and work in Ireland. I managed to get around this as I have a US mailing address, from where I can get things forwarded that are sent there for me.

Getting content on to the Kindle is much more difficult. There are thousands of ebooks on, but these can only be bought with an American credit card. Eventually I worked my way round this also by buying a ‘disposable’ VISA credit card while on a visit in the US and registering this on Amazon. Now I can buy Kindle-format ebooks, at least until the sum on the credit card has been exhausted. Then, if I still have the energy, I’ll need to get another one. There are also website where you can download free Kindle-format books, generally the classics.

So is it all worth it? Yes, I think so. Just about. The device itself is entirely intuitive and user-friendly, and I find the screen to be exactly right; reading is easy on the eyes. The battery life seems excellent – I have been on several intercontinental flights during which I read almost non-stop, without the power level in the battery showing much sign of running down. So I am happy with the device; but cannot help wondering why Amazon makes it so difficult for non-US customers. Apparently a UK version is about to be released; but nothing for Ireland.

In Ireland – if you can get hold of it – the Sony ebook reader is now on sale, at Waterstones. But I have been unable to get a demonstration of one, so I cannot say how good or bad it is. Whenever I go to Waterstones they do not have them in stock.

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8 Comments on “The Amazon Kindle – another update”

  1. Karen Says:

    Buy gift certificates on your non-US credit card and load them into your account. Those will be used before the credit card, so that you won’t exhaust the credit card and have to worry about grabbing another one.

    For those wanting one by Christmas, this year, the new ones are sold out. There is an alternative that may get you a Kindle for Christmas (without resorting to sky-high ebay prices) — the refurbished Kindles keep coming back in stock at Amazon. There were several available on the web site yesterday, appearing at times from very early morning until midnight. From the comments and emails I’ve received from those who grabbed one, there must have been at least dozen in stock in the morning and several more in stock in the afternoon and evening, so it pays to keep checking the link:

    Note that if the refurbished units are sold out, that page will also display “used” Kindles being sold by third parties, not Amazon. Generally these are new or only slightly used units, sold at a premium due to the shortage. I know that many dozens of the refurbished Kindles have been sold and shipped since Dec 1, but they go in an out of stock quickly. They don’t last on the site very long, so if you want one, you must order it immediately if you find one in stock. If you they are out of stock when you check, be sure to read my blog for tips on getting one:

  2. Cian Says:

    Out of interest, how does the kindle cope with books that are larger than itself? If all your ebooks are larger than paperback format is it still a worthwhile buy?

  3. Iain Says:

    Hi there. We’ve been “field testing” the Sony e-book reader over here in Galway, passing it our to professors of literature, students, staff, etc. The feedback is very positive indeed, once folk get used to the concept. The screen is gentle on the eyes and with the option to zoom in let’s folk leave their specs behind! The ability to load pdfs onboard also makes it very handy for ploughing through research papers and reports instead of carrying hefty piles of paper around – so ideal for review writers, etc. It also permits the playing of mp3 music whilst you are reading, has slots for additional memory cards and even browsing of images, albeit in black and white.

    i must admit that I like it a lot better than I suspected I would. The small size and elegantly designed leather (fake)-style cover make it quite an object of desire too without the keyboard of the kindle.

    Plenty of them in stock in most sony centres around the place and I[m sure they’ll be doing well as a christmas gift.

  4. morgan Says:

    The apple iphone/ipod touch makes these devices relatively obsolete I’m afraid!

  5. In answer to Cian: the Kindle does not reproduce the book in the same format as the printed version, but rather reformats it to fit the screen. So it can cope with all books. However, it is black and white, so coffee table picture books will suffer…

    In answer to Morgan: I’m not sure. The screens of these devices are just too small for comfortable reading of longer documents and books. Or so I think. But who knows how the technology will develop.

  6. Joe Says:

    The Kindle is actually quite classy; it’s like a convergence of old school and new school technology

  7. RaiulBaztepo Says:

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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