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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Amazon Kindle

My husband, along with virtually his entire family, loves and - more importantly - understands electronics. This is perfect for me because I enjoy having things that make life easier but I have no idea what is out there, much less where to buy it or how to set it up. This is also great for me because it means that I tend to receive amazing, technologically advanced gifts that I never even knew existed. I am quite spoiled in this regard. Although there are quite a few things that I could put in that category (my iPod, laptop and cell phone to name a few...) I need to shed light on one item in particular because I think that expats are really missing out on this delightful piece of technology. The Amazon Kindle.

My 1st generation Kindle
My Kindle was a Christmas gift from my in-laws in 2008 when I was still commuting to work on the train everyday. The Kindle is a product of Amazon (there are others out there by Sony and other companies) that wirelessly downloads books, magazines and newpapers from anywhere in the US in under 60 seconds. The newer versions of the Kindle offer 3G global coverage, making it even more appealing to expats the coverage is good in over 100 countries, and holds a longer charge (up to 1 week of reading on one full charge) than the previous models. This is especially good for those multi-day flights or for the backpacker who won't be near a power source for days on end. There are literally hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from with more titles being added every day. The Kindle also has the ability to connect to your computer using a USB cable for people like me who have the older version and live outside of the country. The device itself is lightweight and easy to use - especially easy on the eyes. The screen reminds me of an Etch-a-Sketch, that matte finish screen that makes the text really easy to read. Oh Kindle, here are the reasons I love thee:
  1. For my former commute, I didn't have to carry an enormous book with me on the train.
  2. It is small enough to keep in my purse all the time for things like waiting at the doctor's office, taking a lunch break or sitting at a cafe.
  3. Before we moved to Buenos Aires, we lived in a relatively small apartment where we barely had enough space for our own things, much less the space to store all of the book that I read.
  4. Now that we live in Bs. As. it is hard to find English bookstores that carry the titles I want. Not an issue when you have a Kindle.
  5. When I'm out of the loop with regard to current good books, I can go onto the New York Times bestseller list straight from the Kindle. Not only that - but you can download a "sample" of a book before you buy it for no cost!
The downside of the Kindle is that it's not cheap. You pay one price for the device (unless you get it as a gift - thank you Thom and Lornie!) and then pay separately for each book that you download. The book prices vary, but the most expensive I've seen is $9.99 for a new release hardback NYTimes bestseller. Not too bad if you consider that most of those books on the shelf are < $20.00 when they first come out. I have been stopped on the street, on the train and by people in stores to ask if I like the Kindle and my answer is always an overwhelming YES. If you are thinking about getting one for yourself or as a gift for someone else don't think twice. They will love it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dawn:
    We thought your blog would be a perfect fit our InterExpat site: http://www.interexpat.com and it is now searchable through the blog search on the website; we hope it will bring quality traffic to your interesting blog.

    It would be great if you could link back to us as well to let people know about this new website :)

    Simple link or if you prefer you’ll find a series of more colorful widgets - stickers on this page as well


    (the search results page opens in new browser window so your readers will stay on your blog even if they use the widget.)

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    Let me know if you need anything

    Kind regards