New Kindle is coming

The new Kindle from Amazon is coming.  The price has dropped.  The new Kindle will be released on 27 August.

There are two versions.

For $139 it connects with wifi and has a 6" display. Two colors.  USA preorder HERE – UK preorder HERE.

For $189 it has free and wifi and works globally.  Two colors. USA preorder HERE – UK preorder HERE.

There is a larger version with a 9.7" display with the same whistles and bells.  USA preorder HERE – UK preorder HERE.

I have been using the Kindle app on my iPhone and on an iPad.  I was given the vanilla version of the iPad when it first came out and – frankly – I wasn’t sure what to do with it, since it had no 3G.  Since then I have used it for various task, but I have just read my first book on it and and reading the second.  I have found it a very good experience reading this way.  It is possible, using the app, to highlight and add notes to your text.  Also, with the iPad, it is easy to read in the dark.  But the iPad is really too heavy to hold for a long time.  It is great if you can prop it up.  The Kindle is much lighter.

That said, I didn’t think I would like reading a book from a screen, but it works well.

I believe I am ready for a Kindle.  I will put it on my wishlist.

Some Kindle subscriptions you can read on all the other Kindle apps (for iPhone or laptop, etc.) only if you already have the Kindle hardware.  Say you want to subscribe to the daily edition of the Daily Telegraph in the UK.  You can’t subscribe unless you have a Kindle.  But once you get it, you can read it on all your "Kindle’d" devices.

Twitter"But Father! but Father!", you are clearly about to ask – and so am I – what about that free 3G?!?  Really? Free?"

Here is what the site says:

No monthly wireless bills or commitments. Amazon pays for Kindle’s wireless connectivity so you won’t see a monthly wireless bill. There is no wireless setup – you are ready to shop, purchase, and read right out of the box.

Global 3G Coverage

Travel the globe and still get books in under 60 seconds. Kindle uses GSM technology—the most popular mobile wireless standard – with wireless coverage in over 100 countries and territories, such as Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, Japan, Norway, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and many others. Stay in touch with news from home by having your newspaper and magazine subscriptions delivered wirelessly while you travel.

For U.S. customers traveling abroad, additional charges apply for wireless delivery of periodical subscriptions. For details, click here. To avoid any charges, you can always download items via your computer and transfer them to your Kindle using USB or a Wi-Fi connection.

So, it look like you can get about anything you want anywhere you want with this thing.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. moon1234 says:

    Great. I get to pay for a device that will spy on my reading habits, gives a corporation the right to delete content from my device if THEY THINK it violates someones copyright.

    I get to pay for this privilige too. No thanks. Will stick to a computer where I have some modicum of control.

  2. Kindle for Mass cards?

  3. Agnes says:

    I’m one of those hardcore old fashioned types that likes to select a book from the bookcase, sit down in the living room with a cup of coffee, feel the weight of the tome and actually turn its pages.

    Paper does still have its place in the world.

  4. Jacob says:

    I don’t have the link in front of me now, but I’ve read that there seems to be a correlation between young people seeing themselves as ‘readers’ and building reading habits that will serve them throughout their lives and young people building libraries of actual books as opposed to things like computers and other devices.

    Actually owning books builds confidence as a reader apparently…

  5. SuzieQ says:

    I agree with the comments on how it’s still good to own/read real books. But I still want a Kindle. If for no other reason than to have better organized notes while studying…

  6. RichR says:

    I got a Nook and never looked back. The LCD screen is nice for viewing book covers, and it allows more flexibility with control since it is a touch screen. It’s also ePub format, so I am not locked into a brand of reader.

    Just my thoughts.

  7. catholicmidwest says:

    I have 2 ebooks and I love them. I’d think twice about getting a Kindle though because has a history of stiffing its ebook customers. And also there are other drawbacks to that unit too. It doesn’t have a replaceable battery. Like an ipod, when it dies you are out of luck. [Not quite. I believe you can get replacements.] It also doesn’t have expandable memory which is a problem for some readers. Juggling data is a Kindle-style nightmare, I am told.

    For those who want to work with a big bookseller, I’d recommend a Nook. Nooks read EPUBs which have become the standard format. Nooks have replaceable batteries and have expandable memory (using microSD cards). You can also parallel shop, finding the book of your choice in the store and then getting the electronic version cheaper right there on the spot after finding exactly & precisely what you want.

    For those worried about privacy and so on, I’d recommend one of Sony’s readers. You buy EPUBs online to read and they’re YOURS. You can put them on a thumb drive or your own computer and they’re yours to do with as you want. Nobody has to know what you have. You can also download all Google’s digitized stuff in EPUB or PDF and read that. Copies of things like “Lord of the World,” “The life of ST. Teresa of Avila” and Chesterton’s classics are available free online because their copyrights are expired.

    I like the heft and readability of my little Sony best, but I really like being able to parallel shop because I already own thousands of books and don’t need any more books to handle. I love to read. Some books I still buy regular copies, even hard cover–cookbooks, craft books, picture books. But the ereader is great for anything without illustrations such as novels, books on economics, religion and other text items.

  8. catholicmidwest says:

    ANd if you read a lot like I do, you know the drill. There are books you love, books you want to keep, books that are beautiful, and then there are the ones that you read once and give away or they sit in ever-expanding piles on bookshelves until you give them away to an incipient booksale someplace or develop enough patience to put them on ebay or something. I buy e-copies of the latter type and still get the former.

    There is one added side benefit. I keep an electronic wishlist and I buy as I read. I don’t buy ahead. I don’t have to. I can get what I want in a minute and it will be available as fast as I can read–or as slowly. It really is all about READING, not hauling stuff around or keeping track of stuff.

    PS The ebooks from Ignatius Press will run on all 3 of the formats. And they’re YOURS. YOu download the file to your computer and transfer it yourself to the ereader. Works fine.

  9. I believe everyone here is going to like real books better.

    But I think this thread is about the digital readers.

    I found the comment about Nook and ebooks. I don’t know enough about them

  10. ipadre says:

    Movies? Music? Color display? eMail & web? Apps? Still can’t get used to reading books on any digital device. I like the hard copy to mark notes, bend pages, etc… I’ll stick with my iPad! Might be a little more cash, but iCan do a lot more with it.

  11. I own several thousand books (and of course I’ve read several thousand more out of libraries). I don’t really want to buy any more physical books, or at least, for the most part I don’t want the responsibility of having them around and finding someplace to stuff them. Bibliophilia has its limits, and “I need to get rid of a couple hundred books” is one of them.

    The best thing about ebooks is that, in the simpler formats, you can edit them yourself. (Not as necessary these days, thank God.) And if you get a book with really horrific proper names in it, you can change them to something more reasonable and historically accurate. (Of course, pointing this out to authors makes them turn pale.)

    If it’s HTML, you can add not only footnotes, but song files, pictures of the people mentioned in a roman a clef. (Tons of fun with a book that included characters based on people I knew.)

    Since I would never ever mark up the margins of a real book, it’s weirdly fun to do it to ebooks in some of these weird proprietary formats like Kindle. Very transgressive.

    I’m undecided about ebook readers, though. What’s good on a computer isn’t necessarily good on crippleware, which they all are. The cheaper price isn’t really cheap yet, but free WiFi makes it sound more interesting to me. Basically, Amazon is betting that I’ll buy enough ebooks to amortize their wireless costs, while I’d be betting that I could be strong and use the free books instead, and that the free wireless over time and its usefulness would balance out the high price of buying the sucker in the first place.

  12. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z,

    There have been several versions of Kindle and they have changed the design dramatically between versions. The 1st version had an SD card auxiliary storage device, a replaceable battery and a protective cover. Those 1st generation batteries can still be purchased but the 1st gen Kindles are discontinued and people are tending to hang onto them.

    When the second generation came out, the SD card was gone, the case was sealed and there was no protective cover shipped with it. There were problems with transferability of content from gen 1 to gen 2 and I’ll let you check that out online if you’re interested.

    The Kindle we are seeing come out for $139 is the 3rd gen. This one doesn’t have an SD card either but it does have 4G of internal memory so it holds more books than earlier versions. The case is sealed on this unit also. I believe that Amazon replaces batteries for a fairly hefty fee if you send the unit in and they do it. There are second party batteries available for the 2nd and 3rd generations, but the warranty is invalidated by cracking open the case to insert the new battery. [The warranty is available at Amazon’s site.]

    Kindles use a proprietary format for files called AZW and they are protected files (DRM). They cannot be read by other ereaders. Some open format files (PDF etc) can be read by Kindle but the formating may be clumsy on some of them. All the ereaders read a variety of these open format files. A list is typically available from the vendor.

  13. Anne M. says:

    I love my Kindle. I have had it for four months and it’s great for traveling as I don’t have to lug around heavy books. Plus, many books by Catholic authors like Robert Hugh Benson and G.K. Chesterton are available for free. The battery on my Kindle really does last a week at a time, too.

    One thing to keep in mind for those who travel with e-readers is that on an airplane you are required to turn it off during take-off and landing.

    I will probably purchase the new Kindle and give my old one to my mother as she has expressed interest in getting one. It’s nice for people her age (85) as the text can be enlarged.

  14. chcrix says:

    I strongly endorse catholicmidwest’s comments. It it especially good to not be in thrall to a proprietary solution.

  15. catholicmidwest says:

    Oh, and there’s one other thing. We probably all know the situation where the laptop battery no longer holds a decent charge, so we use the laptop plugged in and it works fine, yes?

    Same, same. In the absence of a replacement battery, this would be a workaround option for an e-reader.

    The Nook will work plugged in. The Sony doesn’t. I don’t know about the Kindle. You’d have to find out from someone who owns one because this is not the kind of information they’re going to tell you up front.

  16. Andrew says:

    This thing is advertised as lighter, faster and 50% better contrast than the previous model. So why wasn’t the previous model advertised as too heavy, too slow, and 50% weaker contrast? And we haven’t yet heard the coming improvement to be announced a year from now.

  17. robtbrown says:

    I am interested in the Kindle for various reasons:

    1. I do not like reading documents from a desktop terminal (or, for that matter, a laptop).

    2. Unless I’m wrong, I can download documents (e.g., Papal document or a Quaestio from the Summa) to the Kindle. That makes for easier reading without generating a bunch of paper.

    3. I can download from the complete works of Shakespeare, Chaucer, or Conan Doyle (at least, the Holmes books) for next to nothing.

    4. I use frequently–books, DVD’s, CD’s, and even a couple of watches. They already have an idea of my reading habits, and the men in the Black Helicopter have not yet arrived.

  18. robtbrown says:

    This thing is advertised as lighter, faster and 50% better contrast than the previous model. So why wasn’t the previous model advertised as too heavy, too slow, and 50% weaker contrast? And we haven’t yet heard the coming improvement to be announced a year from now.
    Comment by Andrew

    It usually takes the 3rd release for Computers, incl software, to become efficient.

  19. paglia says:

    I have the Kindle 2 and really enjoy it. The 3G Whispernet is impressive. I live in Southern Mississippi and had a fear that I’d find a lot of dead zones here – but have yet to find a spot where I don’t have instant access to everything. And yes – it really is free.

    It’s not at all like reading a book – I still love reading books. Reading this way is a new experience. I especially like using the Kindle outdoors where glare from harsh sunlight would normally blind me when reflecting off paper… where the wind battles with me to change the page before I’m ready… and where it’s hard to find a good lying-under-a-tree-reading position. Glare is eliminated – losing your page is eliminated – and you can so easily hold this device in one hand AND change pages without shifting positions at all. It’s really nice.

    I’d definitely recommend it at the new and improved price!

  20. paglia says:

    OH I forgot something – I reread your post where you mentioned reading on your IPad in the dark. Kindle uses electronic ink. The display looks like ink on paper. (The first time I saw a Kindle in person I was taken aback.. It’s hard to describe.) There is no backlight – it’s much closer to reading from paper than reading from a computer screen. Soooo if you want to read in the dark – you’ll have to purchase a good book light.

  21. UPDATE: I received this by email:

    Just to inform you that I just acquired a new Kindle DX Graphite, and it is an excellent machine. I keep on wanting to turn the pages manually, or take notes on the screen (!) because it is just so paper-like. It is clumsy with non-Kindle format files, chiefly PDFs, but the Missale Romanum PDF on it looks wonderful!

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