New Kindles coming. (Fr. Z loves his Kindle.)

There are new Kindles coming.  They can be pre-ordered now.  They are to be shipped on 15 October.

I love my Kindle.  I am reading a novel on my Kindle now, as a matter of fact.  Well… I am actually writing this blog post, but you get my drift.

I have quite a few books loaded up and ready for my upcoming trip abroad.

At first, I couldn’t imagine myself using a reader like this.  I am a book guy.  However, I started using the Kindle which one of you readers sent me from my amazon wishlist (I also have a Kindle wishlist, btw, and you should too) for books that I wanted to read but did not necessarily want to have collecting dust later (e.g., mysteries, or books which were time sensitive such as political commentary).

Kindle books are cheaper than physical books.  You can often lend Kindle books to another Kindle user.  You can store books them in amazon’s cloud or on your hard drive.  Many books have a text-to-speech feature, not as good as a well-read audiobook, but not too bad.  Kindles also handle audiobooks from (which I also use).  They have a long battery life.   They are light and easy to use when travelling (except that the darn airlines don’t allow them during taxi/takeoff).

Now for the new versions…

First, there is the new “Paperwhite” version, which has it’s own lighting and a higher resolution.  As usual, you can get it also with built in 3G so you can go wireless anywhere in the world.  Well… anywhere where there is 3G, that is.  This will be great. I have a light on the cover for my present Kindle, but this new tech seems to be a superior solution.  The light is actually projected across the reading pane.  It is not back lighting. Nifty.

USA HERE.  UK… I don’t think is yet available, though the new HD Fire (below) should be.

And there is a new version of the HD color Kindle Fire with 4G LTE wireless.  You can get a data package for it as well.  US HERE. UK HERE. This shows movies and acts rather like a “tablet”.  Frankly, the black and white Kindle is more useful for me.

When you are ready to buy a Kindle, for yourself or as a gift, remember to use my links or the amazon search box on the side bar – for anything – and I’ll get a cut.

The older Kindles are still available too, such as the one I am presently using (HERE).

And now I will return to reading my novel on my Kindle.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Hi Father – I understand the new Kindle Paperwhite does not have speakers, and therefore, no audio capabilities. The front light feature though is enough for me to upgrade when I can.

  2. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Father, for lengthy reading, is the regular Kindle easier on the eyes than the Fire or iPad?

    I’m planning to buy one, as I’m going to be moving to another country in a few months and have been agonizing about how to bring even a portion of my book collection with me. An e-reader would be a great saver of time and money.

    Could you also comment on how easy it is to read PDFs on the Kindle, particularly journal articles?

    [I very successfully read a couple pdf books – review copies – using the Kindle app on my phone. On my older generation Kindle, which I talk about above, the pdf books come across pretty well. I just uploaded Il gattopardo (in Italian) in a pdf version. I find that I cannot adjust the type face independently of the page size, which means that if I want to increase the type, there is a risk of the text running off the screen. I save the pdf as a text file and it was easier to read and I could change the type. I have not done this with the newer Fire, of course.]

  3. kab63 says:

    My dog ate my kindle. Literally. So I upgraded to the Fire, which I love. However, I added the warranty this time. It covers the number one reason for kindle fail: dog (and child) damage. Recommend to anyone with these… hazards.

  4. wmeyer says:

    My Kindle, the same model as yours, Father, was also a gift. I would not have bought it myself, but it has become an indispensable item in my life, especially when travelling anywhere, or attending any sort of waiting room.

  5. MKubes says:

    Yes, it looks like they dropped the speakers on these new ones. The headphone jack is gone too, so audiobooks are out…

  6. MKubes says:

    Oh and as far as PDFs go on the Kindle, make sure you check out k2pdfopt. It performs particularly well on journal articles.

  7. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    I have a Kindle 3G and a Kindle Fire (I use the former for outdoor reading). At first I found the graphite easier on my eyes for longer reading and I think this is still the rule. But, I do not read for hours at a time – I usually fall asleep before I can get there – LOL. So, I’ve been using my Fire almost exlusively lately without a problem.

    With regards to conversion of PDF files there is an easy way to do it and I did this successfully with a PDF of the Holy Saturday Vigil with cool results when sent to the Fire’s email address (if you don’t know your Kindle Fire email address, log into your Amazon account and it will be there under devices. Each has a unique email address).

    There was that site “Tridentine Latin Missal Project” or something like that (which I cannot find any longer (*sniff*) that had downloadable PDF’s. I downloaded Holy Saturday in PDF form then I emailed the attachment with the word “Convert” in the subject line. That was it. About 20 minutes later I had it on my Kindle Fire.

    Now, here is what was so great about following that process for Holy Saturday. I was able to use the device font/background features to change the background to black. This was helpful as they lights were dimmed and the Paschal Candle was lit. I was able to follow the entire ritual, in the dark, without my face glowing brighter than the candle! I kept it in there so I have it for every year now.

    I follow the same process with Vatican documents and other things. There are a number of sites that will let you convert an HTML page to a PDF for free. I use those and email them using that process.

  8. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    This is important to note about using the process I just described (currently in moderation). If you send a PDF to your Kindle email address without the word “Convert” in the subject line, you get a PDF rather than a Kindle format. You cannot change font/background options for a PDF, but if you convert it using the method I explain, you can. That is how I got Holy Saturday to show up in black background and white text so I could read it in the dark without drawing attention to myself.

  9. majuscule says:

    I have an older Kindle that I love. I splurged and bought a leather cover from Oberon Design ( I am not affiliated with them in any way other than as a satisfied customer. Some of their cover designs may be a tad New Age. Mine is red ginkgo leaves. I rarely misplace it.

    The reason I mention the cover is that it gives the feeling that every Kindle book is leather bound. I could have spent the money in better ways, like feeding the poor, I know. But I try to do that, too…

  10. Michelle F says:

    I got a Kindle Keyboard (Fr. Z’s model pictured above) after playing with a couple owned by friends, and I love it!

    For people who are undecided on Kindles:

    I didn’t think I would like an e-book reader because I like being able to make notes in the margins of my books, and then flip through the pages the old fashioned way.

    With the Kindle Keyboard I can make notes on passages and then scroll through them by checking the “Annotations” for the book I have open. That’s almost as good as being able to flip pages.

    As for flipping pages, I was surprised the first time I got really engrossed in a book and tried to flip the page by grabbing the upper right corner of the “page” I was reading, as I would with a bound book with real pages. That’s an excellent simulation of ink on paper!

    Several of the books I have on it are digital versions of some of my favorite printed books, ones that I can read without exhausting such as Introduction to the Devout Life, Douay-Rheims Bible, and Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks. This means I’m never without some kind of reading material with which to entertain myself, and I can carry a whole library with me so I don’t have to make a decision regarding which book(s) I might want.

    I also have some missals and prayerbooks on it, so visits to Churches are covered.

    Finally, I recommend the Kindle with the keyboard on it because I learned from using Pocket PCs that touch screens have a fairly short lifespan, probably 2 years at the most. I like to keep my tech toys for as long as possible, so I got the one with the keyboard.

    Oh – and I wish I had the Kindle when I was in college. An increasing number of college textbooks are available for Kindle, and it would have been much easier to carry this than 15 pounds of textbooks in a backpack!

  11. cwillia1 says:

    Kindle is a blessing for me because my eyes are slowly failing. I have the Kindle keyboard and the original Kindle Fire. Illustrations in books do not necessarily work well. I would like to use the backlit Fire for propers from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute because the lighting in church can be inadequate for me. Unfortunately the resolution is too low to give a clear image. I intend to see if this will work with the larger Kindle Fire HD.

    I own a copy of the Revised Grail Psalter but I can’t read it in church. I was able to cut and paste the text from the website into a Word document, add the Kathisma titles and the Septuagint numbering and create a Psalter that I can use. Certain psalms are bookmarked for easy access.

  12. wmeyer says:

    Michelle F, I have looked for, but not found, any Missal for the Kindle. Where did you find them?

  13. robtbrown says:

    I have a Kindle 3G and a Kindle Fire. I use the Fire for surfing and reading articles from newspapers and mags.

    For books I prefer the former, I also do a daily download of the TLM and the old missal. It also has a text to speech facility (which doesn’t do well with Latin)–plug it in the car sound system, and listen to it reading text. And there are two sites (Gutenberg and Adelaide) that have free texts of classic English books (Dickens, Chesterton, Twain).

    I’ve also long been a fan of MP3 players, always using them in the car. With this car, however, I can use a memory stick.

  14. jaykay says:

    Oh wow!! The “Fire” is at last being released over this side, as from the 25th October or so it appears from the Amazon UK website. Having had my 3G for the past 2 years, and being now inseparable from the Kindle concept, I think I’ll get the Fire for Christmas… or at least, start dropping heavy hints in that direction towards my family.

  15. wmeyer says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention how much I like that I do NOT have to charge my Kindle every day, which is why I am happy not to have the Fire, or the new paper white version. Lighting of any sort takes power. On the original Kindles, power is consumed mostly by the WiFi and by changing pages. Maintaining an image on the screen takes no power–the technology uses a bistable mechanism, and it is only state changes of the pixels which consume power.

  16. wmeyer says:

    I have found that PDF documents on the Kindle are problematic. If the document contains images, which for me is often the case, then it is almost always essential to switch to portrait mode, and as I rarely do that, the page change buttons are not where I expect them. Also, some images seem to have elements which drop out altogether when scaled to the Kindle screen. These would probably not be issues on the Kindle Fire HD, but I have simple given up on them on my Kindle 3 Keyboard.

    Also note that a tool such as Calibre is all but indispensable if you will get content from sources other than Amazon.

  17. acardnal says:

    For robtbrown: what is the URLs for downloading the TLM and old missal? thanks

  18. acardnal says:

    Another question for Kindle owners: are photographs displayed on the Kindle? For example, the new best seller “No Easy Day” has two sections of photographs. Will I be able to view these on a Kindle?

  19. wmeyer says:

    acardnal: Photos are usually rendered quite well. The Kindle does support gray scale.

  20. jaykay says:

    Oh dear: with the “Fire” you have to charge-up every day? Even with moderate use i.e. 2-3 hours?

  21. wmeyer says:

    jaykay: Fire, at 2-3 hours a day will probably need charging every 2-3 days, I would guess. My Kindle 3 needs charging every 2-3 weeks.

  22. jaykay says:

    wmeyer: thanks for that, which is reassuring. My usage would only be 2-3 hours max – and that not all continuous, so I think I will get the “Fire” – eventually. Yes, like you I have got so used to only 2-weekly (or so) charging of the 3G model that I currently enjoy.

  23. wmeyer says:

    jaykay: bear in mind I am guessing, based on the specs given on I have not used Fire. And I do not have any idea how much you may be able to “tune” the life by adjusting brightness, but I assume you can do so. It would be nice if they have included a sensor for ambient light, which would make it possible to make some adjustment for you… But we don’t see that in laptops, so I suppose I am dreaming. ;)

  24. jaykay says:

    wmeyer: yes indeed, just read those specs and at 11 hours that would give me 3 days or so of use before recharging. Very interested in the features like email access etc. – not so much the movies/TV and all that, but some magazines would very definitely be a plus. I’m not slavishly drooling over it anyway. If it comes, it comes.

    And Fr. Z: thanks for the heads-up. I was beginning to think they’d never release it over here.

  25. asperges says:

    My Kindle 3 has been utterly invaluable. Apart from myriad books I have the complete liber usualis, Roman missal, Dominican graduale and many other documents. Many liturgical books are available in pdf form.

    There are two drawbacks: the display is poor in poor lighting including gloomy churches and flicking between pages as between proper and common of the mass is slow and clumsy. If only multiple pages could be open as in Windows.

    I charge the battery once month with daily usage. I haven’t tried the tablet versions yet, but shorter battery life would be an issue. I miss the colour in the Kindle 3 and having that back with brighter display is inviting.

  26. eulogos says:

    I have the Keyboard Kindle which Fr. Z has, but am finding that I am using my Touch, which now they aren’t making anymore, a lot more. I read on it, use text to speech while I am driving, read on it some more. I have a cover with a light (for both) but the cover makes the book heavy for my arthritic hands when I am reading in bed. I loved the Nook Glow for that purpose, but there are drawbacks as well to the supply system for Nook, so I was looking forward to a lighted Kindle. Now I am very disappointed that the new Paperwhite does not have audio. Amazon clearly wants us to move to the Fire if we want anything more than a straight e-reader. I don’t really want all the features of a Fire. I ordered the Paperwhite, but feel a bit cheated. I was hoping to be able to give away both of my other Kindles. Now I will be keeping them to make sure I have Audiobook and Text to Speech capability.
    They also have, for the Fire, something where you can buy a book and then get the corresponding audio book for $3.95, and the book and audiobook will “sync,” so you can pick up reading where the audiobook left off, and vice versa. Since this is the way I use Text to Speech, (putting up with its oddities, such as that it may interpret St. Augustine as “Street Augustine” or a Bible citation as a time) I would really like to have this feature, without having to buy the Fire. With the older Kindles, you can get the audiobooks for the books you buy for the lower price, but I don’t know if the “Sync” feature will work. If it doesn’t. I will feel pushed towards buying a Fire just for this reason. But that is a lot of money to spend for a feature which *could* eaily be put on an e-ink reader.

    W Meyer, they are claiming an eight week life for the charge on the Paperwhite even with the light on at half strength, with Wireless off and reading 30 minutes a day.
    I just plug mine in every night anyway. I forget all the time to plug in my cell phone, but never my Kindle!

    I bought my first Kindle just about exactly a year ago and in many ways it has changed my life. I have read three or four times as much as I would have, including some serious books which the text to speech feature helped me to get through when I couldn’t seem to concentrate on them properly while reading. If I am reading a series of books, I love that you can get the next one in a moment. Since I have 3G, I can get the next one even if I am sitting by the side of a stream or while my husband drives us somewhere, or when on a train to NYC. I love it that if I read a book recommendation or review, I can buy the book right then and there, rather than thinking, “I’d like to read that” and then forgetting about it.

    I can’t convert my husband though. He still wants to read real paper books. Which our house is crammed full of.
    Susan Peterson

  27. robtbrown says:


    I think you’ll find with the 3G that turning off the WiFi unless you’re downloading will mean you don’t have to charge the battery as often.

    The Fire has a brightness control.

  28. Father V. says:

    Is the Breviary available for Kindle? Is there text to speech capability for this? Thank you!

  29. I don’t think there is a Kindle version of the Breviarium Romanum or the Liturgia Horarum. That would be a real service. If you are looking for something to listen you, you might try some daily Gregorian chant of the monastic hours. I wrote about that HERE.

    I have often thought about trying to develop some kind of online service through which priests and religious, who are in normal circumstances, bound to recitation of the Office, could, if their eyesight isn’t great or if they simply want a boost, could listen to the Office. Alas…

  30. KristinLA says:

    Fr. V: Have you tried
    I don’t think there is a kindle version but they do have an app for a mobile device like a phone or ipod touch. It can be read or listened to. One of my parish priests told me about it and said he uses it on his phone throughout the day.

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