There is only one thing on my Christmas list this year. I want a New Kindle.
My other half has the Original Kindle (see below), and I love the Kindle app on my iPad2, but I think this new design has really solved the ‘read it anywhere’ problem. Because I don’t like taking my €500+ tablet to the beach, and it makes my eyes hurt in full sun after a while anyway (or even indoors, like any backlit screen however well designed the app). I love the idea of synching the Kindle apps on the iPad and Kindle itself, that’s a fantastic touch, but for me the killer feature is the instant downloads. Since moving to Spain I really do miss browsing bookstores for the latest titles and taking my purchase home to read immediately, I am afraid the local English language bookstores do their best but cannot compete on price or range with Amazon – so, for general reading (as opposed to beautiful coffee-table books where the photography or layout is the crucial factor), it’s e-books for me, most of the time these days.
For some weird licensing reason you cannot buy a Kindle for use in Spain from Amazon.co.uk, and you cannot buy one at all from Amazon.es yet. You need to get it sent from the US via this amazon.com page
The new Kindle is currently priced at $109, which is actually better value than buying for the UK, although IVA is added (no US sales tax though, which is a classic catch-out when buying from anything.com). Don’t forget to add a $9.99 European power adaptor to your order. Shipping comes to around $30, obviously less per item if you have other things in your order, and the usual Amazon giftwrapping options are available.
Don’t be worried about buying from the US, you still get great customer service. My other half had a problem with a damaged screen on his, but a replacement was shipped in less than a week (pretty darned good for getting anything sent to Spain from anywhere, I reckon, though I wouldn’t count on shipping times like that in December)
Once you get your hands on it you can register the device to the UK store easily, or even Amazon.es if you really want to (not many English language titles yet, but great for books in Spanish of course).
If you plan on using your Kindle for travel a lot, you might be better going for the larger and more expensive classic design, with keyboard and 3g capability – so you can download from anywhere, as well as browsing (in black and white, admittedly), and sending email. It’s nothing like the Kindle Fire browsing experience obviously, but as that won’t be making it to our shores for a while yet it’s not a bad substitute for on the go. With the stripped-down new Kindle you are limited to downloading in range of a wifi connection, but for many users the lower cost and true pocket-sized-ness of the device make that sacrifice worthwhile.
You can also of course pimp your Kindle with a great range of accessories, for protection, lighting, and coolness/fun-factor. Amazon make a range of branded accessories, but there are plenty of alternatives to be found on stores from eBay to Etsy if you want something a bit more unique, and of course Amazon are happy to sell you accessories made by third parties (no Apple exclusivity here). You can buy direct from the UK Amazon store via the links above, so you can take advantage of the free shipping for orders over £25…
Of course, if you really don’t want a Kindle, Amazon will obligingly consent to sell you one of their competitors ereaders, even though they can’t sell you media for it. So far as we can tell buying these from Amazon in the UK seems to be about the cheapest way to get them in Spain: