Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and More!

Just over a month ago, I mentioned that Amazon had announced a shiny[1] new Kindle. The Kindle Paperwhite moves on from the Touch that I currently have, offering hugely improved contrast and a light for reading in poor light (or awkward light). At the time, it was available in the US only, so I was expecting a bit of a wait before it became available here.

But while I was busy with work and tasting wine yesterday, Amazon announced the release of the Kindle Paperwhite in the UK. The actual release date is 25 October, but you can order now if you’re so inclined[2]. Stocks are likely to be limited at first, and customers can order a maximum of two at this time. But I’m sure they’ll have loads in time for Christmas.

As with the Touch, there are two models on offer – a WiFi only one at £109[3] and the usual 3G version at £169[4]. Both will do the job nicely, with the 3G version happily downloading your books even when your home, office, coffee shop or mobile WiFi isn’t available. Whether the added convenience is worth an extra £60 is one of those choices we all have to make sometimes. And while I generally have no trouble getting hold of a wireless network[5], I’ve opted for the 3G version on grounds of laziness, so there. It’s nice the way that books you’ve ordered before publication just appear on the device in the early hours of publication day. Assuming you’ve left the wireless turned on, of course, and not turned it off to extend the already rather good battery life.

If you read any of my nonsense, you’ll be aware that I love the Kindle[6], and I’m going to love the new one even more.

But there’s more! Another of those “why is that only available in the US?” gripes has been dealt with. Launching soon is the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library[7]. For the first time, UK Kindle users will be able to borrow books as well as buy them. I’m hoping that support for the lending services that most public libraries now have will follow, but I’m not holding my breath just yet. If you pay the annual fee for Amazon Prime, you’ll qualify for one free book loan each month. More details will no doubt follow.

[1] Quite literally in this case
[2] And if you want one quickly, you probably need to order soon
[3] {Old product link removed}
[4] {Another old product link removed}
[5] Tethered iPhone….
[6] Other readers are available, but for me nothing beats the convenience of Amazon
[7] And bless them for getting the apostrophe right