Some time ago, I tweeted that I would like to wake up with coffee and my Kindle and a dog, all of which don’t exist except for my Kindle. Some people actually thought it was a person. Well, I would like to formally introduce “him” to all. Here’s my 4-month old toy — an e-book reader. I ordered the Kindle 2 from Amazon before I went to the States for a holiday in June this year. Right now, it’s said to be available internationally, but still only limited to certain countries and not in Singapore. If you want it that bad, you can sign up with vPOST and have them deliver your shopping from US websites to you.
Back then, I contemplated getting the Kindle DX, because it has got a larger screen and you can have scanned documents and articles in .pdf format loaded into it, but then I thought it wouldn’t be as convenient to bring around as the Kindle 2. If I need a separate bag for it, then it defeats the purpose. Besides, do I really have the time to scan my scripts page by page and then load it into the device? No.
The Kindle 2 can contain up to 1500 e-books, so you are essentially lugging your library wherever you go. It is great for people like me, who would sometimes read two, three books concurrently, depending on my mood for the day. It’s light (compared to hardcovers) and compact. Most importantly, you do not have to worry about dog-ears or people judging you based on what you’re reading. It takes some time to get used to reading from a screen but it is very easy on the eyes.
There is an in-built dictionary, so whenever you come across a word that you are not familiar with, you can move the cursor to the word (by using the navigation button located on the lower right section) and find out its meaning immediately. There is also the option for you to highlight words or paragraphs, make notes and then access them later on.
When you switch off the device or go to the homepage to access other books, the Kindle 2 automatically leaves a bookmark on the last page you were reading, so when you turn the device on again or click on the title of the book you were previously reading, it will bring you back to where you were last.
And because the books can be bought online at any time, my friends can be talking over dinner about some book they’re reading and I can go home, get online and purchase it straight away. And before you do that, you also have the option of downloading free samples of the e-book you want to preview first. Once you’ve purchased an e-book, it is stored in your Amazon account forever, so you don’t have to worry about losing it.
COST-SAVING, SPACE-SAVING and ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Purchasing e-books are not only cheaper, but also more environmentally friendly. The Kindle 2 has a pretty decent battery life. I carry it with me most of the time, so I can read while I’m waiting on set, on the plane, or whenever I need to kill some time.
Some people have asked me, “Don’t you like to feel the pages?” Sure, there are some books I would like to buy and keep, but most novels I have are stashed on the shelf after reading. With this, I don’t have to constantly find more shelf space.
The Kindle 2 only allows e-books in their format. So far, I don’t have a problem with that because Amazon does carry a wide range of e-books. The device is extremely user-friendly if you are located in the US. There is a special free wireless network connection that allows you to browse Amazon.com and purchase e-books with just one-click anywhere you are in the US. I tried it while driving through the desert in Las Vegas and it worked! However, you need to also have a US bank account and credit card in order for the 1-click purchase to work. Otherwise, there will be message that pops up telling you that due to your geographical location, you are unable to purchase the e-book. Now because I do not have a US bank account and credit card tied to a US billing address, it is a laborious process trying to buy e-books, so perhaps it might be more worthwhile getting a universal e-book reader made by other brands.
The Kindle 2 does not come with a back light, so you will not be able to read in low-light conditions, unless you purchase a separate book light.
Also, since it’s an e-book, you pretty much can’t loan out the titles you have read, so it’s not good for sharing. If you’re not someone who reads a lot, this might be a white elephant because the savings you get from purchasing an e-book will not outweigh the cost of this device in the long run. You are probably better off going to a second-hand bookstore or buying used books off Amazon/eBay etc.
HOW TO PURCHASE E-BOOKS
This applies for people who live outside the US, do not own a US billing address/credit card and do not have friends who fall into the categories mentioned. For me, I live outside of the US, do not own a US billing address or credit card, but do have a US shipping address.
1. First create an account with Amazon.com
2. Purchase a gift card with your non-US credit card.
3. Redeem the gift card. The amount will go into your balance.
4. Go to Your Account and un-check your 1-click settings.
5. Go to the Kindle book you would like to purchase and purchase it using the credit from your balance.
6. If your purchase is successful, it means you have the e-book now permanently in your Amazon account. If you are still limited by your geographical location, it means you need a US address. You can do so by signing up with vPOST. Check their website for more details on how to have your very own US shipping address.
7. Go to Your Account. Click on Manage Your Kindle. Scroll down and you should see Your Orders below. You have the option to Transfer to Computer. The e-book file will be sent to your computer.
8. Plug your Kindle 2 into your computer using the USB cable provided, then drag and drop the file from your computer into folders of the Kindle 2.
Hurry! Put a disclosure or you’ll end up paying a US$11,000 fine! 🙂
Thanks! Wow, I didn’t even know about that. But I thought I already said I ordered it online…that would equate to not having been given the item free. 🙂
awesome! 🙂 now i want one too
Hi Joanne,do u noe Sony also have something like Kindle? called SOny Reader.
Can u let me noe the price of ur kindle + cover+shipping fee?
How long will u get ur kindle?
Got how many method for make payment, except using credit card?
Depends on your purchase method. You can go http://www.amazon.com to check out pricing and shipping. If u require vPOST services, u can also check out with vPOST.
Delivery time within US is very clearly written when you purchase it from Amazon. Anywhere else it’s best to communicate with the seller or shipping service provider.
Thank you so much for the awesome review! I have been contemplating a Kindle for the longest time but was worried about the complications of purchasing e-books. You deffo made it sound easy!
It sounds easy?!?! Geez, it’s complicated to me, haha! U are welcome. 🙂
Like to check with you, can you just plug in the power adapter into Singapore’s power socket to charge the device? Or do you need to purchase another item to make it work? What about the voltage? Thanks
You need an adapter for the charger to work. Easy to get.
Ya. The disclosure is only necessary for the reviews which you are paid or got the items for free. In this case, it’s perfectly fine to give personal recommendations. haha.
wow..tts a nice KINDLE..haha…
ei…reply leh..add me in msn ..
I chose the Sony PRS300 over the Kindle cos it’s more versatile, prettier and more handy. Love it! But even so, there are still so many books that are not available in e-format. Really hope the market will pick up even faster so I do not have to buy anymore books. Save the trees!
all the best 🙂
Thanks Joanne, I’ve been wanting to get one too! Can i ask if u tried subscribing to any US magazines or news? If so, does it work the same way as downloading the e-books?
U mean subscribing US mags or news on my Kindle?
No I haven’t and I have no idea how it’s done! It’s tough when u don’t have the wireless access where the news gets delivered automatically.
Whao, I’ve no idea there’s such device.
Hmmm, if there’s books that I’ve yet to finish reading, and by getting a Kindle, can I by any means load the book up?
Wish ive read this earlier… I’ll be travelling for 5 weeks, and gonna have to lug my books and other documents around!
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awesome review. Honestly I’ve been comtemplating for a kindle due to the hassle of downloading an e-book from amazon. But now with this review, I can finally purchase a Kindle DX off eBay!
Kenneth, don’t do it!! Wait for the Barnes and Nobles one! It promises a lot more.
To Melvin who asked about the power adaptor:
You don’t really need to buy any additional equipment. You can directly plug the included adapter to Singapore’s 3 point plug (the top or bottom with the 3 holes), or you can connect the usb cable into say your laptop and use its power to charge the Kindle.
To Melvin who asked about the power adaptor:
Pardon me for the correction Joanne: You don’t really need to buy any additional equipment. You can directly plug the included adapter to Singapore’s 3 point plug (the top or bottom with the 2 holes), or you can connect the usb cable into say your laptop and use its power to charge the Kindle.
You’ve mentioned abt purchasing an ebook is cheaper than a book. I was wondering what are the range of prices an ebook will cost? I was a bit tempted to get one after reading your post abt kindle. It seems to be a very cool & practical gadget as compared to my psp.
U can check them out from leading book sites like amazon and barnes and nobles.
Totally thanks for writing this review about the kindle, have been contemplating whether i should get it or not.
Anyway, i was wondering whether it took alot of work when downloading ebooks. Also, are u able to use the wikipedia and dictionary function in Singapore?
Oh, and does the Barnes and Noble one work better in Singapore?
NIGEL want hello joanne peh jiejie~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
great post! Just in time when I’m figuring how to buy an ebook and download to my iPhone Kindle. The vPost bit will come handy 🙂
Just wondering is it cheaper purchasing a book via Kindle than say off the shelf in Borders? With iTunes, I get my music cheaper than getting it from a CD store.
I just have a question regarding the Kindle 2. You mentioned that it only read e-Book of its own format. That mean e-Book with format from Amazon only? Does that mean that the Kindle 2 cannot handle .pdf format?
hey, im thinking of getting an ebook reader but im not sure if i should get the Nook or the Kindle. Nook seem to feature more stuff but what do you think ?
I don’t have a NOOK, but I would prefer it based on first impression!!
Get it and share your buy! LOL. 🙂
Please be careful about the Nook. It will seem that it’s unusable in Singapore if you’re thinking of buying books from B&N directly because they restrict international sales and there seems to be no way around it. (The same applies to the Kindle but Amazon is closing one or both eyes on this issue.) Comparing features, the Nook does have an interesting (but potentially distracting) LCD screen. Nook doesn’t necessarily feature ‘more stuff’. There are some things that the Kindle can do and the Nook can’t, and vice versa. 🙂
BK, the Amazon can also accept non-protected EPUB books (through a converter), PDF, html, txt, jpg, gif, Word files… PDF files, while readable, is not really ideal on a 6-inch screen, if your file has complex layouts and graphics
hello Jeffrey, thanks for the tip. Will go and read more reviews before deciding. (:
hahaha, i guess i’ll have to wait for it to be available for shipping then ! (:
is it real good? i always end up getting scolded for buying books when i haven finish reading the others yet and also when i still have quite a few books that i haven started reading yet..but i like reading a few books at time..so if i want to get want which kind would be better?
Finally! You have no idea how few ppl in Singapore have heard of E-book readers!!!
anyways, I’ve heard news that creative will be lauching an e-book soon. Might make sense to wait till then, at least that would solve half the hassle of shipping and warranty…
Just to check where you managed to get that nice kindle leather cover?
Thanks for the review! Now I’m seriously considering whether to get a Kindle 2! Maybe when you’re free you can share with us the books that you have read which you think are good as well! Hope you’re enjoying your Kindle! 🙂
hey, is the font face & size changeable in kindle 2? if i load an academic paper onto it, and it changes the font size etc …. i was wondering if it would totally mess up the pages and lines once the font face/size changes … referencing from ebooks on the kindle would be hell if that happens. 😐
Thanks for sharing. I am actually purchasing one from Amazon. I am following step by step your instructions. Question: Should I purchase my gift card first and send it to the vpost address? Question: How do I redeem the gift card so that the price of kindle would be reduced by the price of the gift card (if that’s how it works)? Would really appreciate it if you could help me. Thanks an advance!
Hope this doesn’t come too late. U can actually purchase an e-gift card, so it gets sent to your email and all you need to do is to cut and paste the code in your account.
It is quite straight forward once you sign up for an account with Amazon. When you are making your payment, the options will be available for u to pay by gift card or credit card.
Under ur account, u can also check ur gift card balance amount.
Thanks Joanne. It did came a bit late. I purchased the gift card instead of the e-gift card. And I have to pay $4 shipping charges for it. hahah, I felt so stupid…
I know this is a little late, but I just got my kindle yesterday and tried out your way of using the giftcard to buy the books. I bought a number of books (both paid and free ones) from amazon and everything was well. Of all a sudden, I got the message that “You attempted to purchase an item while in a different country than listed on your Amazon account.” There is nothing I can do now to resolve this problem.
I tried everything from deregistering my kindle to re-registering it, and buying the books on a different computer and so on. It just doesn’t work. I still have some balance left from the giftcard and it will be a total waste if I can’t buy any books at all. Plus, it is hard to get ebooks from other websites on google. Just for your info, the US address that I put was from Vpost.
Did you have this problem and do you have any idea how to resolve this? I would appreciate any suggestions!! >.<
Unfortunately, I don’t quite know how to solve your problem but if anyone else who reads this does, please help! Thanks!