New $139 Amazon Kindle Available

July 29, 2010

My search for a good ereader or other way to read and then transport books around the world has gotten interesting again. First there was the introduction of the Kindle for various mobile devices. I previously wrote about the Apple iPad versus Amazon Kindle for use in Japan. The discussion got interesting again with Amazon’s introduction of the $139 Amazon Kindle WiFi Only Version (Amazon).

The newly priced Kindle puts it in the race again for some of the must-have technology for ex-pats or people planning to visit Japan. Remember also that the books you buy on the kindle can be read on your computer, mobile devices, iPad, Android, iPhone, Blackberry… just in case something happens to your Kindle.

Living in Japan for most of my adult life has made me very sensitive about how to manage a book collection internationally. When I arrived on these shores , fresh faced and wide-eyed, my only option for purchasing English language books was at the Kinokuniya in Umeda Station in Osaka.

If I wanted to buy books cheaply, I had to wait for Kinokuniya’s yearly book sale at which I could get recent and older novels for around 500 yen each.

The next problem came when I’d amassed my library of English books, Japanese books, and other random things, and wanted to move some of them back to the United States. For the most part, it would be cheaper to actually buy books all over again in the US than to send them back.

The Kindle can solve those problems, and now with integration with other devices, it can be a great way to solve the problem of hauling a ton of books around the world. If you don’t want to pay for the Kindle itself, you can do the same by downloading the Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac application onto your computer and read books that way. There are a lot of free classics available as well.

I am still looking for the best solution… which right now is a good netbook, but I still don’t like to stare at a computer screen for too many hours and it tends to make me want to skim for some reason.

Paper would be the best option if only it didn’t cost so much to ship things internationally. Even the inexpensive sea mail option is too expensive. (I do NOT recommend sea mail, by the way. My things were ravaged on the high seas when I sent some things that way.)