So … no Kindle Fire in France yet, the rumours were false, but we do now have the Kindle Touch at €129 and the Kindle Touch 3G at €189. Until yesterday, we just had the Kindle 4 at €99.

Amazon has always been tight-lipped about how many Kindles it’s sold in any country, but I can only imagine that sales have been good enough in France to justify introducing the new models.

There are now 54,000 Kindle books in French. We lucky expats also have access to the zillions in English that are out there, although we may have to pay slightly more than on Amazon.com or .co.uk, which as you may recall, I have often grumbled about.

From the Amazon website

The French Kindle store is shaping up nicely. There’s a good range of étuis (cases) and housses (covers). Gelaskins have made an appearance too. I think these are fabulous and make a Kindle look very cool. However, I think they’re a bit cheeky shoving lampes à lecture in the Kindle shop, especially as they’re of a rather clunky design. They go better with ordinary books. The covers with built-in lights would be the best thing for Kindles, although they tend to be pricy.

Anyway, the signs are good that France is embracing the Kindle so with any luck there’ll be even more models to choose from soon, and more books to read on them.

 

Père Noël brought daughter Caiti a Kindle 4 for Christmas. She’s every bit as thrilled with it as I knew she would be. I’m a Kindle addict, and she’s right there with me now, after just 36 hours of owning one!

Here’s a photo comparing Caiti’s Kindle 4 (left) with my Kindle 3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a gelaskin cover on my Kindle, which explains the different colour schemes. The other obvious differences are that the Kindle 4 is smaller overall (24 mm heightwise and 3 mm widthwise) and doesn’t have a mini keyboard on it. There’s a button to call up an onscreen keyboard which you navigate around using the Kindle’s famous 5-way button. It looks more modern and stylish I think, but I still adore mine! The Kindle 4 is fractionally heavier too by 26 grams. Despite appearances to the contrary, the screen on each Kindle is the same size. I was sure from the photo that the Kindle 4 was bigger but I’ve checked, and they’re identical.

My Kindle 3 was 139 dollars in early 2011. I had to buy it from Amazon.com at the time, since they weren’t available from Amazon.fr then. This meant I had to buy books via Amazon.com, but because I lived abroad, they were always more expensive than for US resident Kindle owners, something which annoyed me intensely. Caiti’s Kindle 4 was 99 euro, and I bought it from Amazon.fr. So Caits has to get her books from that website. I do too, now, since I was encouraged to swap to using Amazon.fr by Amazon.com a few months ago. Again, there is a price differential, but it’s not as great as previously. But it still bugs me that there’s one at all. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the way round this is to get books from Smashwords as much as possible since these are the same price for everyone, wherever you live.

Onto some technical stuff. The Kindle 4’s battery lasts 2-4 weeks, whereas Kindle 3’s is more robust and can go for up to 2 months. Kindle 3 also wins out in that you have the option of WiFi and WiFi + 3G, whereas Kindle 4 is WiFi only. Kindle 4 has 2 GB of memory, of which 1.25 is available for ebooks, up to around 1,000 ebooks. Kindle 3 has 4 GB and can store up to 3,500 books.

So, my guy, Kindle 3, is probably the superior model technically, but Caiti’s Kindle 4 is neater and better looking. However, we’re each delighted with what we’ve got. Long live Kindles!