Amazon Kindle Now Available in Canada
As a hotel industry veteran in Canada, I’m finding that it’s not uncommon for travelers on extended stays to leave behind a number of books that they purchased during their visit but don’t want to cram into their suitcases for the trip home.
That can all change now. Finally, after more than two years of waiting and watching book lovers in the U.S. luxuriate in the technologically sleek and inexpensive e-book readers, the Amazon Kindle is coming to Canada at a cost of CDN$330.
The Kindle is an ebook reader designed by Amazon to usher in a new era of publication. (Pictured above is the newer Kindle 2.) Not only can a Kindle have electronic versions of new works loaded onto it after purchasing them on Amazon, but it also surfs the net on that wireless 3G network that every cell phone company has been babbling about for so long. This means that you can use your Kindle to buy, or download free copies, of books in almost every major city in the world.
There are fifteen other distributors of ebooks (besides Amazon) that hold a combined library of over two million titles. Also, through sites like Project Gutenberg and Munseys, there are over 48,000 books that you can download for free.
The download times for new books are exceptionally fast. The Kindle product page on amazon.com boasts that new books can be downloaded in under a minute.
Speaking for myself, I’ll still buy the books I love and keep them in places of honour in my many bookshelves. That’s not to say that I won’t go buy a Kindle, though. For an extended trip anywhere in the world, bringing a Kindle along makes a lot more sense to me than bringing a bunch of books. There’s also the added benefit of being able to add to your travel collection at any time and being able to get your local news anywhere there’s a 3G network.