Help me connect.
December 26, 2010 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Does your Kindle connect in Manila? Help me figure out the best way to read e-books in the Philippines!

I've recently moved to Manila, and will be here for about another year. In the couple months I've been here, I've already got quite a stack of (finished) books on my shelf. That's great -- I have a nice library back home, too. But shipping a year's worth of books back is unfeasible, to put it mildly. So I'd like to switch to e-books while I'm here.

I've heard very good things about the newest iteration of the Kindle, which is what I'm planning to buy when I go back to the US in early February to visit. I've heard good things about the availability and usability of the Kindle -- and I'm looking forward to lots of free Project Gutenberg books! -- but I'm a bit worried about the Internet connection. A friend of mine who lives in Hong Kong said his connection seems to fail whenever he comes to Manila, though it works fine in HK.

So, two questions: should I be worried about being able to download books wirelessly? And if I register it in the US when I buy it, will that impact how I can use it in Manila? Thanks in advance!

(Bonus third question -- feel free to make other recommendations if you think there's some glaring hole in what I've just said. The Kindle seems like the best option from what I've read, but I've been wrong before, and I'm not particularly tech-savvy.)
posted by wandering steve to Technology (3 answers total)
I used my Kindle regularly in India, despite there being at that time no international wireless support. The Kindle comes with a USB cord to attach it to a computer, and I would just download books to my laptop and then transfer the files to the Kindle (which is very easy to do, just like using a zip drive). When you buy Kindle books from the Amazon website, it will give you an option to transfer via computer, allowing you to immediately download them. You can also do this with lots of out-of-copyright books, using a website like Many Books to download free versions in the Kindle's .azw format (Amazon's store often charges a small fee for even out-of-copyright stuff, for formatting and distributing it). It's slightly more trouble than instant wireless downloads, but still worthwhile-- especially in when you're traveling and can't carry a lot of books, and especially if you're in an area where there is limited availability of English language books.

Again, I don't know how the wireless will affect things, but at the time I used my Kindle internationally, international use was technically not allowed. But it was still quite possible, as long as you used a credit card registered in your home country to buy the books, and were willing to transfer them using a computer.
posted by bookish at 7:33 AM on December 26, 2010

According to Amazon's coverage map, the Kindle 3G device will work in the Philippines. The international fees section says that you can buy books from the Kindle US store and have them delivered wirelessly for free. Magazine, newspaper, and blog subscriptions will incur a $4.99-delivers-everything weekly fee. I used my Kindle 3G in the Bahamas with ease. There was even a short document auto-downloaded to my device describing international usage and fees. (To my surprise, browsing using the built-in web client is free, even when roaming internationally.) If your Kindle is registered in the United States (meaning: don't change your primary country to be the Philippines when you return there), you will still shop with the catalog. All purchases are in USD and have to be billed to a US credit card or paid for with gift cards (electronic or plastic type).
posted by fireoyster at 8:44 AM on December 26, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all! I think that helps -- looks like it's not so bad as I'd feared.
posted by wandering steve at 1:24 AM on December 27, 2010

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