American buying and reading Canadian Kindle books
November 16, 2020 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I have several titles I'd like to buy from the Canadian Amazon Kindle store, and then read on my primarily US-linked Amazon Kindle account (mostly read on an Ipad.) Several books, but top of the list are wartime memoirs of Farley Mowat.

Is there any way I, an American Kindle user, can purchase them and then read the books on my Ipad that is currently linked to an Amazon USA account? I have read this page on Amazon's customer service website, and it tells me I can transfer my account to Canada, but this seems too permanent, and not all useful when I immediately want to revert to making dogfood purchases for delivery to my home in the United States.

Alternately, does anyone know of another way to pay for those books? I have already ordered print copies, but the print on them is getting close to too small for my old eyes to read comfortably, and I'm long habituated to reading digitally where I can adjust brightness, font size, background color, and also read at night after my wife is asleep without disturbing her by having a light on. So for those reasons, I prefer digital.

Or any other solution? Of course I already looked on the US Kindle store, and the books I want aren't there. This is sort of a general question, but also some of the books I specifically desire are Mowat's two WW2 memoirs, "And No Birds Sang" and "My Father's Son" along with his two books about ocean-going salvage tugs, "Grey Seas Under" and "Serpent's Coil".

Thanks for any advice you can offer. Also, I can foresee this situation coming up again with UK Kindle store, so any answers for that one, feel free to share as well. If it helps, I have access to a VPN (Tiger) and am willing to start local accounts in the various countries. (I already have an Amazon UK account.) Thank you!
posted by seasparrow to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you’re reading on an ipad rather than an e-ink kindle, are you open to ebooks via Google Play instead of the kindle app? It looks like they have some of the titles you mentioned. Another option is Barnes & Noble Nook digital books - there’s an ipad app for that as well, plus technically Nook ebooks could probably have their DRM stripped and be converted to a Kindle format, although that is not technically legal.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:42 PM on November 16, 2020

You can (and I have often) switch(ed) between the Canadian, American, and in my case occasionally the UK Kindle store pretty much instantly. You just need a valid address in each place. By valid I mean an address the site will accept, although I happen to use places I have lived over the years. No VPN or duplicate accounts are required. You don't need a UK or Canadian credit card, you can continue to use your existing account and payment methods.

You simply go to, then manage your content and devices, then preferences, then look down the page a little bit for Country/Region settings and enter or select (if it already exists) an address in Canada or the UK. For the actual book purchase you then go to or, then go back to as above to switch your region back to the United States.

I'm currently in Canada but have left my Kindle on the American site for basically the same reason you have posted, because I like the selection better.

Note: If you have a kindle with 3G and opt for over-the-air wireless delivery you will get charged extra for that if your kindle is in a different country then your temporary country when you make the purchase. To avoid this have the kindle off or on wifi when you make your purchase "in" Canada.
posted by tiamat at 4:35 PM on November 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

If you don’t mind reading in the Kobo app, it’s very easy to “travel” in the Kobo store (use Safari; Apple doesn’t allow purchases via app for any bookstore but their own).

Set up an account with your own address information. Go to My Account>Payment Information and under Billing Address, change your country to Canada (if it asks for a province, pick one and use the post code they suggest). Search for a book you want and add it to your cart. Pay with PayPal rather than keeping an American credit card on file.

I’ve bought from both the UK and Canadian stores, and all the books show up (along with my US purchases) in my Kobo library.

The Canadian Kobo store has the first two books you want (and lots of other Mowat titles), but according to Goodreads, the other titles you mentioned may not be available as ebooks at all.
posted by elphaba at 6:54 AM on November 17, 2020

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