Amazon has announced that it’s selling the Kindle Paperwhite over in the UK, and also that it’s set to make the Kindle Lending Library available to UK users.
The Kindle Paperwhite was announced for the US at the same time the new Kindle Fire and Fire HD tablets were revealed.
The Paperwhite is an edge-lit e-reader which allows you to read in the dark (much like the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight). However, as no UK details were forthcoming, it was assumed that it would be some time before the Paperwhite came over to this country.
Fortunately, that isn’t the case, and in fact the Kindle Paperwhite, both 3G and Wi-Fi versions, is due to ship in the UK on October 25 (around the same time the GlowLight launches).
Quite why the Paperwhite wasn’t announced for the UK in the first place, at the same time as the revamped Kindle Fire, is a bit of a mystery.
Price-wise, there’s a disappointment, though, as the price in pounds is practically equivalent to the dollar asking price. The Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi is £109 (and $119 in the US, just ten sheets more), and the 3G version is £169 (versus $179).
While the lack of any currency conversion consideration isn’t exactly a surprise, it is compared to the Kindle Fire and Fire HD – they’re priced at $159 and $199 in the States, respectively, and over here at £129 and £159, considerably more of a gap (40 sheets in the latter case).
Still, at least we have the Paperwhite over here, now – and the £109 price tag might be something to do with the fact that Barnes & Noble is punting the rival GlowLight at £109 in this country.
At any rate, the pricing is a bit of a shame, as the 3G Paperwhite is therefore more expensive than the Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7 in the UK – never mind edge-lighting, these are full colour, high-resolution display tablets which can handle a lot more than e-reading.
Enough moaning – the other piece of good news is that there’s now another reason to become an Amazon Prime member in the UK, aside from delivery bonuses.
Now, like US Prime members, we’ll have access to the Kindle Lending Library, which does, well, pretty much what it says on the tin – lets you borrow e-books.
There’s a choice of some 200,000 titles, and you can borrow one a month, with no due dates. Authors get paid when their book is borrowed, so aren’t losing out, either (at least Amazon claims that some earn more per borrow than per sale in the US).
Maybe soon, we’ll also get the other major boon US Prime members enjoy – streaming movies.