Being an avid reader means I like having something interesting to read whenever I want and wherever I go.
In the days before ebooks and smart phones became prevalent, this meant I never went anywhere without at least one book, I did not own bags that wouldn’t fit a mass paperback, and I agonized over which books to bring every time I went on a trip. And so, I watched with anticipation when Amazon launched the Kindle in 2007, and promised hundreds of books on the go with just one device. I waited for it to come to Singapore. It never did.
Then the iPhone came along, followed by the iPad. By the time the iPad mini happened in 2012, ebooks were no longer mostly accessible by e-readers only, and I rushed out to buy one. The happiness and euphoria lasted for about a month, before my tired eyes persuaded me to call it a day and switch back to physical books. Reading off a tablet simply didn’t allow me the same number of reading hours I enjoyed from words on paper.
That brought me back to my original inclination to get the Kindle, but the only way for me to buy one was to ask a friend going to the US to buy it there and bring it back for me. And I still had to solve the problem of being able to buy the latest Kindle books after I’d gotten my hands on the hardware.
It is 2016 today. The Kindle is still not available in Singapore – a city with one of the highest levels of internet penetration and number of tech-savvy users. I understand it’s got something to do with distribution rules, but that does little to reduce the amount of frustration I feel.
Of course, lots of kind souls and tech bloggers have shared alternative, albeit not exactly legal, ways to buy the Kindle and Kindle books outside of the available regions. I have searched and considered, struggled a little and am finally giving up. It is simply too much of a hassle. Plus, there is no guarantee that I will like reading off the Kindle more than physical books.
I shall stick to the good old physical books.
(Then again, I wouldn’t mind if someone in Amazon sees this post and finally does something for the poor reading souls on this little red dot.)