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Which Kindle for about-to-deploy military?

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Showing 1-20 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2012 2:55:52 PM PST
MamaSylvia says:
My son is deploying to Bahrain next year, and from what I've read, a Kindle sounds like a good Christmas gift for him. But I'm wondering whether to give him a Paperwhite, with its built-in lighting, or a KK or KT. Is there any point to a 3G model in the Mideast? I anticipate his unit will have Internet access so he can download new books, and enough soldiers will be taking laptops along to meet entertainment needs. And maybe a waterproof case, more to protect against sand than water? I know we have some members who have been overseas and/or had family members serve, so I would welcome comments from those in the know. I can speculate fine myself. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 3:23:45 PM PST
 nospin  says:
It is too early for feedback on the Paperwhite usage in Bahrain.
If you are considering it you should order soon as there is a 5 week wait for one.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 3:31:54 PM PST
Sarida says:
Please thank your son for his service to our country.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 3:33:55 PM PST
First I would like to thank your son for his service.

My son-in-law took a Kindle Keyboard to Afghanistan two years ago. We loaded it up with books before he left so he didn't need to download anything while he was there. If I were you I think I would go with the KK. It's been around for quite a while now and seems to be pretty stable. Also, he could put it in a ziploc bag to protect it from sand and water and still be able to turn pages, etc. I'm not sure how a touch screen would work in a plastic bag.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 3:52:38 PM PST
Laavista says:
I've had all the the different models of the Kindle family (except the DX). My absolute favorite is the Kindle Paperwhite. It's wonderful. With little knowledge of the lighting particular in Bahrain, the light on the Paperwhite would be useful. You would definitely want to load up the Kindle with books prior to his leaving.

Thank your son for his service.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 4:43:51 PM PST
NG says:
Fire 8.9 4g, IMHO. EMAIL capability is great. AT&T "USED" to be able to provide service in Bahrain (think it still can/does.) He can use the tablet on wifi in hotspots to save charges. Tell him to check if OPSEC guidance will allow him to use a tablet on 4G.

If he is NOT going to have a laptop, get him a keyboard. I have a new trent one that will hold the tablet ala laptop when typing. My 8.9 4G shows up the 21st. I'll post a review here when I have tested it, if you want.

Another option is a paperwhite if he is going to have a laptop. He can use a hotspot to load it up.

The sand is a real issue but the waterproof cases are not wonderful. Buy him a glad bag. More likely to use it (to store it in.)

p.s. Lots of fried electronics which is blamed on sand is REALLY caused by plugging it into a 220 volt circuit that LOOKS 110.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 12:28:22 AM PST
MamaSylvia says:
Thank you so much for the comments. I didn't know the Paperwhite had a touch screen, and no matter whether I go with plastic bag or waterproof case, a touch screen wouldn't be usable. Too bad, I was leaning towards it because he wouldn't need outside light to be able to read. But now the good ol' KK is sounding like a better choice.

Since this is for a Christmas present, I'll wait to pass on your thanks until he opens it. ;) I'll also warn him about 220V outlets.

Next question is what books should I load it with, and how many. I have over 1000 on my account, and most people seem to encounter slowdowns when the KK gets over 300. But 300 would still allow a lot of variety! I think I can safely rule out my cookbooks and crafting books as well as my small collection of chick lit. ;) I figure I'll start with the books I've picked up thinking of him, mostly military memoirs, and a few books I think suit him like the Hitchhiker's Guide collection. But then I'm stumped. The Oz set I picked up? The Sherlock Holmes and/or Scarlet Pimpernel series from Gutenberg? The Liturgical Mysteries series, that I have most of? A sweet memoir about keeping a lock in England's Lake District? Annie Bellet's odd fantasy stories? Humor? I can't see soldiers wanting thrillers, I would think escapist fiction would be most popular. Does that sound reasonable? What about children's fiction - he liked the Boxcar Children when he was a little boy and I have a bunch. (Still hoping for grandchildren one of these years!) I like historical mysteries but I'm not sure they would interest either him or his buddies, and I'm very aware that what he will read here is not a reflection of what he'll read overseas when he gets really bored (and that a little Kindle holding 300 ebooks will be a gold mine to his equally bored buddies).

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 3:28:02 AM PST
LOL. Yes, I'm sure his buddies will fight for turns reading it.

As someone who's spent a lot of time with very low energy levels due to illness, I'd suggest you find out what he reads when he's most tired, and focus on that sort of stuff. When I have energy, I read quite different things to when I'm very tired. And I'd expect he'll be very tired a lot of the time :-)

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 4:38:45 AM PST
NG says:
If you think he is going to USE it in a bag, I've got a houze.on the Jersey Shore I want to sell you. If you want to get email, get him a fire.

Also, go with CBP's suggestion and find out what he reads. I can see it now... Change scenes to quarters in the gulf... "Hey, did you see Joe reads his kindle in a co***m... let see what stuff he keeps on there... Oooo, the Scarlet Pimpernel..."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 6:13:39 AM PST
doodle doo says:
As a paperwhite user, can you tell me if you can do puzzles (eg sudoku and crosswords) on the PW? If so, sounds ideal for my Mom.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 8:18:55 AM PST
bookcrazy says:

Will your son have his own account or will he share yours? Either way, you should join operationebookdrop at

This fantastic organization was started by Ed Patterson and offers free books to our troops through smashwords (indie authors.)

I have lost count of how many authors have joined this effort. In my opinion, this is the best effort out there to support our troops!

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 9:39:49 AM PST
MamaSylvia says:
I am NOT getting him a Fire. As I said in the OP, there will be plenty of laptops going along, probably including his. I think the longer battery life of the e-ink models will be more important.

When he's feeling low, he doesn't read. :( Most of his reading comes when he is bored, and when he is bored enough, he'll read anything. Next suggestion? (That wasn't a bad suggestion at all, it just doesn't help with this individual.)

I'm familiar with and agree it's a wonderful project. I don't know at this point whether he will want to set up his own account or use mine, so I figured I would hold off contacting them until he decides. He's not deploying until April, so there will be plenty of time between getting a Kindle for Christmas and needing to be loaded up and ready to rock.

doodle doo, you'd be better off asking your question in a new thread or a Paperwhite thread - the focus of this thread is Kindle and books for my son who is about to deploy, and your puzzle question has nothing to do with it. If you start a new thread with something like "puzzles on Paperwhite" as the subject, you'll hear from people who have tried that - iow, you'll get useful responses. Just sticking irrelevant questions into existing threads is more likely to annoy people than get you useful info.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 9:43:20 AM PST
You shouldn't have to worry about 220v outlets. The charger (if you have the wall charger - you have to buy it separately for the KK) should take care of converting the voltage.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 10:19:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 10:20:02 AM PST
fourthdaymom says:
My son was recently on a MEU and spent a significant amount of time in Kuwait. He was able to purchase and download books there for his KK.

One recommendation I would make is to get a sturdy box with lots of padding -- maybe bubble wrap -- for protection. The lighted book cover, with the Kindle packed between layers of clothes did not protect it when he was moving and it was in his duffle bag. His screen was damaged, and he spent the last half of the deployment reading books from the ship's library rather than from his Kindle.

Thankfully, it was under warranty, and I was able to get him a replacement when he got back home.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 12:13:45 PM PST
bookcrazy says:
I agree with fourthdaymom

I sent my son a kindle to Afghanistan a couple of years ago. He was in a remote location with only parachute deliveries. Knowing that, it was wrapped in multiple layers and in multiple boxes and I am happy to say, it landed safely and kid and kindle got back to the states safe.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 5:48:23 PM PST
AC Sue says:

The KTouch wouldn't work in a plastic bag because it had an infrared touch screen. The Paperwhite has a capacitive screen, like a smart phone; it works just fine in a plastic bag.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 10:06:30 PM PST
MamaSylvia says:
Thanks a heap, ppcsue. Now I'm back to waffling between the KK and the Paperwhite. ;)

Good point, fourthdaymom. It will be interesting to see if I can get my son to pack the Kindle carefully. He's still at the stage where he knows more than mere parents, especially a mother who has never deployed herself. Maybe I'll print this thread for him.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 10:46:38 PM PST
AC Sue says:
I did wonder if I'd be making it harder or easier ;)

To add my two cents worth (although admittedly I have no experience with military life), I hardly ever used my KK or KTouch. I always seemed to find myself in dim places where it was easier to read on my phone. I don't like clip-on lights; they seem so last century ;)

I haven't read anything on my phone since I got the PW. I think it's wonderful!

Good luck deciding, and my thanks also to your son.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 8:59:37 PM PST
MamaSylvia says:
I went ahead and placed an order for the PW. I still haven't decided for sure, but I'll have plenty of time to cancel the order if I decide to go with the KK. (Thank goodness for Prime, the anticipated shipping is so late that I paid the extra $4 for overnight shipping. He's working Christmas night so our family Christmas will be Christmas Eve.)

I like my KK very much, and I can't see going with a PW for myself until they offer a model with TTS, which I use a LOT. But my son's needs are different. He has never shown an interest in listening to ebooks. (Of course, I didn't either until I tried TTS.) And whatever his sleeping arrangements are overseas, they are unlikely to include being well-lit, so I think the PW would probably be more useful. But I'm still waffling.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 8:16:07 AM PST
MamaSylvia says:
Looks like it's going to be the PW. I got a notice from Amazon that it's going to be delivered in a couple of days instead of next month. But I think it's going to be the best choice anyway. Now I just have to convince my son that it's going to be valuable to him overseas, and to pack it carefully so it survives the trip!
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  20
Initial post:  Nov 8, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 25, 2012

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