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Ask VMW: Can I use my Kindle Overseas?

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Ask VMW: Can I use my Kindle Overseas?

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ask VMW: Can I use my Kindle Overseas?

Last week I received a very simple question...and I sent back a very simple answer...wish life could be just as simple.

"I will be moving to Germany, and I am very worried about being able to use my Kindle.  It is my lifeline and I do all my reading on there!  Can I download books overseas?  Is there the same selection?  They don't have Kindles over there do they?"

And to worries at all.  We have Kindles, and after a few hiccups and realizing that having it on wireless and automatically downloading books, was not free using their Whisper download delivery thing...even though it says zero charge on each eBook's download page, I tried to backpedal a bit with customer service.  Amazon was VERY nice and gave me all those fees back for the 20 books we a onetime courtesy of course (how's that for customer service?).  They must've chalked it up to me being a dumb*ss customer who didn't know any least that's how I portrayed myself to be.

Speaking of the Amazon site, you'll be happy to know that with your APO overseas military address, you can order almost anything from the same "" site you order from in the US.  I say almost, because Amazon has this weird feature where many electronics and household appliances cannot be shipped overseas to APO.  They mention something about this warranty thing as the reason behind this....I guess meaning, that if they ship me a coffeemaker, and there is a warranty issue, the company wouldn't honor it cause the thing went overseas?  I don't know...sounds like lots of legalese to me.

When you find something on Amazon that you want to download to your Kindle, whether it's a free item or not, there are a few extra steps you have to complete to get it to your Kindle.  Hey, I check that free list almost daily and sign up for a Kindle blog that lists free books too BTW.  Most of my books for my cheap self are free (even some bestsellers that stay free for like...a few just have to catch them).

Step 1:  Before you click on "Buy Now", look at the drop-down menu underneath.  You are going to choose "Transfer to Computer" under the "Deliver to:" heading.

Step 2:  Click "Buy Now"

Step 3:  The next page will say "please choose which Kindle you plan to transfer your purchase to via USB:"

Step 4:  Pick the intended Kindle from the drop-down list (if your family has more than one Kindle, don't worry, you can later download the eBook to the other Kindles the next time you connect them via USB).

Step 5:  Click "Continue", and it'll go to the next page.  The Kindle book file ending in .azw format will download to your designated downloaded folder.  If at anytime you don't know where your computer downloads go, you can just do a search from the Start Menu.  Just use the name of the title to find it.

Step 6:  Connect your Kindle via USB.  Being overseas, this is also how I charge my Kindle.  I don't even use a wallsocket.  In fact, I don't even know what the voltage is and don't care...we always have plenty of laptops, DVD players or whatever with USB connections to fire up any USB-connected device.  BTW, you can connect any kind of voltage item (220, 110 or whatever) to a USB connection in your electronics device, regardless of where you are in the world.  It'll obviously charge slower than directly from the wall at it's designed voltage (I think something like 9 volts comes out of the USB outlet), but I think it's safer that way.  It avoids you having to figure out what can get plugged into where!

Step 7:  Once you connect your Kindle, your computer should recognize it and open the folders on the Kindle or ask you to do that.  Open it up, and you'll see a bunch of directories.  Copy and paste your new Kindle book (with .azw format) into the "Documents" folder.  BTW, if you are using the military's free online library site (I'll blog about that later), you can put those DRM-protected loaner eBooks into your Audible file folder in your Kindle, if they are in .pdf format.  You can read those books on your Kindle too.

And that's about it.  As usual, my answer is usual...I'm going to end this answer abruptly.  Oh, before I do, if you want to put that book on another Kindle, you can cut and paste that file into the same directory in the other Kindle OR you can go to your mainpage for Kindle on the Amazon site and see the list of ALL the books you have downloaded...find the one you want and go thru the steps again to download it...easy squeezy.

Oh, one more thing....since they aren't selling Kindles yet over here, or at least not that I have noticed, it's always fun to show a European what you have...especially if you are beachside in the bright sun, and they notice you can still read all the type (they all think it's some kind of computer)...of course, this was before the IPad came out....guessing I wouldn't quite get that reaction now!



Anonymous The Social Frog said...

Great post! I am going to be moving to Misawa Japan in May and I LOVE my Kindle. I had a regular K2, so hubby got me the K3 for Christmas and I love this one even more.

February 13, 2011 at 6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how long do you have to go between charges?

February 13, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Yes, I did forget to mention that didn't I! I read an average of 1-2 hours a day at most and I recharge mine every three weeks. If you consistently read, I would say give it two weeks at least.

February 13, 2011 at 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have any advice with Nooks?

I have heard that the only way you can get your ebooks is to purchase it from the states. So, my mom would have to log into my B&N account and buy them, then I could download it to the nook in germany. Something about a CC had to be used with a states address, or something about not able to purchase it from B&N while on a computer overseas? Its all confusing, but my Nook better work when i get there. lol


February 13, 2011 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Great post! Loved the simple answer, but also appreciated all of the explanation. I am sure I would have made the same mistake because I am so used to downloading via 3G here.

February 14, 2011 at 2:33 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

I would post on the Army Wives Forum (google it if you can't find the link on my blog). There are many overseas wives and someone might have a Nook.

I know they sell one of the ebook readers at our PX here...but just recently, I had someone tell me the same thing you said for your Nook, but then another person corrected her and said she has no problems, only with magazines....please let us know what you find out!

February 14, 2011 at 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Nook and am in Germany. If you decide to go with a US VPN you will be able to purchase the ebooks here. If not, you will have to have someone in the states purchase the ebooks for you; it is dependent upon the IP address you are purchasing from. I have a CC on my account and add books to my wish list; when I'm almost out of books on my Nook, I have my brother log on and purchase all of the ebooks in my wish list. Kind of a headache, but I'm making it work.

June 14, 2011 at 10:02 AM  

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