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Topic: Theoretical question about Ereaders and international travel

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Subject: Theoretical question about Ereaders and international travel
Date Posted: 11/14/2011 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
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I was just over at Diana Gabaldon's website and in her fan comments forum, a reader from Australia mentioned that many book titles were not availble for Kindle in Australia.  She referred to Oz as The Land The Kindle Forgot.  It made me wonder, if someone with a Kindle (or Nook or Ipad or other Ereader) were to travel away from their home country, bringing their device with them, would they be able to purchase ebooks for download that weren't available in their home country?  (Assuming they connected to local WiFi in the country they were visiting.)  And would those books remain on the device when the person returned home?  Or would they poof disappear after leaving the country of purchase?  Though I don't have any travel plans at the moment, it would be nice to know for future reference.

Back in my pre-ereader days, I traveled to Great Britain several times and was always hunting for books I couldn't get in the U.S.   It's a good thing you don't have to include books in your customs declaration, and I'm surprised I never went over the weight limit with them in my suitcase.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I was just over at Diana Gabaldon's website and in her fan comments forum, a reader from Australia mentioned that many book titles were not availble for Kindle in Australia.

For those who don't realize, ebooks have (unfortunately) Geo-Restrictions now. Used to be you could go on-line and buy from anywhere that'd take your payment. I used to get ebooks from the UK that weren't out here in that format. But that ended, IIRC, at least a couple of years ago.

Many publishers sell the rights to books to different sellers based on location. It took a while for people to realize that they were losing ebook sales because the restrictions for physical books wasn't being applied to ebooks.

Some contries are more protective of their local vendors than others. I know it's been a big complaint for some in Australia that ebooks aren't as available there as other places.


It made me wonder, if someone with a Kindle (or Nook or Ipad or other Ereader) were to travel away from their home country, bringing their device with them, would they be able to purchase ebooks for download that weren't available in their home country?

From what I understand, purchasing books is based on your home address and your credit card address. If you have both in the US, you can buy from US sources no matter where you are physically.  Someone from the US who's barred from buying eBooks in Australia won't be able to buy them no matter where they go. Goes both ways.

It's who the customer is, not where they are at any given moment.



Last Edited on: 11/14/11 12:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2011 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Actually the kindle WONT work in Australia I know this for a fact. because your wifi signal is going through an Aussie carrier and thus amazon freaks out. How do I know!! I tried to get a free title while at the airport on the airports free wifi. Amazon told me NO, not in the right country to get this book. 
3G wont work either unless you bought the internation Kindle then it might work. but you'd run into the same issue.

I think the book would stay there IF you had an aussie account set up with an aussie credit card on it. Once you buy it then it is yours.

Not sure about the UK as I've not gone there.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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Here's the way I understand it:

If your home address and CC# are US based, you buy ebooks off of Amazon.com. If they're UK based, you buy off of amazon.co.uk and so on. They will let you buy a paper copy from any, but the ebooks are limited. I believe you also have to be hooked up to an IP based in your country to complete the order.

However, your Kindle/ereader will work just fine anywhere in the world to read your books. Just turn it in airplane mode and you're good to go. But no buying outside of your country.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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It isn't an issue in countries that do not speak English. It is an issue in other English speaking countries, such as Oz or UK. They have their own publisher's. So my DH Kindle is happy buying books in Mexico. Kobo is one way around the geo-restrictions, as they are Canadian.
Date Posted: 11/14/2011 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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Nook Books ( B&N) are restricted to the US.