Amazon.co.jp launched its Kindle store last month. When I logged into my US account today to see if the next Dresden Files book had come out yet, I saw a message telling me that I can consolidate my Japanese and US Kindle libraries.
Great news, indeed. However, it looked like I couldn’t have it attached to both accounts at once. I clicked the “Learn more” link, which led me to a page with only a little more detail, and ended up chatting with a customer service agent to get more details.
The woman confirmed my suspicion that I could only have the kindle attached to one account at a time. Once Japan had been made my preferred shopping location, I would only be able to buy books from that store. When I asked if I could switch back and forth between one store and the other, she said yes. Inconvenient, but since it makes both stores accessible without eliminating access to the books purchased from the other store, I’m okay with that.
Unfortunately for me, however, only a few Kindle models can support Japanese text — both generations of the Kindle Fire and the new Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve been pretty outspoken (not on the blog, but to people I talk to with my vocal cords) about not wanting a backlit ebook reader. If I’m gonna go that route, I’ll just get an iPad. That knocks out the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Paperwhite, however, is the newest e-ink Kindle model. I wouldn’t mind having that. I won’t be buying it any time soon, though. My old Kindle still works just fine and I’m trying to pay off debts.
In short, they’re taking steps in the right direction, but the steps aren’t backwards compatible.