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Best Source for Chinese Ebooks?

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AdamD

Amazon.cn knows I'm in Australia, and it will let me create an Amazon.cn account and enter a credit card, but it won't let me buy anything. The phrase 'shut up and take my money' springs to mind.

 

I seriously do not understand why this has to be so difficult. I know it's not necessarily Amazon's fault but I'm beyond caring.

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roddy

FWIW, I recently registered a new account on Amazon.cn, put in a bogus Beijing address, then had no problems buying Kindle books with a foreign credit card. I got a call from my bank checking up on the transaction after it'd gone through, but that's no problem. I then couldn't log in to the Amazon.cn account via the Win8 app, but the standard PC app works fine. Haven't tried it on actual Kindle. 

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Angelina

Not all Kindles can be registered with an Amazon.cn account. If your model is not being sold in China, e.g. Kindle Keyboard 3G, you won't be able to register it and purchase books. 

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roddy

Ah, useful to know, thanks.

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oceancalligraphy

I'm not into reading ebooks, but I do know about a ebook site from Taiwan at https://readmoo.com/ 

 

It looks like the site takes PayPal, so may be helpful for overseas purchases.

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roddy

I've now realised that although you need to have your Kindle registered to either .cn or .whatever to buy or download books from that site, you DON'T need to remain registered in to that site to read them. I'd assumed the DRM would prevent you reading books purchased from any account other than that currently registered. This isn't the case. 

 

So currently I've got books from both .cn and .co.uk on my Kindle at the same time, and I can happily switch between them. The only inconvenience is having to switch registration to make purchases or download an already-bought book, but that's quite manageable. 

 

Hoping this will do for my Chinese reading what getting the Kindle in the first place did for my English reading. So far so good, halfway through 解密 (which is about the point the 密s to 解 finally appear)

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roddy

Ah, I see. Not a problem for me as I read only on my beloved Kindle.

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realmayo

Was looking at 解密 as something to read next -- is good?

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roddy

My jury's a little bit out on that - I've found it very readable, but there's a very long family history bit at the start before you even get to the secret base where they do the decoding. I'm only just getting to it and I'm at 50% or something. If you're expecting a straight-up spy thriller, you may well find that problematic.

 

That said, there's a proper story in there of interesting characters, rather than a set of people who just have Chinese history happen to them, and I'm finding myself regularly wanting to pick it up, rather than feeling obliged to. 

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icebear

Roddy, just to clarify how you did this:

  1. You have a Kindle that is normally registered to .co.uk
  2. You register a new account on z.cn with a different email address and purchase a ebook
  3. Switch your Kindle from the .co.uk to your .cn account
  4. Sync - but this only downloads new books from the .cn account, it does not wipe your old .co.uk ones
  5. Switch back and forth between accounts as needed to sync new books

Is this about right? If so I'll have to give this a try!

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realmayo
That said, there's a proper story in there of interesting characters, rather than a set of people who just have Chinese history happen to them

 

 

Good, I'm tiring of just such a book where a bunch of rather blank people are having Chinese history happen to them, once I've finished it I'll read 解密, -- a couple of days ago I saw a review of its English translation and was surprised it didn't crop up anywhere on a search of the forums.

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roddy

Icebear, yep, that's right. As mentioned above, you can't register older (not sold in China) Kindles to amazon.cn (I assume z.cn is an alias of amazon.cn), so you'll need something relatively up-to-date (I have a Paperwhite, Gato says a Touch is fine, I failed with a Kindle Keyboard). And to prevent any possible hassles I used different credit cards, not sure if you could use the same one on both accounts. You might want to do a trial run with a free book before buying anything. 

 

I was actually thinking last night that this is worth doing a separate post for - especially as you now also have easy dictionary look-ups on Kindle, the Vocabulary Builder thing keeps a list of looked-up words (only for bought books though, not for personal docs) and with a bit of fiddling you can apparently export that list. If you fancy doing a write up as you try it out, that'd be a great new topic and I'll weigh in with any comments or added extras I can think of.

 

Also because - you can get Chinese magazines. I had a browse through the top hundred yesterday and you've got 读者,读书,三联生活,凤凰, and the Chinese versions of Scientific American and Bloomberg. Oh, and 科幻世界. Not sure what else, but there's got to be a ton of dirt-cheap, regularly updated, bite-sized reading in there.

 

Realmayo - hope you enjoy it. I've got to admit I'm kind of getting a bit impatient with it. I like the writing though - there was a line yesterday when a cadre was reading a report he didn't like, and he 'felt like the words on the page were making a face at him'. It's quite lively.  

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realmayo

One question about the amazoning: is this against their terms of service? Because I remember some headlines a couple of years ago where they just deleted the entire library of someone who'd been playing between two different jurisdictions, shopping for the cheaper kindle books.

 

So far I absolutely love reading downloaded novels on a little tablet running Pleco reader, it's *finally* got me to the reading-Chinese-for-fun stage. But I like the idea of getting magazines for shorter articles. I will have a try (after backing up all my previous kindle downloads).

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realmayo

Actually .... I think I'm being over-cautious, a quick google only shows that one case of someone having their library deleted -- if it was a serious thing I'm sure there'd be far more about it online over the past few years.

Amazon.cn here I come......

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roddy

I think this is the case. I'm willing to chance it. Note the bit from Amazon at the end - even if they close your account you keep the library. Plus, this isn't about cheaper books, it's about getting the books at all. We stand on the side of virtue and righteousness (and after years of pirated Chinese books, I almost mean that). 

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laurenth

As it appears that it's now possible to purchase a Kindle Paperwhite in Europe *and* buy Chinese books from amazon.cn without too much hassle, I believe the " great new topic" Roddy is alluding to already exists as far as I'm concerned: "What's on your Christmas wishlist?".

 

Up to know, I've been fiddling with the Kindle Android app on my phone. It does not work reliably (today, the app just won't start for some reason). And I wouldn't mind reading on a bigger, crispier screen.

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realmayo

I registered online for a new account, credit card, Chinese address -- but it won't let me buy any kindle books, only hard copies.

For every kindle book it says: 该商品目前无法进行购买

 

Grrr ... but that's using a web browser, maybe it'll be different if I'd done it from an actual kindle.

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roddy

Odd. What books are you looking at, I'll take a look. What happens with free books?

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