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Best Source for Chinese Ebooks?

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realmayo

All and any kindle books/magazines. 

 

e.g. 读者 半月刊 2014年24期 [Kindle电子书]

 

From amazon: http://www.amazon.cn/gp/help/customer/forums/ref=cs_hc_g_tv?ie=UTF8&forumID=Fx1I3YBVD0TS1FK&cdThread=Tx3GD9HMU3J257A

 

如果您亚马逊账户中的实际购书时所在的国家填写过国内,但实际您在国外,这个是因国际购买限制,所以页面信息会显示““该商品目前无法进行购买”,导致您当前无法购买哦。

请您放心,这个可以为您解除购买限制,解除后,您可以再购买5本电子书哦。(包括免费电子书;不包括试读用的样章)

 

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roddy

Ok, I was just able to buy a copy of 十月 no problem at all. Trying to think what would make the difference. I'm using a different email address to my .co.uk account. Buying via Chrome, sending to a Paperwhite. My address is a fairly unconvincing "北京三十号 北京 北京市 东城区 10012 电话: 01453121212" Using a different credit card to my .co.uk account (although actually now I think about it it is registered there), and it's a UK bank and address. 

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realmayo

The only thing that's different is I haven't registered a kindle for this account yet, otherwise identical.

Will try with the kindle tonight.

 

Oh, and I had to pay money in advance, to 'fill' my account with RMB100, did you have to do the same or did it just work like a normal amazon payment?

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roddy

Ha, no, I only paid for what I bought and when I bought it. So they've taken Y100 and aren't letting you buy anything? I won't ask you for the Y5.60 for the copy of 十月 then. 
 
There's a useful bit here
https://www.amazon.cn/gp/digital/fiona/manage?ie=UTF8&ref_=ya_myk#cor

注册为以下国家/地区的居民可以在Amazon.cn上购买Kindle电子书:中国大陆,港、澳、台地区,美国,加拿大,泰国。如果您迁居到其他国家/地区,您将无法使用您的Amazon.cn帐户购买Kindle电子书。在Amazon.cn之外的亚马逊商城购买商品,您必须设定另外一个帐户。

So things might be easier for our North American friends.

 

Also I deregistered my Kindle and app and it still seemed happy to let me buy stuff. Hope you get it sorted, annoying that it's a hassle as it's such a handy thing to have. 

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realmayo

Ah, made some progress:

 

I'd given a Chinese address when registering the overall amazon.cn account.

 

But that wasn't enough. I needed to set an address for any kindle too (even though I haven't actually linked any kindle device to the account yet).

 

This I did here:

 

https://www.amazon.cn/gp/switch-language/digital/fiona/manage/ref=topnav_switchLang?ie=UTF8&language=zh_CN

It's the 国家/地区设置 link. 

Or in English: Manage Your Kindle -> Country Settings

 

However it still won't let me buy anything but maybe all I need to do is register a kindle, the fact nothing is registered seems to be causing an error message after check-out.

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gato

I think I meant the Kindle Paperwhite. Not sure if Kindle Touch ever was sold in China.

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realmayo

Just to update, once I actually registered something -- in my case it was the kindle app running on an android tablet -- everything worked and I could download onto that via the amazon.cn website that was previously stopping me from buying any e-books.

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AdamD

I've been using the Douban app on iOS. In Australia, with an Australian iTunes account, I can buy credits and spend them on ebooks which I can then read on any other device, including read.douban.com. It works well, the range is not terrible, and it hasn't once refused to take my money.

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laurenth

Roddy, don't you have to use a VPN so that your IP address corresponds to the address you have provided to amazon.cn?

 

I ask because, for reasons that I don't understand, the same Kindle Android app with which I purchased a copy of 读者 only a week ago now refuses to let me buy 圈子圈套  II  because "您位于与您的亚马逊帐户所列国家/地区不同的国家/地区"

 

(On the other hand, a copy of  读者 should keep me busy for the next 20 years).

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roddy

No, not at all - from my end it's all been remarkably easy. 

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realmayo

Are you registered as per the link in #65?

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laurenth

(Assuming "you" is me, realmayo)

 

Yes, I am registered as per link #65. Still, no luck. 

 

In the meantime, I had asked Santa to offer me a Kindle Paperwhite so I could read more Chinese. I know for a fact that Santa has ordered the Kindle but it seems that my cunning plan has little prospect of succeeding.

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realmayo

Only other thing I can think of is: are your [laurenth  :D] email address, real address, other account info etc completely separate to what you've ever used for any other non-Chinese amazon account?

 

It's a bit worrying that you had success and then lost it.

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laurenth

I have two completely different Amazon accounts with different personal details, one exclusively for purchasing and reading Chinese ebooks on amazon.cn, and another one for, well, regular Amazon stuff. This setting used to work until last week, when I successfully bought a copy of  读者.  Note that I can still read the books I have purchased, but I can't buy more books.

 

Hm... On Dec. 25th, when Santa will have brought the Paperwhite, I could try to create yet another account and start from scratch, unless I've found a solution in the meantime.

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laurenth

For the record, I finally tracked down the problem to a payment issue. I phoned the bank that manages my MasterCard and was told that amazon.cn is now considered as a "fraudulent" (sic) and "unsecure site". No payment to amazon.cn shall be accepted. This situation "could last for one week, one month, or forever, we cannot tell".

 

So, there. Santa brought the coveted Paperwhite, but I won't be able to buy books from amazon.cn in the foreseeable future. Sigh. 

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roddy

Ah, that's a shame. Wonder if mine will still work. 'Course, I've already bought a years worth of reading material at my current pace...

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laurenth

And then I thought that, maybe, I could download free ebooks, which are numerous.

 

I first tried directly from the Kindle, using an amazon.cn account tied with a Chinese address. No luck, as Amazon detected that my IP address was not coming from China.

 

Then, I tried from my computer, using an amazon.cn account tied with a US address, and using a VPN. That worked: I was able to download some free magazines and send them to the Kindle. I've never heard about those magazines, so I don't even know whether they're interesting of not (知乎周刊, 简书周刊) so I will have to read them to make an opinion, but oh, reading is the point anyway.

 

BTW, while switching back and forth between two different amazon.cn accounts, one linked to a Chinese address and the other to a US address, I've noticed that the offer is very different and that the choice is much larger with a Chinese address. Not that it makes any difference in my case.

 

It would, if I could find a VPN that, ironically, would place me *inside* the Great Firewall. I don't know if such a beast even exists, though.

 

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laurenth

I don't want to monopolise this thread, but in case there are other forum members like me, i.e. who own a Kindle but cannot buy books from amazon.cn, I'd like  to tell them: Despair not! All is not lost!

 

You can:

 

  • Download free books and magazines from amazon.cn (if needed using a VPN, see previous post).

 

  • Send documents to your Kindle, using your Kindle email address (which you can find under "Manage my Kindle" on amazon.cn), including ebooks you've found elsewhere. Accepted formats include txt, mobi, azw, docx, pdf, html, etc. - it seems epub has to be converted first, for instance using Calibre. The method for sending documents to your Kindle is explained in full here.

 

  • Use rss or similar services to push articles to your Kindle. For example, you can use Hikindle (see post #40- thanks a bunch, icebear, that's a very nice resource). It seems there are several other services to deliver news feeds to your Kindle (search "kindle rss"). I have started testing the free version of kindle4rss to read my favourite Chinese newsfeeds (煎蛋).It works nicely.

 

  • Send interesting web pages to your Kindle, using a dedicated service, so you can read them later offline and nicely formatted. For instance Readability is a plugin for Chrome that has two uses: it cleans up web pages to make them more readable (no ads, flashing frames, etc.) AND it can send them to your Kindle for free. For instance, you can browse news articles (for instance configure Google news so it collects Chinese-language articles about a certain topic, as explained here) or open a chapter of an online novel (say 屌丝道士, as being discussed here) and send them directly to your Kindle in one click to read them later. There are probably other such plugins for Firefox (e.g. "Send to Kindle").  Instapaper seems to be a similar tool.

 

 

With that, I have more material than I will ever be able to read. Maybe somebody knows of other methods to use a Kindle to read Chinese even when it's not possible to purchase ebooks from amazon.cn?

 

Anyway, I hope this helps, and happy reading!

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roddy

Useful post, I hadn't thought of the RSS link. Please don't feel your monopolising anything, it's all helpful. 

 

Maybe another idea is the browser - it's quite capable of displaying, for example, the BBC's Chinese news

 

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone is finding the new vocabulary learning features - the Kindle will keep track of looked-up words and has a flashcard function. However that only works on paid for books. 

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laurenth

 

 

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone is finding the new vocabulary learning features

 

I haven't used it a lot yet, but it has a very nice feature that Pleco other popular ereaders could try to emulate: the word you have looked up is saved together with the sentence in which you've read it. That way, when you study, you are reminded of the context in which you saw the word in the first place. My impression is that such a feature can increase the likelihood that  you will remember that word's meaning.

 

Other than that, as far as I can tell, it's a very simple flashcard program with only two possible answers ("known" or not) and no SRS feature.

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