Using a Kindle in Indonesia
Before I came to Indonesia, I bought a Kindle in the United States. I was already a longtime Amazon user, and I registered my Kindle there. I’m happy to report that I have had no problems using the Kindle here in Bandung, in Jogjakarta (Yogyakarta), or even in Kuningan (a four-hour drive northeast of Bandung).
Both 3G and wi-fi work fine on the Kindle here on Java (the 3G service is what Amazon calls WhisperNet). I have downloaded numerous Web articles to read later via Instapaper with no difficulty. However, the connections are often very slow here. Free wi-fi is widely available, but be prepared for sometimes agonizing slowness.
I’ve been told, but have not verified, that you must register the Kindle in the U.S. with a U.S. credit card. However, it seems you can also buy books for the Kindle using an Amazon gift card instead of a credit card. Check the Kindle support page for details.
At first I intended to avoid buying the hardcopy Lonely Planet Indonesia guidebook and put it on the Kindle instead. However, I decided against that, based on what I read at some other websites. I have lots of novels and other books (as well as numerous Web articles, thanks to Instapaper — check it out if you haven’t yet). There are very few quality fiction books in English available here in Bandung, so I would be quite starved for leisure reading without my Kindle.
Update (July 15, 2012): To clarify, I read books on my Kindle almost every day in Indonesia. I usually keep the “wireless” (3G and wi-fi) turn OFF — because that way, the battery lasts a very, very long time (about 3 weeks without charging!). You only need the wireless to download books. You can download free e-books from sources other than Amazon using any wi-fi connection.
Learn about lending Kindle books, free Kindle books, and Kindle book file formats > here.
If you have registered your Kindle, you can send your personal documents (free) to your Kindle by e-mailing the files to your @kindle.com e-mail address. Documents can be in MS Word format, plain text, or HTML (as well as some others). Note that if you transfer the files via WhisperNet, you will be charged a fee — but via e-mail it is free.
You can also transfer files from a computer to your Kindle with a USB cable.
Kindle book file formats: .AZW .AZW1 .AZW2
Kindle also accepts these file formats: .MOBI (no DRM); PRC (no DRM); and .MP3 (audio files)