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Here’s a quirky little Kindle tip I just discovered…

… so it is not included in either the Kindle edition or the paperback edition of The Complete User’s Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle.

And I cannot promise that you will be able to replicate it in the privacy of your own home, but it may be worth a try.

It’s coming on a year now that I’ve had my first Kindle, and it had gotten a lot of wear — there have even been a few planned and unplanned “drop tests” along the way. With each passing month, I have to admit that its battery life between charges has grown more disappointing, and there have also been some (perhaps related) screen or keyboard freeze issues recently.

This weekend, on a whim, I swapped Kindle batteries between mine and my 10-year-old son Danny’s Kindle, which I purchased for him last May in appreciation for the fact that he came up with the idea for the lovely Northumberland tree photograph that I licensed and that has become the visual brand for my Kindle books.

Immediately following the battery swap, my Kindle began to work perfectly and its battery life seems to be living up to original product claims again! That’s not the surprising part. The surprising part is that Danny’s Kindle (with what I would heretofore have described as my old worn-out battery) is working perfectly too! I have no way of explaining this, but, for instance, I have left both Kindles powered up with the wireless switch “on” for over 24 hours, and both are showing over 50% power remaining on the battery indicator.

So, I realize, we do not all have 2 Kindles in our homes. And Amazon is out of Kindle batteries (yes, my theory is that it is the battery backlog that is causing the Kindle backlog), so it’s not like you can just order another Amazon Kindle Replacement Battery and get one this week.

But if your Kindle is being to perform in a slightly tired fashion and you have access to another Kindle, even a friend’s, it may be worth experimenting with a battery swap.

Meanwhile, I hope that some Kindle engineer from Area 126 or Area 51 or somewhere will comment or email me and shed light on this phenomenon, or suggest Kindle counseling for me.

The Complete User’s Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle and the Warehouse to Nowhere….

Maybe some of this is inside baseball, but I have a few observations to share about Amazon’s once and present Kindle order backlog:

1. I can’t help but notice that whenever Amazon falls behind in shipping out Kindle orders, as they did on November 1, replacement batteries for the Kindle also show up as out of stock. A year ago when Amazon ran out of Kindles on launch day and didn’t catch up until mid-April, Kindle replacement batteries were out of stock. Likewise this week. There is no difference, of course, between Kindle batteries and Kindle replacement batteries. My own theory, that I will stick with until I see evidence to the contrary, is that it is a battery shortfall that is creating the production-and-shipping lag for Kindles.

2. While it is all well and good to talk about a battery shortage, of course, the real reason Amazon ran out of whatever Amazon ran out of is Oprah. Oprah can do anything. She elects presidents, she sells books, and she hires people who don’t answer my emails, but that’s okay. On Friday, October 28, Oprah devoted her entire show to the Kindle. As a result, according to my back-o’-the-napkin calculations, Amazon sold over 100,000 Kindles in the following 8 days. In the past Oprah has proven that she can sell $15 books like nobody else on the planet. This time, she proved that she can sell $300 gadgets. Oprah, Oprah, Oprah.

3. So Oprah sells 100,000 Kindles and Amazon runs out of Kindles at the peak of the, er, holiday season. What’s up with that, Jeff? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t get testy about this. But, well, I was enjoying the fact that the Oprah Kindle bump was creating a bit of a bump (as in, by a factor of 5) in both paperback and Kindle edition sales of The Complete User’s Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle. They are still selling briskly, but they would be selling even better if the Kindle were shipping.

4. There is a certain irony to this thing about the Kindle selling out from time to time. One of the joys of the Kindle, for Amazon, for readers, for authors, and for publishers, is that once a title is available on the Kindle, that title never sells out. Never. Like, how many Kindle edition copies do I have in the warehouse, of Beyond the Literary-Industrial Complex: Using the Amazon Kindle and Other New Technologies to Unleash and Indie Movement of Readers and Writers? Like, over 7 trillion, or a googol, but I lost count. You get it, I am certain. But if a reader can’t get a Kindle, well, you know, that’s a warehouse to nowhere.

Yes, the Kindle is sold out for a few days….

… but don’t doubt that Amazon will catch up soon with the production capacity necessary to get hundreds of thousands of new Kindles into the hands of eager readers this holiday season.

If you or your friends, colleagues, or loved ones are on the fence about whether to get a Kindle or to give one as a gift, one of the best ways to find out just about everything you’ll be able to do with a Kindle is to pick up the paperback edition of my book The Complete User’s Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle. The Kindle edition has been downloaded by 36,000 happy Kindle owners, and now the new paperback has become one of the top titles in Amazon’s main bookstore.