I’m giving away my Kindle

I’m giving away my Kindle. Why?

1. I have the Kindle app on my iPhone and I use that to read books a lot more than I use my Kindle.
2. I will get Apple’s iPad in two months and while that’s a shiny new object I’m sure I’ll use that a lot more to read books than the Kindle, at least until my eyes get strained as some of my commenters were promising would happen.
3. I have a stack of paper books that PR folks have sent me, so for the next two months I am going to try to catch up on those.
4. Even if I find after all of this that I like the Kindle better, I want the larger screen version of the Kindle, so this would let me get that.

So, how am I going to give it away?

Leave a comment here about what you’d do with yours by the end of the day Tuesday (Pacific Time). Most creative answer gets the Kindle. It’s in new condition. I will bias towards those who will use it to help the world, or who can’t afford to keep up on the latest gadget train. Sorry, it won’t come with an Amazon account so you’ll need to buy your own books.

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

346 thoughts on “I’m giving away my Kindle

  1. Well, with all the grand, altruistic responses here, I feel bad saying that I would use it simply because I used to be ravenous reader but no longer am. For whatever reason — the preponderance of social media, web-sized information being somehow preferable to longform, shorter attention spans, Barack Obama's hideously socialistic, America-crushing, “help-other-humans” crazy ideas — I have a hard time getting through a paper book any more.

    But the Kindle?

    I can read all day on that (a friend has one) and I have no idea why. It's the beginning of a truly disruptive culture shift, one that has ravaged my 40 years of ingrained habits to the point I now read and learn in an entirely different way.

    This notion — all of this — was perfectly encapsulated when I was borrowing my friend's Kindle for a week. My five year old son took it off the couch, pointed at it, and said to my friend, “This is daddy's book.”

    Amazing. It's the next gear in our cultural transmission as it relates to reading and consuming information.

  2. Well there isn’t much that I could say that hasn’t already been covered in the above comments but here goes…

    I would love to have a Kindle because my hubby hates all my books and at least with a Kindle he couldn’t complain that it cluttered up the bookshelves…what the heck are bookcases for anyway?! Oh wait that’s right…for his firefighter books 8-

  3. When I was in China trying to learn using open courseware, one big obstacle is I don't have access to textbook. Actually, I would still not have access to textbook if I get a kindle. But then again we also have a dysfunctional or nonfunctional library system(don't only look at the big cities, look at the county or rural area where I am from). After finishing my degree in education here in the States, I could get back to China and read from a kindle or access books using its global network. I also wonder how the gap in information-accessibility affect the gap in development and everything. Hopefully, education, especially education change from bottom-up using open education resources(free textbooks please!), could revolutionize everything and flatten everything in the following decade.

  4. I'll hack it for running open-source Android apps, make a video review of these open SDK features on my site http://ARMdevices.net

    Basically I want my e-reader to have RSS reader, synchronization with the PC (click “Read on my e-reader” from a Chromium/Firefox plugin on the Laptop)..

    E-ink or Pixel Qi LCD screens are imperative if you really want to read text for a long time. Backlight LCDs are only for reading short texts.

  5. I'd load it up with my Mom's favorite books, and send it to her. She's hospitalized, and will remain there for the rest of her life, so she doesn't have space in her hospital room for the books she loves to read.

  6. I'd load it up with my Mom's favorite books, and send it to her. She's hospitalized, and will remain there for the rest of her life, so she doesn't have space in her hospital room for the books she loves to read.

  7. This sounds a lot like my idea, and I am happy to help, by either buying a Kindle of my own to do the same thing, or by buying the apps and books to put on the Kindle. I'd like to work in the future in Africa, and this would be some of my self-interest, forming relationships there.

  8. I am a retired pastor on fixed income, however, I still have two Bible studies and a nursing home worship service. The Kindle would be a very wonderful blessing for my study. I read voraciously to stay up with the latest thought on todays world and our needs. It would give me a wealth of knowledge at my finger tips at all times. I have many people that look to me for hope in this troubled world and I am so inadequate that I need all the help I can get. Bless you for your thought and gift.

  9. I'd use your kindle to gather more twitter followers by re-giving it away in a random draw among those who add me as a friend on twitter. I'd then spam all of those new twitter friends with links to websites I'm involved with.

    No, my name is not Jason Calacanis.

  10. Hi Robert,

    I would love to get the Kindle. I will sell immediately and donate t he proceeds to ISHA VIDHYA (schooling in rural India) project.

    Isha Vidhya is committed to raising the level of education and literacy in rural India and to helping disadvantaged children realize their full potential. The project seeks to ensure quality education for children in rural areas, opening the door for them to participate in and benefit from India’s economic growth. Link to Isha Vidhya website – http://www.ishavidhya.org/about-us/our-vision.html


  11. Greetings Robert,
    Just saw your offer and was amazed. I've been wishing for a Kindle for a while now as it would be a boon for me in my work. I'm a full time volunteer (room and board only) for the non-profit, educational organization that teaches Transcendental Meditation. Right now we're focused on teaching at risk youth worldwide. Filmmaker, David Lynch has already helped over 100,000 in North and South America learn TM. The automatic result of increased coherence in world consciousness will be permanent world peace. It's not just a hope, it's doable.
    See http://www.TM.org

    The Kindle would be a most valuable tool for me and no doubt help save my eyes from further strain at a computer screen.

    Thanks for considering me.

  12. I would use it to teach my kid how to read… after he's born and gets to the age that he's able to read that is, meanwhile I'd give it to my wife, who's pregnant and working on her PhD thesis and has TONS (literally) of papers to read

  13. Hi Robert,

    I have been looking for an in on a Kindle for some time. I have a great product idea that uses an e-ink platform to assist in maintaining of complex machines like ocean liners and freight trains (as examples, but not the actual target market). With the new announcement of the Kindle API, the Kindle becomes a pretty good proof of concept platform. Regardless, I haven't yet been able to get my company to pop for a Kindle for this skunkworks project.

    I believe that this project could benefit society by creating information systems that can help in keeping people who work on heavy devices safe, and those who use or are nearby those devices in well maintained machinery. This is an ever-more important application of technology as the complexity of machines increases.

    ~ Paul

  14. Hey Robert,

    I am a graduate student and can’t afford to buy a Kindle. I need to read a lot of research papers and in addition to that, I love to read Non-Fiction books. I will read the PDF versions of books I have got from Project Gutenberg.

  15. I will give the Kindle to my better half, to hopefully reduce the risk of the book mountain alongside the bed falling on me, and trapping me for several days while rescuers attempt to dig me out.

    I will also keep a broomstick and some tape handy – so in the event of the great flood coming, the Kindle might be fashioned into an oar, to help paddle our makeshift raft to safety.

  16. I’d give it to my childhood nanny, who raised me. She’s a wonderful woman who has lived through far too much in her life (her parents death by age 12, WWII in Germany, an alcoholic husband, etc). She moved into my family’s house when I was a baby and raised like I was her own daughter.

    She’s 86 now and her eyesight is naturally poor. Though she’s not exactly tech savvy, she’s asked for a Kindle because of its larger font size and, interestingly, the weight of the device. Many of the books she likes to read (Harry Potter, etc) are too heavy for her to hold up and read in bed.

    A Kindle would make her day.

  17. ….sell it and donate the proceeds to http://www.justgiving.com/give-a-pound-to-jamie

    Jamie Inglis is a 4 year old boy who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. The anti body treatment he requires is only available in the US and the family need to raise £200,000 in order to travel to the US from the UK and obtain access to that treatment.

    It won't change the world Robert but it might help to save the life of a very sick little boy.

  18. I'd like to give a kindle to my wife. She is a preschool teacher, in the wobbler classroom (10-18 months age group). During nap time she likes to read, but the classroom lights are off. Currently she holds a flash light in one hand and a book in the other. A kindle would make reading much easier and less to carry to and from work.

  19. I would donate it to my wife's book club. They have several readers who struggle to find copies of the latest books at the library, especially new best sellers. I would associate the Kindle with my account, get the book and let the device be borrowed like I do with our favorite paperbacks.

  20. My wife is going to law school in the fall and we really don't have a lot of money for text books. this would be a great way to try and consolidate some of her reading into a digital form.

  21. I would use it to help my pregnant wife not have to pack our 4-5 bookshelves worth of books when we move this spring!

  22. I would love a Kindle. I am a mother of 3 children with special needs. Reading is definitely a relaxing part of the day but I am not always able to run to the bookstore to pick up a new book. Having a kindle while waiting for therapy to end or school to finish would be a great opportunity to get a few minutes to read and relax for this mommy.

  23. I would take it to the South Pole, and I would read it.
    Then I would take it to Mt.Everest, I would take it across tempest seas, to the corners of the desert, and read it.
    I would read it while exploring the depths of the ocean, while wrestling with the Bengal Tiger, while fishing crab in the Alaskan blue.
    I will set it above all men, vanquish those who dare set their evil eyes upon it.
    It shall be me and my Kindle, just like Tom Hanks and his Wilson.
    And then Mr.Scoble, I would read it.

  24. Robert,

    I would carry it with me to teach 4th graders better reading shills. It is amazing how many kids are not even at that grade level and need real help. It would be beneficial because I could enlarge the font and generally be able to do some more creative things that just standard print books for them. I dont have to carry a bag full of reading materials to use with them.


  25. I'm in Turkey, a country that ranks 2nd in the world for the number of newspapers produced, but has very few people reading books. Literacy is not the problem – books are associated school and after the exams students throw them away thinking they will never use them again.

    I'd use the Kindle to show all my Turkish friends and encourage them to read more and develop a habit of life long learning.

  26. I would probably bring it in to work where we have practically no training budget to speak of.

    This way I could get some good books and share them amongst people on the team.

  27. Easy. It will go to my youngest son. He reads constantly. He sleeps between stacks of books. I clean up bent paperback spines and bits of cover from where he leaves them after he is finished. The running joke is that if a book is worn out, it is because he has read it too many times.

    He read Lord of the Rings cover to cover when he was eight. Nowadays he waits for books to be released with great anticipation. The best part of it is that his vocabulary is huge. He debates well, listens well and quietly calls us out if we express an opinion that was ill conceived.

  28. I would give it to my wife so that she could use it in her classroom. She teaches in a 99% hispanic school and most kids cannot read very well. It would be an additional tool to help inspire the kids to learn to read while incorporating more technology in their daily routine.

  29. I'd give it to my wife, who is a special education reading teacher. She is already an expert on integrating technology in the classroom and I would be thrilled to see her come up with ideas to implement the Kindle in her instruction.

  30. I'd give it to my wife, who is a special education reading teacher. She is already an expert on integrating technology in the classroom and I would be thrilled to see her come up with ideas to implement the Kindle in her instruction.

  31. I'd send it back, and ask for the Scoble autographed version. ;)

    But in all seriousness, I'd do the same with it that I'm likely to do with the iPad; think – wow, neat thing to have…but do i really need it?

    Cool concept on the giveaway though! I'm particularly fond of @Pdilly's answer.

  32. Don’t give it away! You’ll regret it! Tell you what, you give it to me and then when you want it back you leave a comment on MY blog, if it is creative enough I’ll give it back to you…

  33. My girlfriend was injured in the army and is paralyzed from the waist down +fingers, She can’t read a book. A Kindle will enable her to read books like the rest of us.

  34. OK so this isn't really a 'creative' use of the device but it is one that will help my fellow human being.

    If I were to win the Kindle you're giving away, I would provide it to a young girl who lives about two blocks away from me. Kendra is 14 and a huge reader. She, her mother, and two sisters, live in a tiny two bedroom house while the mother works two jobs to help make ends meet.

    Kendra and her family recently moved into the house they live in now and, because of the cramped conditions, they had to get rid of their cat and nearly all of Kendra's books. Now, Kendra spends all evening at the library reading interesting stories that take her away into a fantasy land where life is not quite so tough.

    I'd love to give Kendra some books but, unfortunately, can't because she has no room for them in her house. Using your Kindle, I could literally give Kendra hundreds of books if I wanted to and she'd never have to worry about space for them again.

    Thanks for doing this contest, Robert, you're a pretty cool guy. Of course, I think we all knew that before this lol.

    Oh, and one more thing: if I do win the Kindle, would you include a note to Kendra just saying hi? She doesn't really know you but it'd be cool for her to get a note from someone giving her such an incredible gift.

  35. I would actually set it up so that I'd give away that Kindle, and then buy a book for it, and the next person would do that, until finally the Kindle was filled with new books and we would give the final Kindle to some deserving teacher in the Third World who would teach his or her students using the Kindle. In fact, why don't we all buy a bunch of Kindles for a whole classroom in some country, or school district in the US that needs books?

  36. I am the IT Director for an international school in Kabul, Afghanistan, and I would give the Kindle to the president of the student council at our school. This young man comes from an poor family, rides a bus two-and-a-half hours one way to come to school, has a good chance to be our valedictorian (at a school where is not learning in his primary language), and is hoping to get to America next year on a college scholarship, if one can be found that can pay for basically all of his schooling. (The purchase price of the Kindle is likely to be as much as his family makes in a month) I would also help him to learn how to use Project Gutenberg and other sources to get free books for the Kindle, including reference books which would help him as he studies to be a doctor, along with giving him a small fund with which to purchase school-related books for his Kindle. This young Afghan man is an outstanding student, and I think this device would help him as he continues his studies.

  37. Robert,
    it would be a great experience using a gadget “Robert Scoble” has used before. Could you sign the Kindle on the back before sending out? It would give the ebook reading on this device a special touch.

  38. Nathaniel, thanks so much for even suggesting such a great opportunity go to us. If we get it it will go to one of the Ugandan members of my staff who love gadgets, but rarely get a chance to actually own or experiment with them. I'd love to see what they come up with for the Kindle app store!

  39. I would give it to my father in law who is currently going through chemotherapy. He has done so much to help other people in his life. Since he was a young man he has devoted so much time to working with the mentally disabled. He was also headmaster of a school and still helps people who want to become head teachers. He loves to read and it would really help him get through the next few months.

  40. I would use it to read, of course. I am a college student currently learning computer science who has had internships in the city in the summer (making for long commute times and a lot of reading on the train). I also have a second job where I tend to get a lot of reading done during down time. I also have a sister who recently bought a Barnes And Noble nook. It is my duty to keep the sibling rivalry going.

  41. I would LOVE this kindle, as I would use it to read and catch up on the news during my long hours of medical treatment, and I will become more informed so that I can help spread the accurate news and fight against the Fox News propaganda. I'll have the facts and knowledge to combat misinformation and expand my literary world all at the same time!

  42. I have a Kindle, bought one for my mother for Christmas, and she adores it. So rather than join your contest, I'm hitting the “like” button on the comments I most like as my way of voting up those who I think have made their case best.

  43. I’d really like an Amazon Kindle for these reasons:
    -I am 17 years old, a high school senior and I’m going to college next year. A Kindle would be really helpful for reading all those books I know I’m going to have to read. :D
    -I started my own small business with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE, an entrepreneurship education program for low-income students). But I’m also committed to my community. I do design projects for local non-profits pro-bono (so they can divert more financial resources to the causes they serve and less toward overhead) and I think I could serve more clients if I had more updated access to the latest books on design and business and non-profit management (right now most of it I have to design at my high school). You can check out my portfolio here: crystaly.carbonmade.com
    -I’m putting together an e-book “What’s Next: Big Ideas from 25 Gen Y-ers Under 25″ myself, inspired by Seth Godin’s “What Matters Now” but with 25 contributors under 25. I’d love to read some more e-books before I publish one. :)
    -With Rotary International, I am leading 6000 high school activists to raised $100,000+ to eradicate polio by June 2010. And I’m organizing a blogging-for-charity day at http://bit.ly/wwd2010 Since I have to education people about these issues, I’d really love access to the latest research papers and books on organizations using scientific methods to analyze the effectiveness of philanthropic efforts (read the article on MIT research in the recent issue of Fast Company magazine with @aplusk on the cover).

  44. Hi

    What a wonderful idea! Hope Kindle & Apple people appreciate the PR.
    I'm in SA and so wont stand a chance at getting the thing with a creative answer.
    If you are torn, I would take up the chaps offer to buy the Kindle and then give the dosh to Haiti.

    Change the world – One creative decision at a time!

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