French speakers now have a new option for consuming ebooks and other digital media that speaks their language: Amazon’s Kindle, which was just released in French last week. The French version of the device, which costs 99€ on Amazon.fr, is Wifi only and comes with neither a touchscreen nor a keyboard. Still, Amazon is touting the device as “the smallest, lightest and most affordable Kindle ever,” and even a basic Kindle is surely better than no Kindle at all.
In a press release, Greg Greeley, vice president, Amazon European Retail, had this to say:
“French customers are passionate about books and reading, and just as we’ve seen in the US, UK and Germany, we believe they will love reading on Kindle. We are excited to bring our first French-language Kindle and our new Kindle store to millions of Amazon.fr customers. Kindle is already the best-selling e-reader in the world. We kept everything readers love about Kindle-the electronic ink display that reads like real paper, with no glare, even in bright daylight, the convenience of downloading books in less than 60 seconds and Kindle’s ability to disappear in your hands so you can get lost in the author’s words-and made it lighter, smaller, faster, and more affordable than ever.”
The devices will begin shipping on October 14, though you can place an order now if you’d like.
At the same time, Amazon also announced that they have opened a French-language Kindle store, which contains 35,000 books in French, as well as French magazines, newspapers and graphic novels. Of course, there are also many more titles available in English.
The French Kindle Store also creates opportunities for French writers, who can now use Amazon’s self-publishing service to offer digital copies of their work directly to consumers. A number of English-speaking writers have become quite successful this way.