A number of people have asked me about Kindle accessories, and specifically, the Amazon Kindle in Iraq. In order to answer a number of people at once, I've prepared some interesting tidbits of information about the Kindle in Iraq.
Is it tough enough for Iraq?
When I first arrived in Kuwait, I developed screen problems with my Kindle 1. Fortunately, I had a warranty on my Kindle 1 and swapped it out for a new one for free. Nevertheless, I have since decided that a sturdy case is necessary for the Kindle. I've upgraded to the Kindle 2, which seems a great deal more sturdy, but I still keep it in its case when it's not in use. The standard Amazon case for the Kindle 2 provides great protection. Just don't cram it in a rucksack with a whole bunch of heavy objects and throw it around, and it should be okay.
How does it handle the heat? It's held up remarkably well. Granted, I don't leave it in the sun all day long, but it can easily take a good hour or so outside in the heat. I usually try to keep it in a backpack with a few sealed bottles of cold water close by to provide some coolant for it, just in case I have to be outside for a while.
It can take a good amount of punishment, just don't deliberately put it to the test. A sturdy cover and a warranty are good investments.
Does the wireless feature work? How can I download books?
Since the wireless won't work in Iraq or anywhere else outside of Sprint's EV-DO network, you'll need to use the USB cable to download books. This means that you will need a non-government computer and an Internet connection that does not operate on a US government network. The reason for this is because you won't be able to plug a USB cable in to a government computer due to security purposes, so you will need to have a contractor-provided Internet service (such as Sniper Hill) in order to download books.
Provided you have that, getting books for your Kindle is as simple as getting MP3s for your MP3 player. Just download them to your computer, plug in your Kindle, and drag and drop the files into the "Documents" directory of your Kindle.
What type of charger should I use?
Use the USB cable to charge it. Be careful of plugging the device into 220V AC power in Iraq!
What about accessories, such as lights?
Personally, I don't like the clip-on lights, although that's a personal preference. Instead, I would recommend having a cheap LED head-lamp. You can use it to read your Kindle, as well as a whole host of other, more important activities (preflight at night, walking around at night, etc.)
Name some books that I should download for a long flight.
I got this one from a fan in Israel who needed some in-flight reading. Here's six that I would recommend:
1.) The Gamble by Thomas Ricks
2.) The Accidental Guerilla by David Kilcullen
3.) I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max
4.) Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Corham
5.) One Minute to Midnight by Michael Dobbs
6.) Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence