December 22, 2010, 9:08 PM — The Kindle e-reader is set to become Amazon's most popular gift item this year, but if you're hoping to see a Kindle under the tree Saturday be careful about the protective case you use with your new gadget. A small number of Kindle users report that Amazon's leather case for the Kindle is causing their e-reader to crash and require a manual reboot.
The problem appears to only affect users who bought Amazon's basic leather case that sells for $35. Amazon also sells a more expensive version for $60 that comes with a light for nighttime reading, but no reboot problems have been reported with this model.
"My Kindle kept turning itself on in my purse and freezing. Everytime [sic] I wanted to read my Kindle I had to reboot which would lose my place in books. So frustrating," said Amazon customer Amy Bergen. After Amazon helped trace the problem to Bergen's Kindle case the problems ceased.
Another Kindle user, Jessica L. Trewhella, experienced more severe problems. "Recently, my Kindle has been rebooting non-stop. Called Kindle support and found out it was the case," Trewhella said in an Amazon customer review.
It's not clear why the cases are causing this problem, but the strongest theory appears to be linked to the metal clips inside the case that secure the Kindle. The device reportedly short circuits when the clips come into contact with the e-reader.
Based on discussions in Amazon's customer forums, the company appears to be refunding the purchase price for customers who experience reboot or freezing problems regardless of how long ago you purchased your case. Some users said the company was also offering an extra $25 credit as compensation for the case hassle. Amazon was contacted for comment, but at the time of this writing had not yet responded.
Case hassles or not, the opinion of most Kindle users about their favorite e-reading device hasn't been swayed by the troubles. After complaining about her non-stop reboot hassles, Trewhella declared, "I LOVE my Kindle!"