Is this your Kindle?

Calling all owners of lost Amazon.com e-book readers. If you left your Kindle in the back of a New York City taxi, we may have found it.

Sarah Tew/CNET

On her way back from the airport the other day, our photo editor Sarah found a Kindle in the back seat of a New York City taxi cab. Being the honest person she is, she asked me if there was any way to get it back to the owner.

Well, it's actually not that easy to track down the owner of Kindle, especially if that person has a fairly common first and last name, as the owner of this Kindle does. We actually e-mailed him at the Kindle address that's registered to the device but it doesn't appear that you can get your @kindle.com e-mail unless you have the device.

Addtionally--and rather tragically--the person who bought this Kindle never inputted his personal information into the device. The link to "edit personal info" can be accessed from the "Settings and Device Information" tab when you click the menu button from the Kindle's home screen. On this Kindle, the box is empty.

Lesson 1: If you own and Kindle or another device that allows you to enter your personal info into it, do it, because while a lot of people would just deregister a lost Kindle and make it their own without ever trying to track you down, there are some people who want to return stuff that doesn't belong to them.

Lesson 2: Get a protective case for your device. The naked Kindle Sarah found has a small gash on the front (we're not sure if it got stepped on, sat on, or what) and it really does ruin the reading experience.

Now, we thought of calling Amazon and asking customer service reps for some possible info on the owner, but we've heard that Amazon doesn't like to give out info on Kindle owners. In fact, the New York Times recently wrote a story about how one owner of a lost Kindle pleaded with the company to brick his device so the person who found it couldn't use it. However, Amazon will only deregister the device to prevent your account from being accessed, but it won't keep someone from reregistering it. (The article talks about how there should be some way to authorize use from one owner to the next in the case the device is lost or sold.)

Coincidentally--or not--Ars Technica wrote a very similar story a week earlier. (Good headline I'd like to use someday: "Did the Times rip off the stolen Kindle story?")

But I digress.The purpose of this column isn't about ribbing Amazon or the Times but about taking a shot at finding this Kindle's owner.

Here's a hint. The device's name is "John's Kindle." So, if you're a John who lost your Kindle recently in New York, e-mail me through the link in my bio and we'll see if your last name matches up to the one on the device.

If you're name isn't John, and just want to comment on losing a Kindle, an iPhone, or another device you cherished, feel free to comment. We'd like to hear about your loss whether it has good ending or not.

 

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