Gary, I didn't think it was fair for me to leave you without any citations at all, so I went looking.
Here's what I found. And the bottom section that I got to last is ultra interesting.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2009 4:42 PM PST
Remember that Lithium Ion batteries are a great advance in a powerful very dense/small package - but they have do not behave the same as other batteries.
Pros: Small lightweight high energy density compared to other batteries. No memory
Cons: Each cell must not be discharged below 3 volts per cell or the cells can reverse and damage the battery. So don't let the batteries "fully discharge". The Kindle power circuit and charger should prevent full discharge - but it sounds like from some of the postings - they may be discharging more than acceptable.
Don't treat the Lithium Ion battery like other types, you can recharge when 1/2 wayOlder NiCad batteries could be fully discharged and r
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2009 10:39 AM PST
Nicholas Nitka says:
Here is part of directions from the "About your Kindle" in reference to taking care the "battery".
Tips for Conserving Your Battery
The Kindle battery will have a much longer life if you charge it
frequently, rather than waiting until it is fully drained to charge it.
The battery may need recharging if it has not been used for a long period
of time, whether or not it was fully charged before it was stored.
They are one of the most popular types of battery for portable electronics, with one of the best energy-to-weight ratios, no memory effect, and a slow loss of charge when not in use.
. . .
Li-ion batteries do not suffer from the memory effect. They also have a low self-discharge rate of approximately 5% per month, compared with over 30% per month in common nickel metal hydride batteries (Low self-discharge NiMH batteries have much lower values, around 1.25% per month) and 10% per month in nickel cadmium batteries.
[other information there]
...Furthermore, they may be irreversibly damaged if discharged below a certain voltage. To reduce these risks, li-ion batteries generally contain a small circuit that shuts down the battery when discharged below a certain threshold (typically 3 V) or charged above a certain limit (typically 4.2 V).
[ No mention of memory effect]
[They give reasons why the battery must be protected from overcharging by limiting the applied voltage.
That should be when our Kindle 1 light goes off
and when the Kindle 2 light turns green.]
During discharge on load, the load has to be removed as soon as
the voltage drops below approximately 3.0 V per cell (used in a
series combination), or else the battery will subsequently no
longer accept a full charge and may experience problems holding
voltage under load.
[ Do they mean from a forced discharge? ]
However, in recent years, manufacturers have been declaring upwards of 500 charge-discharge cycles before the capacity drops to 80%
. . .
Self-discharge rate 5%/month
[Guidelines that include Gary's quote as one that -may- be necessary to
recalibrate the battery's monitoring, though not to save life of battery]
Guidelines for prolonging Li-ion battery life
* Like many rechargeable batteries, lithium-ion batteries should be charged early and often. However, if they are not used for a long time, they should be brought to a charge level of around 40%-60%
* Lithium-ion batteries should not be frequently fully discharged and recharged ("deep-cycled"), but this may be necessary after about every 30th recharge to recalibrate any electronic charge monitor (e.g. a battery meter). This allows the monitoring electronics to more accurately estimate battery charge.
* Li-ion batteries should never be depleted to below their minimum voltage, 2.4 V to 3.0 V per cell.
* Li-ion batteries should be kept cool. Ideally they are stored in a refrigerator. Aging will take its toll much faster at high temperatures. The high temperatures found in cars cause lithium-ion batteries to degrade rapidly.
* Li-ion batteries should not be frozen  (most lithium-ion battery electrolytes freeze at approximately -40 °C; however, this is much colder than the lowest temperature reached by household freezers).
* Li-ion batteries should be bought only when needed, because the aging process begins as soon as the battery is manufactured.
* When using a notebook computer running from fixed line power over extended periods, the battery should be removed, and stored in a cool place so that it is not affected by the heat produced by the computer.
[The 'Safety' section is an interesting read. Luckily our Kindles don't heat up
the battery the way cellphones and laptops do (remember the Dell laptop fires with the
Sony battery of this type?) I'd keep it out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods
though when in an enclosure like a car with shut windows.
The site that that Gary used (or one similar to it)
There is no memory and no scheduled cycling is required to prolong the battery's life. In addition, the self-discharge is less than half compared to nickel-cadmium, making lithium-ion well suited for modern fuel gauge applications. lithium-ion cells cause little harm when disposed.
. . .
Aging is a concern with most lithium-ion batteries and many manufacturers remain silent about this issue. Some capacity deterioration is noticeable after one year, whether the battery is in use or not. The battery frequently fails after two or three years.
. . .
# Low Maintenance - no periodic discharge is needed; there is no memory.
The lithium Polymer battery [Customer reps refer to it as lithium ion for some reason -it's likely a combo.]
No improvements in capacity gains are achieved - in fact, the capacity is slightly less than that of the standard lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion-polymer finds its market niche in wafer-thin geometries, such as batteries for credit cards and other such applications.
FROM CUSTOMER SERVICE SECTION OF AMAZON FORUM FOR KINDLE2
" Posted on Mar 2, 2009 6:01 PM PST
Amazon Kindle Customer Service says:
Good Evening. This is the Official Amazon.com Customer Service post for 3/02/2009
Charging your Kindle battery
With Kindle 2's battery you don't need to fully drain the battery before recharging, or wait until the battery is fully charged to start using it again. The Lithium-ion battery is optimized in such a way that incomplete charging won't affect the battery life. For example, if you drain the battery halfway two days in a row while fully charging both times at night, this would only count as one charge cycle. Leaving Kindle in extreme temperatures, like in your car, will have the most negative impact on the overall life of your battery.
Leaving wireless turned on or sustained use of the wireless functions will cause the battery to drain faster. If you would like to turn the wireless off, select menu from the home screen. Use the five-way controller to select "Wireless Off". Also, downloading a large number of books at once will cause the device to index new content. If you have recently transferred or downloaded a large number of books it is recommended that you leave the device turned on and connected to the charger overnight.
As with any other aspect of Kindle, if you think that your device is not performing as it should, please have detailed notes of your usage and the battery life experienced and contact customer support:
OTHER ***VERY INTERESTING*** things from Customer Service's official Thread in Kindle 2 forum
"Last Page Read
You do not need to power down Kindle 2 between reading sessions, it is best to leave the device in sleep mode. Holding the switch at the top to power the device off is similar to pulling the power cord on your computer without shutting down the Operating System. If you turn the device off while in the middle of the book, the device cannot save that location. We save the location when the device goes into sleep mode or when you leave the book, so if you do need to power the device off then be sure to go to the Home screen first - this will save your last place in the book.
Wireless Signal in Sleep Mode
Kindle's wireless signal uses low power while in sleep mode so that your subscriptions can download overnight. If you are in a low coverage area, this could cause the device to use more battery power as it continually tries to maintain a signal. Unless you are subscribed to periodicals that you want to receive overnight, we recommend turning wireless off (Press the Menu button and select "Turn Wireless Off" of the menu options) before leaving the device in sleep mode. This will further conserve battery power.
Gary, while letting it run down after 30 charges or so may help the battery monitoring,
I think Amazon may be more worried about the effects of letting it run down and not
being able to control how much this might be done. Users let them run down without
even knowing it.
WORSE, mine defaulted to Wireless ON when I opened my unit. That means that
if I didn't know how to turn it Off because I had not read the manual yet, it would
be draining away and that seems to be true for many on the forums who are
wondering why their battery life is so short and wondering where to turn wireless off