I would assume, however, that Amazon's "walled garden" version of Android might at least keep some of that at bay. If it's just for reading, then it sounds to me as if the Kindle Touch might be a better choice (less to get into trouble with).
My guess is that if I was limited to only one Kindle (a tiny voice just screamed, "Noooooooo!") it would probably be the KTouch. I'm fine with my K3 (and am coming to terms with the KFire) but the KTouch does sounds like a happy medium.
I bow to your courage and bravery at helping non-tech folks. I've tried it a time or two.
(Interesting to read a recent article that said the Kindle Fire is expected to spur iPad sales! )