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So, you’ve got a Kindle. Maybe you’ve had one for a while and you read on it, but it’s not your favorite.
I’ll tell you a secret. I heart my Kindle.
Contrary to the great eBook versus print book controversy, I read a whole lot more on my Kindles than I ever read in print. Especially if we are talking variety of works.
I’m a voracious reader of information and the more information at my fingertips, the better. And the more reading a Kindle becomes like reading a book, the more I pick up my Kindle.
That’s right, the Kindle gets better all the time.
6 Awesome Things You Need to Know to Be a Kindle Pro focuses on the lesser known but…well… awesome features of the Amazon Kindle.
And it will make you a pro.
Get to Know Your Kindle Page to be a Kindle Pro
Your Kindle Page is definitely for any kind of Kindle. Even the Kindle app for other devices.
Did you know you have a Kindle page? I first started using it to revisit the things I’ve highlighted in each of my Kindle books.
- Your Book List– Which is an excellent place to view all your books and mark them as read or that you are reading.
- Daily Review– This page shows you a flashcard to help you remember significant ideas from the books you have read. See below for an example. The purpose is to help you review and remember what you read in your Kindle books. It shows you a card with your highlights and popular highlights from the books you’ve marked as read from your book list. The idea is to review them over time. You can skip to other books using the tab with that label.
- Your Highlights– I adore this page. If you click “your highlights” you will find a running list of everything you’ve ever highlighted in a Kindle book ever. They are split by book titles and the most recent one you’ve read is the first one loaded. It’s a little time consuming to run though the pages, but I do it regularly versus opening the book and browsing.
- Access to the Kindle Store– I didn’t pay attention to this way into the Kindle store until recently, but it’s a savvy way to learn which books are daily deals and there are suggestions in the deals based on what you normally browse. This is the place to find what’s available for Prime customers also. More on that in a moment.
Pro Tip: To find your Kindle page go to kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights and you’ll be asked to sign in. Then you see these four menu options at the top of the page.
Understand Your Kindle Book Bonuses to be a Kindle Pro
Purchasing Kindle copies of books gives you a few bonuses you might not be aware of.
- Audio book Discount– Once you have the Kindle version of a book, you can purchase a deeply discounted Audible version through Amazon without being an Audible member. (though I highly recommend Audible)
- WhisperSync– This feature allows you to read along in your Kindle while following the Audible narration of a book. This is actually a pretty slick deal. If you have a student who is a struggling reader, then they can follow along as a narrator reads to them. If they choose to listen without reading, later when they pick up the book it will know to begin where the audio left off.
- MatchBook– If you have the print version of a book, you can add the Kindle version for $2.99 or less due to MatchBook. You can find which books of yours qualify by going to your Kindle account and clicking on MatchBook. There’s a button there to click. These are books you’ve purchased at Amazon, of course.
Browse whole Pages to be a Kindle Pro
Most people will tell you they love the feel of a real book in their hands. They like to flip through the pages. Refer back to what they’ve read.
What if I told you, you could do that with a Kindle?
- Double tap– to see a smaller version of a whole page
- Scroll through the book– fast and in either direction
- Keep your page– after you are finished “flipping” through the pages, simply tap the icon of the page you started on and it will take you back to what you were reading.
That means you can look back at what you’ve already read for reference on a screen without losing your page.
Borrow Kindle Books from Your Library to be a Kindle Pro
I love the price of Kindle books, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy every title. Did you know you can make library loans from your Kindle?
- Go to your library’s website– Some libraries have system wide websites and others are for individual libraries.
- Find the eBook tab– Usually the eBook catalog is not the same as the print book catalog. Some systems allow a search of all titles and you need to pay attention to format (much like looking online at Amazon)
- Do a search on your book title– Search the title and prepare to sign in with your library card in order to check items out.
- Pay attention to format– Usually both eBooks and audio books are available in the eBook catalog. Look for the icon of an open book for readable books and the headphones icon for audio books.
- Check out your book– Typically there are two venues for borrowing books. You can download them from Overdrive and many times they are available from Amazon.
- Place a hold– If your book is checked out already, you can choose to be emailed to let you know when it can be checked out or you can choose to automatically have it checked out to you when it’s ready.
Pro Tip: Libraries have limits on the number of eBooks you can have checked out at once. To take full advantage of using the digital library, you can sign in on more than one library card in your household.
You can also get library cards from other libraries. If you are a New York State resident, you can apply for a New York Public Library card and they allow ten eBook loans at once (as opposed to our community library which is three).
The great thing about doing library business with your Kindle is that when the due date arrives, it simply returns automatically.
No more panicked moments.
No more fines.
Use Family Share to be a Kindle Pro
Let’s suppose you have a house full of Kindles, but they aren’t on the same account.
But, you want to share content.
Within the last year Amazon has added Family Sharing. You can:
- Share your content with other family members– they can see your books, audio books, and news stand items along with apps.
- Other family members can share their content with you– you’ll see extras in your account from them.
Pro Tip: Switch accounts- if you have Kindles on separate accounts and you want them to be all on the same account, you can do that too. You can deactivate your Kindle and sign it on to another account any time. Just remember that you’ll need to do the family sharing in order to see the content on the account you leave behind.
Know Your Prime Member Benefits to be a Kindle Pro
Are you a Prime member at Amazon? If so, then you have some special Kindle privileges. We recently finally took the plunge into the world of Prime and the first thing I did was seek out my Kindle perks.
- Borrow Kindle books– You can purchase a book for “free” each month. Which is really an indefinite borrowing.
- Choose from books available in Prime Reading– There are books and excerpts available all the time for temporary reading.
- Prime Reading– Allows you to browse and read magazines. These change with some frequency, but there are always some available.
- Audible Channels– As a Prime member, you can listen in on the new Audible channels which are essays, excerpts, etc from Audible. Think listening radio based on your preferences.
- Amazon Video– Some folks become Prime members to take advantage of the video streaming. But, maybe you weren’t thinking about streaming it on your Kindle Fire or your Kindle app. Psst… You can do that!
Pro Tip: Amazon Household- You can share your Prime account with your household and that includes Prime benefits like Kindle books.
The thing I love best about my Kindle is being able to take so many books everywhere I go. But, sometimes it’s nice to have the easy reference of a print version.
Now that you know the 6 Awesome Things. You can flip through your books, refer to your highlights, and even review them daily. Just like reading a “real” book.
Like a Pro.
More Pro Tips from Blog, She Wrote
How to Homeschool with a Kindle– More ways to use a Kindle if you homeschool.
Managing the Internet in Your Home– Use your router to filter content and control access to the internet for all these devices you have (excluding phones).
How to Make a YouTube Playlist– Curate the video content for your kids.
Learn about other Homeschooling Gems from Amazon from the iHN bloggers.