The Amazon Kindle is one of the more popular of the e-readers, but by no means one of the first. That distinction belongs to the Rocket eBook and the Softbook introduced in 1998, with the Kindle not appearing until 2007. Nevertheless, it is often best not to be first, and the Kindle ironed out many of the problems associated with previous machines. In taking the accolade of an ‘advancement’ in its field, any item of hardware will have introduced innovations and features that the general public might need help with, and here are ten hints and tips on how to get the best from your Kindle, although many of these also apply to other e-readers.
These do not refer to how to use the various buttons, or most other aspects of the Kindle that you will learn by reading the Instructions, but they are things that you would only find out through using the device. 1. Read the Instruction Manual Many technophiles are so confident that they don’t ever need to read the manual. However, many of the problems people come across with their Kindle could have been avoided had they done just that, and had ‘lowered’ themselves to ‘read the instructions’!
That’s what they are there for. However, given that you have done that, here are some other tips for using the Amazon Kindle, most of which are not mentioned in the instructions. 2. Free eBooks to Read You can get free books from the public domain – in fact over 300,000 of them. Among them are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Grimm’s Dairy Tales and many of Mark Twain’s, Charles Dickens’s and William Shakespeare’s works. You can even download the Declaration of Independence free of charge.
Some of these are available on Kindle’s own free library, from where you can download selected books using 3G, and because it is an Amazon site, the format is ideal for your Kindle. Project Gutenberg contains a massive selection of eBooks: that is what it was designed for. To render them compatible with the Kindle, just download them in .mobi format. As it is noted in the article “A Review of Websites About eReaders and eBooks“, not all of these books are in the public domain, so make sure that you read the copyright license inside the eBook and adhere to its requirements when using it (Digital Book Readers).
There are others useful sites, such as Kindlepedia that will change any Wikipedia page into an eBook for your Kindle. 3. Avoiding Image Burn As with most screen displays, your Kindle screen can suffer from image burn from static text. This can occur if you leave the same page up for any length of time, but there is a way to protect your screen. You can’t use a screensaver (yet), but if you refresh the screen by clicking Alt+G then you can resolve the problem.
4. Using Kindle Shortcuts The Kindle offers you a number of shortcuts. Here are some of the more useful: Alt+T displays the current time. Alt+P will play MP3 files you have stored on an SD card. Alt+ F will go to the next MP3 on the list.