Kindle is my ebook reader app of choice. I like my professional development, cooking, and other nonfiction books in a digital text format so that I can make annotations that are easily accessible for use in other contexts (blog posts, Evernote, etc). I do own a Kindle, but actually use the Kindle app on my iPad more frequently. When it comes to stories, those fiction books that I read for enjoyment, I typically enjoy those in a digital audio format to give my eyes a break. But that’s another post.
Kindle includes a wonderful feature that allows you to access on your computer the highlights and notes you’ve made while reading Kindle ebooks (only works with books purchased from Amazon), either on your Kindle or when using the Kindle App on another mobile device. I like that I can get my notes/thoughts out of Kindle where I can further process, utilize, and share them. I also like that I can add notes to my highlights on my computer via the Your Highlights webpage. This is one of the reasons I prefer the Kindle app over iBooks.
Sharing annotations: You can choose to make your highlights and notes public for a particular book, which means other people who follow you can see them. Currently our team of instructional specialists is doing a book study of Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning. I’ve chosen to share my notes for this book publicly. This means anyone “following me” on Kindle can see my annotations, if they so choose, while reading the book on a Kindle device. Since I read mostly on the iPad, I’m disappointed that this features is limited only to actual Kindle devices.
Sharing Books Read: In addition, at the kindle.amazon.com site, I can see the books (purchased at Amazon) being reading (if they’ve set them to public) by the people that I follow. My followers can see the books that I’m reading which I’ve set to public. I’m just getting started with the following of people on Kindle. I can see that it could be a great way to get book recommendations.
To get started, in your browser navigate to kindle.amazon.com. Click the Guest link at the top and log in with the Amazon account associated with your Kindle/Kindle App.
Finding Readers to Follow: I choose to link my Twitter account because that helped me find people that I can follow at Kindle. (Be aware that it also automatically posts to your Twitter account new books being read which are set to public.) You don’t have to link either of these accounts.
You can also use the search field to locate other Kindle users to follow. It’s been my experience that if they’ve just recently set up their Kindle Profile it may take 24 hours or so before they will show up in search results.
Setting Books and Annotations to Public: You can set book to public by clicking the Your Books link and choosing which books you want to go public by checking the appropriate boxes.
From the iPad Kindle App I can not access the Kindle store to purchase more books. So I was glad when Amazon published the Kindle Store for iPad, not an app but a webpage formatted for access on the ipad to be used for purchasing Kindle books. I accessed this webpage in Safari and used Send to>Add to Home Screen to create a button on one of my screens for quick access. I can click the Buy button and choose to read the book in the browser or in the Kindle App. I especially like the option to download a sample of a book before I purchase.
Sending Documents to Kindle
Occasionally I have a free PDF book or lengthy article that was not purchased from Amazon that I want to read and annotate. I prefer to access this document via Kindle so that I can read the document on various devices, syncing bookmarks, annotations, etc. between each. Below are 3 methods you can use to add documents to your Kindle or Kindle App.
Send to Kindle: This free Windows software allows you to send a document from your computer to your Kindle, or any of your devices running a Kindle app, with just one click. From Windows Explorer, right click on one or more documents and choose “Send to Kindle.” Or, from any application that can print, select Print and choose “Send to Kindle” as your printer (documents are delivered in PDF format). If the document is a supported file type, your furthest page read, bookmarks, notes and annotations, and highlights will be synced.
Email Attachments: Amazon provides you with email addresses for each of your registered devices to use to send documents to your Kindle or a device with the Kindle app. For example, if I want to send a document to my Kindle Fire, I address an email to jgarton_19@Kindle.com and attach the document. If I want to send a document to the Kindle app on my iPad, I address an email to jgarton_84@Kindle.com and attach the document. To find the Kindle email addresses for your devices, go to Amazon’s “Manage Your Kindle” page and click “Personal Documents” in the list on the left. Kindle will accept documents only from the email addresses you’ve authorized. At the bottom of this same webpage you can edit your authorized email addresses. There are limitations on file size, number of attachments, supported file tips, etc which you can read about on the Kindle Personal Documents Service Help webpage.
USB Transfer: You can also transfer personal documents from your computer to your Kindle by connecting it with a USB cable. The Kindle Personal Documents Service Help webpage has directions for how to do this.
Lending Your Books
You can lend a book you’ve purchased from Amazon one time, for a 14 day period. You will not be able to read that book during those 14 days. Product details will show if a book provides lending rights (Lending: Enabled.) You can loan books to someone without a Kindle because they can use the free Kindle Reading Apps to access the book on a computer, tablet, or smart phone. See Amazon’s Lending Kindle Books help webpage for the details. I have not tried out this feature yet.
There is a wide selection of free books available for the Kindle. If you are a member of Amazon Prime and own a Kindle device you have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library from which you can borrow 1 book a month for free with no due date. There are other numerous sites where you can get additional ebooks for free.
Have a good Kindle tips to share?