A Guide to The Amazon Kindle

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. Books can be downloaded within just 60 seconds.
  2. As many as 3,500 books can be stored on the Kindle Keyboard, with even standard Kindles able to hold 1,400 books.
  3. Kindles can be used to read downloaded magazines, blogs, newspapers and personal documents as well as books.
  4. Built-in Wi-Fi means you can get online and download new reading material while on the move.
  5. Battery life is as long as two months, thanks to the energy efficiency of the e-ink system.
  6. Archiving items on the Amazon homepage after purchasing them means you can download them even when you’re not online.
  7. After reading this you can see the latest Kindles from Amazon here Latest Amazon Kindle Prices .
  8. Allows you to take as many books on holiday with you as you want, meaning you don’t have to factor them into your luggage allowance when you book flights.


The Kindle is a leading e-book reader, developed by the online retailer Amazon and first launched in 2007.

Quite simply, the device allows users to shop online for, download, browse and read electronic books, as well as newspapers, magazines and blogs.

The Kindle can also be used as an MP3 player, either to play ‘books on tape’ or music files, which can also be downloaded within seconds.

Technical Specifications

Display Specs: The Kindle boasts a six-inch screen, with Amazon’s ‘E Ink’ technology allowing for extra clear text and sharp images.

The screen is not reduced by glare, while the lack of a back light makes the Kindle super energy-efficient. (If you wish to read it in the dark, you can purchase an attachable reading light.) Text can be displayed in three different sizes.

Memory: As of winter 2011, the standard Kindle has sufficient memory to hold up to 1,400 books, while the top-of-the-range Kindle Keyboard can hold around 3,500 books.

Battery Life: The battery life of a standard Kindle is around one month, based on half an hour reading each day, while the Kindle Keyboard can last for two months without needing recharging. Going online, however, drains the battery much faster than simply reading.

Getting Online

If you wish to download new reading material, then you will need to make use of your Kindle’s wireless internet capabilities – though note you don’t have to be online to read an e-book!

So, from your home screen, select the ‘Turn Wireless’ option on the main menu.

To set up a new network connection, choose ‘Wi-Fi Settings’ and select the one you wish to connect to and enter the password if one is required.

Once these details have been entered, click ‘submit’ and the Kindle will connect to the network, with connectivity strength illustrated in the top right hand corner of the screen.

You can now get busy downloading new books and articles.

Downloading New Material

You can either download new material directly from your Kindle, or else browse and purchase it on another device and get it sent to your e-book reader.

From your Kindle

The easiest way of getting a new book onto your Kindle is to get online and then access the Amazon store using your e-reader.

So, from the main welcome page of your Kindle, select the ‘Shop in Kindle Store’, and you will then be able to browse tens of thousands of titles.

You can use the simple search function to look for books by title or author, while Amazon may also recommend titles for you based on past purchases.

Use the ‘Page Forward’ and ‘Page Back’ buttons to scroll through the store and then simply click on a title you fancy and then select ‘Buy’.

The e-book will start downloading automatically – assuming you have enough credit on your account, that is – and will appear on your home screen once this is complete.

From Elsewhere

You can also purchase books on another device, such as your home and work computer, and then have them ‘delivered’ onto your Kindle.

To do this, just browse the Amazon site as normal then, after selecting the ‘Buy Now’ option choose to have the book delivered to your Kindle.

Note that you will have to be logged into your own Amazon account and have registered your Kindle for this to work.

If there’s a slight delay, select the ‘Sync and Check for Items’ on the Kindle menu and Amazon will check to see what is waiting for you and start downloading them right away.

This is also the best way to download magazines or to subscribe to a publication.

Transferring Files via USB

Your Kindle will come with a single cable that serves as both a power lead and a USB cable. So, to connect your e-reader to a laptop or desktop computer and then to download files you should:

  • Plug the bigger end of the USB cable into your computer’s USB port and the other end into the micro-USB port you will find at the bottom of your Kindle.
  • Your Kindle should then appear on your computer. Look for it where you would normally find an external USB drive.
  • Now, with your computer’s file browser open, simply drag and drop the files you want into your Kindle. Remember, however, that it will only accept certain types of files, so you may need to re-format some material before you can transfer it.
  • Once you have transferred – or removed – the material you want, be sure to eject your Kindle safely so as to avoid losing any data.

Making Notes

As well as reading, you can also use your Kindle to add notes, highlight passages and bookmark pages of text. This is very simple and straightforward.

Kindle Software on Other Platforms


Home Computers and Laptops

The Kindle software that allows you to download and read books in digital format is not actually dependent on owning a kindle device. You can use the software on your laptop, Mac or home computer, without even owning a kindle.

Of course, reading entire books of your computer screen may be less convenient than the portable kindle (and more of a strain on your eyes) it is, nonetheless, a great resource to have.

If you already have a Kindle you’ll be able to use the same account to access on your computer, meaning you can get at them on your PC should you need to. You can even sync your bookmarks so that, if you read a few pages off the computer, then pick up your kindle again, it’ll automatically move you on to where you left off.

If you are using a PC you will need windows XP, Vista or 7 to be able to use the software. You can download Kindle for pc for free here.

If you use a Mac, it’ll need to have the OS 10.6 operating system or higher. You can download kindle Mac for freehere.

Mobile Devices

You can also download Kindle software for use on mobile devices and, whilst they may not be optimised to give quite the same quality of reading experience as an actual kindle, it does mean you can access your library on the go, using your phone, Mp3 player or I-pad.

The kindle app is available form apple’s app store for use on the I-pad, and I-phone as well as I-pod touch models using iOS 3.2 OR higher. You have a smartphone from Windows or Android you can also download the Kindle application. OS 2.2 or higher is required for Android, 1.0 for the Windows Phone.

Further Reading

  • Though the name Kindle is synonymous with E-reader’s there others available such as Sony’s Reader.
  • Stuck for something to read? Check out the Booker Prize site to see their recommendations.
  • More of a music fan than a literature buff? You to can access an online library of material- for free! Read our guide to Spotify to find out more.

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