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10 Amazon Kindle tips and tricks guaranteed to make you a pro user
The Amazon Kindle e-reader is part of a rare breed of devices that is extremely simple to get started with. The e-reader comes with your Amazon account pre-configured, so all you have to do is turn it on and get reading. But don’t let the simplistic interface fool you — the Kindle ships with a fairly robust toolset for the power user too. Here are ten Amazon Kindle tips and tricks to help maximize what you can do with your e-reader.
Read more: Five features I love about Kindle readers
Add more dictionaries to the Kindle
Reading is widely considered the best way to learn a language, and Kindle readers open up doors to more books than you could possibly read. Having studied French in high school, I decided to dive deep into French literature a few years ago to brush up on my vocabulary. However, jumping between my Kindle and a dictionary app to look up new words was frustrating. That’s when I discovered that Amazon lets you add additional dictionaries. Here’s how to do that:
- Head to the Library tab and set the Kindle to display all books.
- Scroll down or swipe to the Dictionaries collection and select one of the 46 options available.
- Tap your dictionary of choice and let it download.
- You can now change your dictionary under Language and Dictionaries in the settings menu.
Turn off Amazon’s home screen recommendations
Part of the reason why the Kindle lineup is so affordable is that Amazon offsets the hardware’s cost with earnings from its e-book store. It’s no surprise then that the company goes out of its way to promote up-and-coming titles that the algorithm thinks you’ll enjoy. Personally, I like my Kindle to be a highly curated experience, complete with a virtual bookshelf of sorts. Turns out, you can easily switch off the home screen recommendations to achieve just that.
- From the home screen, tap the three dots at the top and head into Settings.
- Tap Device Options and head into Advanced Settings.
- Under Home and Library Settings, toggle off Home Screen View.
Identify your e-reader: Which Kindle do I have?
Create collections to organize books better
I’m a big fan of science fiction and fantasy anthologies that span multiple, and sometimes even a dozen or so books. Organizing these books, however, can be quite a tough task. By default, the Kindle will simply present you with a list or bookshelf of titles that can be scrolled through. If you, like me, are in the habit of taking a break with a different book while reading through a series, you will notice that the library view mixes up all the books. Kindle Collections come in clutch to ensure that relevant titles stay together in one place. Here’s an easy Amazon Kindle tip to quickly create a collection of Kindle books, genres, or any other categorization you might want:
- Tap the three dots under the library view.
- Tap Create New Collection.
- You can now add any books you want to the collection.
Schedule warm light mode
I swear by the warm light mode on my Kindle Oasis. It goes a long way towards creating a comfortable reading atmosphere. My personal preference is to let the Kindle do its thing based on sunset and sunrise times. Amazon also lets you create custom schedules to customize the warmth of the display. (Similarly, did you know that the Kindle includes a complete dark mode as well? I’ve never found it particularly useful for long-form reading, but the option is there if you need it.)
- Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap Schedule Brightness under warmth settings.
- You can now select the automatic schedule or decide on a manual schedule.
- You can even set a custom warmth setting.
Flip pages without losing your position
Reading long anthologies also means often having to go back to keep a track of story arcs or the nitty-gritty details of a conversation. A few years ago, Amazon added the ability to flip pages without losing your reading progress. Dubbed Kindle Page Flip, the feature lets you, well, flip pages and then bounce back to your current reading position. Here’s how it works:
- Swipe up from your book.
- Use the slider at the bottom to jump chapters or use the forward and back buttons to flip pages.
- Tap the location or page marker at the bottom right corner to head back to your reading position.
Set your current book cover as a screensaver
I hacked my Kindle Keyboard several years ago just to be able to use a custom book-themed wallpaper when in standby mode. Thankfully, it is a whole lot easier now. Last year, Amazon added the ability to set your current book’s cover as the standby wallpaper and it couldn’t be easier to set up. Here’s how:
- Make sure you have an ad-free Kindle.
- Head to Device Options under All Settings.
- Tap the Show Cover option to display the cover of your current book as the lock screen wallpaper.
Display the time while reading a book
It’s easy to lose track of time when engrossed in a book. A handy feature tucked away under settings can ensure that it doesn’t happen. While I’m surprised that Amazon doesn’t ship the Kindle with the clock enabled by default, it is just a toggle away. Here’s one of the simplest Amazon Kindle tips we can offer: how to enable the clock on your e-reader.
- Swipe down while in your current book.
- Tap the A button that lets you adjust font sizes. Tap the More button.
- Toggle on Show Clock While Reading to display the time at the top of the display while you are reading.
Display Kindle Notes and Highlights on Goodreads
Amazon-operated Goodreads is an excellent platform to find new books to read, look up reviews, or even keep up with various reading challenges. While the Kindle’s integration with Goodreads isn’t quite perfect, the e-reader can easily sync up notes and highlights with the platform, provided you’ve bought the book from Amazon. Interested in sharing your notes with the Goodreads community? Here’s how to do it:
- Head on over to Goodreads.com and connect your Amazon account with it under Account Settings.
- Now head on over to the Kindle Notes & Highlights section.
- Highlights from all your Kindle books should now show up under the settings.
- You can now selectively share any notes that you might want.
Secure your Kindle with a passcode
It isn’t hard to imagine a scenario where a toddler might pick up your Kindle and accidentally flip through a few pages. Or perhaps you want to keep your reading habits private. Whatever the reason, this passcode tip can come in really handy to keep your Kindle tightly locked up. Here’s how to set up a passcode on the Kindle:
- Tap the three buttons along the top edge of the Kindle’s interface and head into settings.
- Now tap Device Options.
- Tap the Device Passcode option to set and confirm a passcode.
Our verdict: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review
Clear up storage on your Kindle
Unless you are a compulsive hoarder of books, there’s very little chance that you’ve exhausted the storage on your Kindle. However, if you like to keep your e-reader neat and tidy, you can use the quick archive option to remove books that you haven’t opened in a while.
- Head to Settings and tap Storage Management under Advanced Settings.
- Tap the Quick Archive option.
- You can now remove content from the Kindle based on when it was last opened.
Are there any other interesting Amazon Kindle tips and tricks we should know about? Let us know in the comments section.