Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
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Rated: E · Column · Self Help · #1877141
Write on your PC, load onto your Kindle, and read.
(Written by a teacher)

So you’ve asked for a Kindle for your birthday or Christmas. Maybe you are getting one from your Professor. Here are a couple of things you can do while you wait.

1. Go ahead and make yourself an http://www.amazon.com account. You can set it up to pay from a credit card, your debit card or even PayPal. It is free and you will need one to use your new Kindle. Write down your password.

2. You can also make a file folder on your computer and name it Kindle. You might want to name it if you have other Kindles in the family. Then go to http:// www.gutenberg.com There are hundreds of searchable books here for free. Save the ones you like to the file you just made. Later, when your Kindle arrives, you just plug it in and drag the books you saved into your Kindle’s document folder. Not only are these books free, you can copy and distribute them in the United States for free as long as you do not edit them. The Gutenberg Project is awesome and always looking for volunteers. You can use these books for creation of derivative works, reports, performances, even research. Just read the disclaimer that comes with every book.

Unpacking your Kindle

Your Kindle cord comes in two pieces. One end goes into your Kindle. The other end plugs into any outlet to charge. You will see this message:

“You cannot use your Kindle while charging.”

A green light means you are good to go. A red light means it is still charging. If you remove the end from the cord that you have plugged into the wall, you will see that it also fits into your computer for charging or downloading when you do not have access to high speed. It will stay charged for about a month. You can make it last even longer between charging if you go to your menu button and turn off your wireless when not using it. Remember to put the end of the cord (the head) that you removed in a safe place when not in use. A friend of mine has already lost her end and she just charges from the computer.

A Cover for Your Kindle

You may want a cover for your Kindle. Amazon has several choices. They make a leather one ($25) in pink or black. Some have credit card and ID and cash pockets like a wallet. Some fold into a stand and some even have a light for nighttime reading. You can also purchase many skins from Amazon, which are just custom-designed flashy ($20) stickers for the front and back to relieve the boring gray color of the basic Kindle. If you know of anyone who sells “31” purses, ask them about their notepad cover that fits a Kindle well if it has no leather cover. You just slide it inside. “31” embroideries whatever you want such as “Patricia’s Kindle” on it and they come in various patterns to match your purse, etc.

What to do First

Here are some of the many features. Check them out.

This button lets you choose to let your Kindle read out loud on select stories. You can rotate the screen from portrait to landscape. You can change the font from Big to Little. You can choose a typeface and how many words per line.

Getting Your First Book.

Try a free one at first. Log in to Amazon on any computer using your account information. Find the “Register your Kindle” button. Register your Kindle per instructions. It’s fast and easy. Your Kindle has all the information you will need and you can access the info by navigating to the pre-loaded Kindle guide called “Transferring your Kindle Content.”

You can shop for books two ways.

If you have wireless, just click the

Button and Shop in Kindle Store. Make sure you click Turn on Wireless. Pick a free book here or go to the website on your computer and purchase a free one. They will check you out just like when you buy one that is not free but the price will be zero. They will send you an email to tell you of the purchase (handy when you have grandkids so I know how much they spend). If you are just looking, however, and you lay down your Kindle, and then pick it back up, be careful not to touch the side navigation buttons or you might accidentally order one you do not want. I ordered a $13 one and I called them and told them I had ordered it accidentally. They refunded it immediately. They are usually very easy to work with.

If you have high speed, and you order a book, it will be delivered in less than a minute, provided your Kindle is turned on. Amazon keeps a copy of everything you order on their website under your electronic purchases. If you lose your Kindle, and buy a new one, you can go to the account you set up and get all your files you purchased put on your new Kindle for no cost because you have already paid for them. If you don’t have high speed, you can download purchases (into that Kindle file you created earlier on your computer) and have them saved to your computer. Then you plug your Kindle into your computer and drag your new purchases into your Kindle document folder and begin reading. Even with dial-up, the download did not take long.

You can register up to five Kindles in your name. Everything you purchase can be read by all five Kindles as long as they continue to be registered to the same person. If you multiple Kindles in your family under multiple names, you can sometimes (not always) loan a book on your Kindle to a friend for two weeks, so they can read it on their Kindle. You cannot load a book you purchased onto a friend’s Kindle, however. It doesn’t work. I ordered “Water for Elephants” ($13) and had to do without my Kindle for two weeks while my husband read it because I did not want to purchase it twice, and the “Loan” button on Amazon would not work for me. I think it was an Amazon website glitch, however, and not a Kindle glitch. (He does not want his Kindle registered under my name because he thinks I have too many history books. Vice versa, he has too many Warwick Deeping books.)


Anything you don’t want to read right now can be stored in your “My Archives” file. You can retrieve them whenever you want, as long as you have high speed, in just a second.

What Else?

If you have a homework assignment on your computer that you have done in MSWord, you can save it as a PDF and load it onto your Kindle. Be sure and save it as a Word.doc (or Word.docx) on your computer first, however because PDF’s cannot be altered or edited. PDF stand for Protected Document Format. If your document has a watermark, it will show up on the PDF and even on your Kindle. You will need to rotate the screen because you cannot change the font size of a PDF, and it will be easier to read if you landscape it. It will be listed in your Kindle menu just like a book. If you lose your Kindle, however, you own files are not backed up by Amazon, so keep a copy on your computer for your Professor.

You Kindle turns itself off after a while of un-use to save power.

You can play music files and some have a headphone hole, but please, even though it can hold 35,000 books, do not use it as a giant MP3 player. You already have one of those.

Your Kindle can be password protected, (again, did I mention Grandkids) but write it down so you don’t forget. Choose a short word, as I dislike mine because it is too long. After you type in the password you chose, hit the space bar at the bottom and then the round key with the crooked arrow pointing to the left. Then hit the big square middle of the navigation key.

You have a symbol key to help you type symbols and numbers. You can leave it pulled up even while you type regular letters. Press it again to make it disappear.

You can download books sometimes in the picture version or the non-picture version. It is the same story, but non-picture versions take up less room.

As you read, when you come to a word, click on it and the built-in dictionary will give you the definition. You can highlight sections and view them later. You can clip sections and view them by using the menu button and navigating to the “My Clippings” or “My Notes” section.

You can search for words just like a computer. Did you know that the word “cigarette” appears in The Dollmaker 44 times!

After you feel comfortable, you can download to your computer a free reading App from Amazon for your computer or Smart Phone. It will allow you to access your Kindle files (provided you have wireless) anywhere, even when you do not have your Kindle, (but just the Amazon ones) because it pulls them up from your Amazon account and this service is also free. I actually like reading them on my computer and then when my computer is hooked to my overhead, I can share books with my class, even if I forgot my Kindle at home.

Other Notes

If you order a book and it does not appear on your Kindle in a reasonable amount of time, do not panic. Go to Amazon and check your electronic locker. You can tell it to resend it through Whisper Net (the air) or re-load it to your computer and then put it on your computer manually. It is not lost if you bought it. Amazon knows where it is and soon you will too. (And you never need to re-purchase it.)

Other Uses

Great purchases for under $3.00

1. Notepad

2. Every Word (A fun Game, cost $0)

3. Grimm’s Fairytales (will read to your children a bedtime story out loud)

4. Various types of calendars and agendas. I found out I was born on a


5. Entire King James Bible (free from Gutenberg)

6. The complete Writings of Abraham Lincoln (97 cents)

Mostly, have fun. Mark Twain once said (I know this because I read it on my Kindle): “He who has good books and does not read them has no advantage over he who cannot read.” I would like to modernize this by saying

“He who has a Kindle and does to read it has no advantage over he who does not own one.” So, read to your heart’s content.

Hint for Teenage Grandchildren:

Always tell your grandmother before ordering a book for their Kindle. (Even as a birthday surprise!) They can always go to their Amazon Account and remove it if they do not want it but they still have to pay for it, so, buy responsibly.

Have a good day and read on.

© Copyright 2012 chickpea a.k.a. Patricia Syner (chickpea at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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