How does the Kindle work? So, with the help of this guide, you’ll be able to simply purchase, set up, and choose books to read on your Amazon Kindle e-reader. As the top-selling item on Amazon, the Kindle is an e-reader that allows you to access books, magazines, newspapers, and other content.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably just bought a Kindle and want to start reading books on it, but what exactly is a Kindle? This tutorial will answer that question and provide some suggestions for making the most of your gadget.
Because all Kindles since the first Paperwhite have essentially the same firmware, these methods should work for any model (as long as it’s not an original Kindle or Kindle DX). You can read our guide to the top Kindle devices here.
- Books purchased with your Amazon account are instantly added to your Kindle library and are ready to read.
- You can also upload e-books that you’ve purchased or downloaded from another website, but it’ll take a little more effort.
- Thousands of classic novels and other eligible items are available for free in Amazon’s library when you add them to your Kindle account.
If you’re still debating whether or not to buy a Kindle, we recommend reading our comprehensive Kindle comparison to learn more about the differences between models like the Kindle Oasis, Kindle Paperwhite, and the regular Kindle. Instead, read our comparison of Amazon Fire Tablets (previously the Kindle Fire) and Kindle e-readers.
What to Expect from the Kindle User Guide and Instructions
Kindles are relatively simple gadgets when compared to tablets. They’re designed to do one thing and one thing only: buy and read (or listen to) books, so there’s no clutter of features that get in the way. We’ll go over the basics and show you how to buy and read books on your own in this guide.
How to Set Up Your Kindle
Although it is quite simple to set up your Kindle for the first time, you must still go through an initial setup process, connect the device to a WiFi network, and register it with your Amazon account. We won’t go into too much detail here, but you can learn everything you need to know about getting your Kindle ready to go by visiting our Kindle Setup Guide.
How to Get Kindle Store E-books
The Kindle has a number of advantages over other e-readers, including direct integration with the Amazon store. Because Amazon has a near-monopoly on e-books, purchasing new titles and loading them onto your device is as straightforward as it gets.
For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll assume that your Kindle is already linked to an Amazon account with a working payment method. You can buy books for your Kindle from any device that has a web browser, but we’ll teach you how to do it on the Kindle.
Look for the book you want to purchase.
Enter the title of the book you want to buy into the search box at the top of your Kindle’s home screen.
Choose a book from the results.
Choose the correct book from the list of search results.
To purchase the book, simply click the button.
When you get to the book’s page, you’ll see a “purchase for” button next to the price. To continue, press the button.
Payment Methods and Payment
That’s it if you have “one-click purchase” enabled on your Amazon account. If you don’t, you’ll receive a summary of your purchase along with a list of Amazon payment methods. Select the card or account you wish to pay with (or create a new one) and press the “verify and pay now” button.
After you’ve purchased the book, you can read it on your Kindle e-reader or on your phone, tablet, or computer using the free Kindle app (read our guide on how to read Kindle books on PC).
Where Can I Get Free eBooks?
You’re in luck if you’re looking for free e-books. On Amazon, more than 10,000 classic books are available for free. Simply “buy” them in the same way you would any other book, and they’ll appear in your Kindle library.
By signing up for the trial, you can try Kindle Unlimited for free for 30 days. It has a large number of books, but after the free trial ends, it costs $9.99 a month, so cancel Kindle Unlimited if you don’t want to pay. Learn all about it in our Kindle Unlimited guide, or browse Kindle Unlimited titles on Amazon.
In addition, Amazon Prime members have access to “Prime Reading,” which is essentially a condensed version of Kindle Unlimited with roughly 2,500 titles, including both books and magazine subscriptions (check out our guide to what Prime Reading is, as well as our Prime Reading vs Kindle Unlimited comparison).
Also, don’t forget about your trusty library. Many libraries have e-books that you can borrow just like a regular book if you register with your local library.
Of course, there are additional legally dubious ways to access free content, just as there are with any other medium. We’re not going to identify names, but a quick Google search should turn up a slew of free e-books. Once you have a file, you can add it to your Kindle device using the procedures below.
How to Use Your Kindle to Read eBooks
This stage is as simple as it gets if you bought the book you wish to read directly from Amazon’s store. Books obtained from any other source, on the other hand, require a little more effort, so we’ll go over both methods, starting with how to read books purchased from Amazon.
Reading Kindle Books on Amazon
- Reading books downloaded from the Amazon shop is really simple.
Go to your Kindle’s library section.
When you first turn on your Kindle, you are sent to the “home” page. To see your list of books, simply click the “library” button at the bottom of the screen.
- Select Your Reading Material
If you’ve recently acquired the book, it should be at the top of your shelf. If not, scroll down until you see the book and tap it. This will open the book and allow you to begin reading immediately.
Kindle books that aren’t from Amazon
As previously said, reading books that you’ve purchased or acquired from other sources takes a little more effort. You have two choices for getting the file onto your Kindle.
You have two options:
Send the file to your device directly using your Kindle email address, or
Connect it to a computer via a USB cable and manually transfer the file.
We’ll go over the latter option here, but if you’d rather do it that way, see our article on how to send books to your Kindle email.
The first step is to ensure that your e-book is in a format that is compatible with Kindle devices. This eliminates the possibility. EPUB files are extremely common. Your digital books should be in the MOBI or AZW format instead. Our ePUB versus MOBI guide explains more about e-book guidelines.
Although Kindles can read PDF files, they aren’t designed for Amazon’s e-readers. Check out our e-book format instructions if you need to convert your digital books before continuing.
With that out of the way, we’ll move on to the next step, assuming you’ve already prepared your Kindle-compatible e-book file.
Connecting a Computer to Your Kindle
To begin, connect your Kindle to a computer’s USB port with either a micro-USB connection or a USB-C connector, depending on the Amazon Kindle edition you have.
To access your Kindle, launch File Explorer or Finder.
Once connected, your Kindle should display as an external device in the file explorer or finder (depending on your operating system). To see the folder structure, open it.
Upload E-books to Your Kindle
On your Kindle, go to the “docs” folder and drag and drop your e-book files there. The next time you open your Kindle, your books will appear in the library.
How to Use Your Kindle
That concludes our basic guide to using Kindle devices. We recommend a Kindle Unlimited subscription now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals and have your device up and running. Kindle Unlimited Books is a terrific value since it gives you access to enough books to satisfy anyone’s reading needs, regardless of their reading habits. You can get rid of Kindle DRM and distribute your books freely.
What were your thoughts on our Kindle directions? Do you have digital content loaded on your new Kindle, or is there something that still has you wondering How does the Kindle work? Please let us know in the comments section below and thank you for reading.
Nothing lasts forever, although it is theoretically possible. When you buy a Kindle book, it goes into your library and stays there indefinitely. You can download it to many devices, and all your books will be saved in the cloud even if you lose your current device.
The Kindle device itself does not have a monthly cost. For $9.99 per month, you can get access to a large library of books through the Kindle Unlimited subscription program.
Most Kindle books are not free, but some are. Older works and classics are frequently free, and Amazon’s “affordable reads for Kindle” category contains over 10,000 free or low-cost books.