This past holiday season has pushed the sales of eReaders through the roof. With millions of units sold in 2010 alone, the eReader went from a niche market to a mainstream phenomenon. Leading the pack is the Amazon Kindle. If you are one of the nearly 3 million people who currently own one of these handy pieces of technology, here are a few insider tricks to get the most out of your Kindle.
Tucked away near the power button of the two most recent generations of the Kindle are a volume control and a headphone jack. These unobtrusive pieces of hardware are overlooked by a majority of Kindle owners who download literature, read literature, delete literature, rinse, and repeat. The Kindle is in fact a fully-functional MP3 player. Via a wireless network or through a cable, music can be downloaded to the Kindle within seconds. There will be no need to scour the internet for music coupons, as any iTunes or Windows Media library can become the soundtrack to every literature genre imaginable.
The Kindle makes reading quick, affordable, and ergonomic. It could not be easier to search Amazon’s massive database of games, periodicals, and novels for the perfect match. However, there is one area that many owners may overlook: the free section. As soon as the word freeis attached to something, many people turn tail and run from the oncoming mediocrity, but this is not so with Amazon’s vast collection. Public domain books have a wide range of international laws, but any piece of literature printed before 1923 is completely free. From Plutarch to Herman Melville, Kindle owners will receive access to the classics that have entertained us for generations.
So with my Kindle loaded with free classical books and my favorite collection of music, of course I am going to forget it at home the first time I step out the door. This is when Amazon’s most useful feature comes into play: the Kindle app. Amazon has released programs for computers, tablet PCs, and smartphones that can access the entire Amazon library from anywhere that has internet access. Kindle left under the bed? No problem, the free Kindle app available to nearly any smartphone can download the book within seconds at no extra charge. This means the same book can be read on my work computer, on my smartphone on the way home, and then on my Kindle when I get home.
Even with steep competition and a wide array of technological setbacks, the Kindle has a bright future. The sky is the limit as more and more publishers begin digitizing everything from textbooks to cookbooks on Amazon’s golden child.
==== About the Author ====
Beth C. is an avid Kindle user and does most of her music shopping with coupons from ValPak.