Kindle Thoughts – Part 2

Kindle Features


The best feature, IMO, of ebooks is the ability to search text to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. Kindle not only lets you search the book, but also your notes. Pretty handy. Maybe not as much for a piece of fiction, but when you’re reading books for school or work, this is an awesome feature.

Readability Features

Kindle allows you to change the way you see the text on the screen. There are settings for brightness, text size, background color, font, margins, spacing and alignment. One of the things I like about Kindle is that I can read it outside without getting a glare from the sun. As I tend to not want to turn pages every 10 seconds, I opt for smaller print and wider margins. One of the features in this section is background color. Kindle gives you white, black, sepia and green. Black is great for reading in the dark – on an airplane, for example. Sepia is a teeny bit easier on my eyes than white, but that’s also with the brightness turned way up, which eats battery. Caveat emptor. I also have a Barnes & Noble Nook app, but use it far less than I do the Kindle. One of the things I really liked about the Nook was the background color called butter. The latest version of the app doesn’t have that color. Shame.

Notes and Highlights

Notes and highlights are handy when reading ebooks. I hadn’t really thought of doing either when reading fiction, but sometimes I find a phrase or concept I want to remember for later. Highlighting that text in the book allows me to hang onto that note. As long as I own the book and don’t want to remove it from my library, I’m good.

I can retrieve these notes in the device, the apps or via the web, and email them to myself, or anyone else, directly from the device or the apps.

When you email them from the Android App, you’re given the choice of style to format the notes. If you’re working on a research paper, the format of these notes might be important. In looking for the nuances in style, I found the Citation Machine website, which not only explains the styles, but will also check your paper for grammatical mistakes and plagiarism for a fee. In today’s collegiate climate where plagiarism is rampant, I’d probably buy such a service to ensure that my paper was correctly cited and didn’t get me kicked out of school for missing anything.

Note: There are sometimes updates to ebooks in your account. If you’ve read the book and have taken notes, made bookmarks or highlighted text, all of this information will be deleted when the book is updated. If you want to keep the notes and update the book, I’d recommend shipping yourself a copy of the notes before you do the update so that you have them.


In the Kindle Apps, the next function is to recommend the book you’re reading from inside the book. Of the choices given, it’s interesting, if not a bit odd, that Goodreads is missing from the list.


This is a feature I don’t really use. It’s a reference tool that allows you to access information about a book that’s been pre-loaded with the book so that you don’t have to be online to use it. Things like Wikipedia articles, information about people/characters, definitions and a picture of the cover. It’s also possible, through X-Ray, to translate text or listen to music files you’ve transferred to the device.

Flashcard Decks

Another feature I’ve not really used, but I could see it being really helpful if you were reading a textbook on Kindle.


These are the same bookmarks you’d use to find your place in a print book.

Kindle Reading App

The Kindle App was updated while I was thinking about what to put in this post.

The bottom bar is the most significant change, IMO.

Updates to Kindle app 10/17

Official Amazon Apps

There are currently 25 official Amazon Apps in the Google Play Store. I use apps for shopping, games, Kindle, Audible, Music, Video and Drive (cloud storage) on my tablet and phone. I use Kindle, Audible and Drive on my laptops. Every time you install one of these apps on your phone, tablet or computer, there is a connection created in the Amazon Devices List. Amazon numbers these devices, so if you don’t realize this and you go off and install these apps on all of your devices, pretty soon you won’t know what’s what. And… the descriptions aren’t always clear enough for you to know which one is for the shopping app and which one is for something else like the Kindle app. Isn’t that groovy?

It’s not the worst thing in the world to have to go and deregister all of them and start over so that you can rename them as you add them. It’s not necessary to do so, either. If you choose to do so, and depending on how many you have (I now have 14 total in my list), it’s just time consuming and I have better things to do with my time.

Kindle App for Android

I started reading books on my tablet app long before I bought an actual Kindle. For the most part, the apps are great for reading. There are a few features missing, and I get why Amazon left them out of the mobile apps. These features aren’t the main reason I bought a Kindle, though. I decided to try one because reading on my tablet was burning my eyes out of my head.

App Features that are Different from the Device

  1. Notes and Highlights. You can highlight portions of text and take notes while reading in the mobile and desktop apps. Exporting them is different in all three.
    1. Android App: Tap the Notebook icon on the top menu. Tap the share icon at the top right of the page. Choose Export Notebook at the bottom left of the page. A dialog will open titled, “Export All Items from Notebook.” It is followed by 4 radio buttons for the style to apply to the notes.
      1. APA Style – this is a style developed by the American Psychological Association for academic institutions. There are two types of citations: in-text (or parenthetical citations) and complete reference citations.
      2. Chicago Style – The Chicago Manual of Style uses 1). Notes and Bibliography and 2). Author-Date to notate a paper or book.
      3. MLA Style – The Modern Language Association is an organization that was created to develop guidelines on everything language and literature related.
      4. None (No style) –
    2. Desktop App (Windows): On the left menu, there is a Notebook icon similar to the one in the Android App. Once you click the icon, you’ll get a dialog telling you that you have noted x% of the document’s allowed notes, which is set by the publisher.




About Pink Ribbon Road

This blog is about receiving and living with a breast cancer diagnosis.
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