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The Amazon Kindle for Beginners

By Edited Aug 9, 2014 3 6

Amazon Kindle

and Kindle Accessories

Have you avoided buying a Kindle or similar e-reader because you do not feel as though you are comfortable enough using high tech gadgets? Are you afraid that you won't be able to figure it out, or that it will take you too long to learn how to use it? I'm a grandmother who recently purchased her first Kindle, charged it, downloaded this month's book club novel, and began reading it … all in the space of a couple of hours.  Here are my impressions.

The Amazon Kindle is Easy to Buy

You can get the Amazon Kindle at many different retailers and you can buy it online directly from Amazon.com.    If you want to see the full range of new Kindles that are currently available, use this direct link to Kindles on Amazon.com

The Amazon Kindle is Easy to Use

I have been amazed at how easy it is to use my new e-reader. I love the ability to quickly and easily enlarge the print to a size that I can see without my reading glasses. The pages are easy to turn and, if I want to go back to re-read a page. that is also easy.  It is also much lighter than a hard cover novel, which makes it comfortable for me to read while curled up on my recliner or in bed. I also like the fact that I can use it to read outdoors. Today we went to the beach and I was easily able to read the screen in the bright sunlight while wearing my sunglasses. That was a pleasant surprise!  I have also taken my Kindle to the beach in a clear plastic ziplock bag and read it right through the plastic.  Then, I didn't have to worry  about water or blowing sand getting on it!

There are Handy Kindle Accessories Available

One item that I purchased to go with my Amazon Kindle was the cover with light.  It was great, because it allows me to read in bed without disturbing my husband.  Here is a picture of the one I bought:

It also comes in a variety of colors, including pink, green, blue, brown and red, which is the color I chose!  There are also covers that do not have lights.

The Amazon Kindle User's Guide on the e-reader is Overwhelming

When you first turn on the Kindle, it will open to the User's Guide, which is sort of like your automobile's owners manual. It contains a lot more information than you will probably ever need to know. When I started to use my Kindle, I began reading the User's Guide very carefully. As it went on page after page, I began to read more rapidly until I just began to skim the chapter headings, stopping only when something actually caught my attention.

Unfortunately, Chapter Seven is the chapter which tells you how to register your Kindle so that you can begin downloading the books that you want. I read a long way into the User's Guide, before I saw the registration information. I think it should be moved up to Chapter Two. However, the separate Quick Guide gave me the information I needed much faster than the Kindle User's Guide. Thank goodness they also provided this printed brochure. You will want to read the printed Quick Guide as soon as you open the box.

On the other hand, I am glad that I did peruse the full length Kindle User's Guide, because it explained things in a lot of detail, gave me troubleshooting information, told me how to charge the Kindle, explained how to tell when it needed charging, as well as when the charge was complete. However, you can read the full-length User's Guide at your leisure. You don't need to read the entire thing the first day!

The Kindle's Quick Start Guide Makes Everything Easy

The printed Kindle Quick Start Guide certainly lives up to its name. It tells you everything you need to know to start using your Kindle in just a few minutes.

The Kindle Quick Start Guide also explains how to register your Kindle so you can quickly download books. If you have ordered other items in the past from Amazon.com, you probably already have an Amazon account. If you ordered the Kindle directly from Amazon, using your Amazon account, your Kindle will already be registered, and you will be able to immediately download a book. If you purchased the Kindle at a local store, such as Target, you will have to register it. Since I already had an Amazon.com account, it was as simple as entering my Amazon log-in information. After registering, I was ready to download a book. The Quick Start Guide gives you the five easy steps you need to follow for registration, and then explains how to order and read a book. This is really all you will normally need to know!

How I decided on a Kindle vs. an iPad or Notebook Computer

Before buying the Kindle, I agonized over whether I should purchase an iPad or a notebook computer, instead, to use as an e-reader. There were several things that helped me to decide on the Kindle. First, the Kindle was much less expensive than my other options. Second, I liked the fact that it was promoted as being much easier to use outdoors, and that was important to me. Third, I liked the fact that my new Kindle was coordinated with the Kindle on my iPhone. This means that when I download a book to my Kindle, it is also immediately available on my phone. Whenever I am caught sitting in a doctor's waiting room, or some other boring situation, I can open my iPhone's Kindle and begin reading right where I left off the last time I was reading my full-size Kindle. All together, these factors made the decision fairly easy for me.

Since I purchased my original Kindle, more models have become available, including the Fire which works more like an iPad and is not as easy to read outdoors. If it is important to you to read outside, you will want to get the basic e-reader, which sells for about $70.  If you want the versatility of the Fire, it is more competitive with the iPad.  You won't be able to read it as easily outside, but you will be able to search the internet and use it for similar purposes.  The Fire sells for about $270.  You can find them both, as well as other options, both new and used, by using this direct link to the Kindle on Amazon.com

The Kindle Battery Has a Long Life

When I did read the full-length Instruction Book that is built into the Kindle, I was stunned to learn that one battery charge on the basic e-reader could last up to a month. This was especially encouraging because the Kindle battery charges up so quickly. Although the Kindle User's Guide said it could take up to 3 hours to charge it the first time, mine must have already had some charge on it, because it was fully charged within a half-hour. Even if I occasionally have to charge it up overnight, this will be very little trouble.

If you enjoy reading, here are some reviews of books that have been read by me, and often by my Southern California book club, as well. These reviews may help you decide if you want to try reading one of these books on your new Kindle! If not, all of them are available in printed form.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, a book review

South of Broad by Pat Conroy, a book review

Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle, a book review

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer, a book review

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, a Book Review

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

This is the Basic E-Reader That I Own

Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Black)
Amazon Price: $69.00 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 9, 2014)
This e-reader is a wonderful way to carry around hundreds of books at the same time. It is affordable, and is easy to read outside.

The Fire Offers You Greater Versatility

Kindle Fire HD 8.9", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers
Amazon Price: $269.00 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 9, 2014)
While it is preferable to use this one indoors, it offers you the ability to go on the internet, check your Facebook account, and use a wide variety of apps.


Jan 17, 2011 1:49pm
Congratulations on your new Kindle ad a great article!
Jan 17, 2011 6:02pm
Thanks, Diva. I am actually pleasantly surprised by how much I like it! I've always been a hardback book reader, but the Kindle is so easy to use and carry around. I was hooked from the first page!
Jan 19, 2011 1:01pm
Thanks for an informative review of the Amazon Kindle. I've been pondering whether or not to purchase one, so your review is timely for me. Great article.
Jan 20, 2011 1:45pm
Great review, didn't know it had the iPhone feature. Good to know. ^^
Feb 17, 2011 12:16am
You answered several of the things that I have been wondering about.Great!
Apr 15, 2013 8:09pm
Since I originally wrote this, I have updated it to include information about the more recent models. I still own and love my original e-reader, and hope to enjoy it many more years!
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