Read on Kindle 3: Getting the most out of your Kindle experience

7 Minutes Reading Time

The Read on Kindle Series

01 Easy Steps to get Kindle for Android | 02 How to get free (or cheap) books for your Kindle! | 03 Getting the most out of your Kindle experience | 04 Handy Settings in the Kindle Reader

Now that you have installed the Kindle App on your Android phone and have access to plenty of good books to read, let me show you some settings that can enhance your Kindle experience.

To access the different available settings, tap bottom- right on MORE.

Screenshot of Kindle App on Android, with red arrow pointing to MORE option

You can see the time of the last Sync, which of your books are available on Audible and view Your Lists (this is books you’ve added from the Amazon store to any lists defined by yourself). Help and Feedback give you answers to common issues, you can provide Feedback or contact Customer Support.

Before we start, let’s have a quick look at INFO, which gives you the following: About (Kindle for Android) |What’s new (in recent version of the app) | Terms of Use | Legal Notices | Privacy Policy

Please note that some of these settings depends on personal preference and what I like won’t necessarily work for you.

With that out of the way, let’s jump right in and have a look at App Settings, Reading Settings and Reading Insights.

1. App Settings

Screenshot of Kindle App on Android, showing App Settings

App Settings give you different options to customize your Kindle App to your own taste.

Tap on Device Name

By default, it will show you the name of your phone. But if you tap on it, you can change it to anything you want. If you read on more than one device you can for example name it: Tablet, Phone or PC. Or you can use your name (Susan’s Kindle) – whatever works for you. When you log into your Amazon account, this will help you to easily identify your various Kindle devices.

Tap on Push Notifications

On the screen that opens tick the boxes for the notifications, you would like to receive. Your Recommendations | Your Account | Helpful Tips | Special Deals | Daily Deals | Content Downloads

Screenshot of Kindle App on Android, showing options for Push Notifications.

Tap on Colour Theme

Now you can choose between the Light or Dark Theme. I personally prefer the Dark Theme, as I find it easier to read against a dark background. Especially during the day.

Select Download to SD Card

Your new downloads will be saved to the external SD card, saving you precious storage space on your device. A nifty feature is that when selected, Kindle will also transfer current content from your phone to the SD card.

Also Read:  Read on Kindle 4: Handy settings in the Kindle Reader
Screenshot of Kindle App on Android, asking to confirm to transfer content to SD Card.

Show Personal Documents in Library

Choose this option if you want files on your device to appear inside your library. Have a look at Amazon Help to see what formats are supported. Note that if you do not see any of these files on your Home Page you need to go and find them in your Library.

Send to Kindle

You or approved contacts can send documents via email to your Kindle email address, shown underneath this heading. Or you can use the share button in other Android applications.

Tap on Book Updates

Tick the box if you want to receive automatic updates for your books. This means if there are any changes to any of your Kindle books, the updated copy will be automatically downloaded for you.

Auto-Download Companion Audiobooks

If you like to listen to your books, tick this box. I personally leave this unchecked for two reasons: Firstly, I prefer to read (maybe because my hearing loss makes it difficult for me to follow along with an audiobook). And secondly, because Audiobooks are a bit above my budget.)

Whispersync for Books

To make sure that your reading position, annotations, etc. are sync between all your devices, make sure that you check this box.

2. Reading Settings

Screenshot of Kindle App on Android, showing Reading Settings

Reading Settings give you different options that will be applied to all books you open in the App. These options all depend on personal preference.

Page Turn Animation

If you select this option, you will get an animation like a page curl, every time you move on to the next page. Otherwise, it will be more like a sliding motion. The animation is fun in the beginning but can become a bit distracting after a while. Although, it is not as obvious as in other e-readers. I personally prefer to not use page animation.

Visible Clock

Selecting this option will show you the time (in digital format) on the top left when reading your books. I like to have it there, because it is there when I need it, but is not in any way distracting.

Highlight Menu

If you enable the Highlight Menu, you will have different options when you highlight any text (long press and drag): Choose highlight colour | Remove the highlight (x)| Note | Share.

More options (indicated by >) are Copy | Search | Translate | Report Content Error | Wikipedia

Popular Highlights

If you enable Popular Highlights, you will see popular highlights from other readers.

Turn Pages with Volume Controls

This setting can be handy if you are using your phone single-handed and the volume controls are within easy reach.

About this Book

I enable this setting as I like to first read the blurb before starting to read the book. It also provides a variety of options:

  • See in store: handy if you are reading a sample and would like to go and buy the book. And it also shows a Share Button.
  • Blurb: Summary of the book
  • Goodread: On my profile as Want to Read | Currently Reading | Read | Not on Profile. This will only show if you have connected your Amazon and Goodread Accounts
  • Typical Time to Read: Give an estimated time in hours and minutes, as well as the number of pages.
  • Popular Highlights: Statistic about the most popular highlights
  • Settings: This is a link that will take you to the Reading Settings
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Word Wise

When enabled you will see hints above difficult words. Leave this disabled if you have a large vocabulary.

Large Fonts

This doesn’t refer to the size of the fonts, but the file size of the font download. On my App, it gives me the option to download four different fonts (looks like Chinese 😃), so I’ve just tapped the arrow on top to go back to the Reading Settings. You can download or remove the fonts as applicable to you.

3. Reading Insights

Screenshot of Kindle App on Android, showing Reading Insights

If you are like me, you like to set goals and track them obsessively. Reading Insights can help you keep track of your reading activity on Kindle. Here you can see the number of books you’ve finished for a specific year, as well as a carousel of the books.

Reading Streaks Activity Tracker

  • This will show you your reading streaks per week and day, as well as a calendar indicating the relevant days.
  • You can also see which days of a specific month you did read and finally your reading records.
  • Right at the bottom, you can tap Don’t want Reading Insights, which give you the option to remove the Reading Insights Dashboard.

You can also see your Reading Insights by scrolling down on your Home Page.

It would have been nice if you could only track the number of books you read in a year. Because I get a bit obsessive about reading when I see I’ve skipped a day! Sometimes life just gets in the way and you don’t manage to read that day. Or you are reading a real, physical book or a book in a different e-reader.

In the next and final post of this series, we will have a look at the settings within the Kindle Book Reader itself. These settings are specific to the book you are reading at the time.

Today I have a question for you: If I set a goal to read say, a hundred books this year, which is for all the books I read that year. Not only on the Kindle. Do any of you know about an app that can track the books you read on all your different e-readers (like Google Play and e-pub readers)? Please feel free to reply in the comments!

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