Monday, January 23, 2012

Get the Most Out of Your Kindle

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I just bought a Kindle about a month ago by using Swagbucks. I also don't have an income right now, so I did a lot of research into how to get books for cheap or free. Here's what I came up with.

1. Public Libraries
Most libraries now have the ability to borrow e-books. Get a local library card and check out their website. My library allows me to download up to 3 books at a time for 14 days, and I love that I can just download it through Wi-Fi so I can start reading in less than a minute.

2. Pixel of Ink
This is a blog that updates throughout the day with limited time free and discounted books available on Amazon. I just add the website to my Google Reader with the rest of the blogs I read so I never miss their posts.

This website allows you to post books to lend out to others (I've added all the books I'm not currently reading) and request other books you would like to read. They match lenders with borrowers & vice versa. It's completely free and guaranteed risk-free to lend your books. If you don't know yet about book lending with your Kindle, read about it here on the Amazon website.

4. Free Classics
Of course, if you have a Kindle, you probably already know about the thousands of free classic books available. This is just another reminder that if you're short on cash, you can read Wuthering Heights, Sherlock Holmes, Pride & Prejudice and Dracula for free on your Kindle.

5. Free Sampling
If you miss thumbing through books at your local bookstore before buying them, then this is for you. Most books have free samples (which I've found to be 2-3 chapters most of the time, but I've even seen books with free sampling of the first 23 chapters). If you're on the fence about a purchase or just want to try out something, try a free sample.

On the right side of the screen after choosing your book, click "send sample now". Easy as pie.
6. Lending Library for Amazon Prime Members
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can borrow popular books for free. This is an added benefit as well as free 2-day shipping and movie streaming. It's $79 a year, but there are always promotions where you can get a few months for free. (I was able to get an entire year for free during 2011 because I was a student.) Also, $79 a year only comes out to $6.58 a month which, if you're a big reader, will pay for itself.

Also: You don't need an e-book for most of these things as you can download a Kindle app for your iPhone, Android, Mac or PC. More info here.

I was definitely not a Kindle believer until I bought one myself. I thought I would never like using an electronic device instead of feeling a book in my hands. Amazon has adapted the Kindle to be so much like reading a real book that I don't miss books. I love being able to read something 60 seconds after buying it, renting it, or borrowing it. I love that I can get so many books for free. I love that there's a built-in dictionary that allows me to look up a word on the stop. And I love that it's so portable that I bring it everywhere I go in case there's a 5 minute lull in my day.

What tips do you have for e-book readers? What book are you reading right now?


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