Just Got a Kindle? Here’s What You Should Do Next

Many people opened their presents a couple days ago to find a Kindle, and now they are looking for ways to get the most out of their new gadget.

The Kindle has the most extensive digital ecosystem in ebooks, and there are many features which aren’t listed  in the manual or on Amazon’s FAQ pages. This getting started guide is intended to introduce you to some of the ways you can add content to your Kindle for free and use the Kindle to its fullest potential.

For starters, you can read OverDrive ebooks on a Kindle (US only, alas), and if you like, return them early.

And even if your local library doesn’t support that feature, you can still find free ebooks in the Kindle Store and load them on your Kindle. And you don’t have to stop there; you can also browse any number of free ebook sites and then download and send ebooks to your Kindle.

You can even send DRM-free Epub, or webpages, to your Kindle. What’s more, you can even read ebooks bought from Kobo, Google Play Books, or other ebook retailers on your Kindle – you just need to remove the DRM first.

Calibre is the best way to strip the DRM; it’s a versatile ebook management tool, and it is what I use to convert Epub ebooks to the newer KFX Kindle format so I can make use of that format’s advanced typography (a pretty ebook is a good ebook.). Calibre is also one of the tools you can use to download the notes and highlights from your Kindle.

The possibilities are endless.

What would you like to do with your Kindle?

Ask in the comments, and we will help you figure out how to get it done.

image by grotos





  1. Lynne Connolly27 December, 2016

    I bought a family member her first Kindle Fire for Christmas. Before I gave it to her, I registered it, since she didn’t have an Amazon sign-in. Then I installed Google Play. It’s very easy to do that now, and you don’t have to hack or unlock the device first. That means you can install the reader of your choice and have access to all the apps you have on your other devices. You can also use the settings from your Android phone, if you want to.
    you have to install four files. Download them to your device, and install from there. Google Services Framework, Google Play Services, Google Account Manager and Google Play Store. They’re all freely available.

  2. Maria (BearMountainBooks)27 December, 2016

    Rather than go hog-wild on “free” book sites, find a few good review blogs (the books are sometimes free and often bargains):

    http://www.fantasyliterature.com/ (one of the best critical review sites I’ve ever found–fantasy genre obviously.)

    http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/ (another fabulous one with many genres).

    http://mjbreviewers.wordpress.com/ (cozy reviews)

    And of course, I review books too, but I’ll refrain from rec’ing my own blog!

  3. Sean28 December, 2016

    I bought my Mother her first Kindle Fire (New HD 8) and she is really enjoying it. I set up her email and her calendar. She will primarily use it for ebook reading.

  4. Mary28 December, 2016

    I just got a kindle for Christmas. What is the best way about to get books? Join amazon prime? Kindle unlimited? Or just order individual books from amazon? I will probably was about 1 book a month.

    1. Nate Hoffelder28 December, 2016

      I’d just buy them.

    2. Anne29 December, 2016

      If you’re in the US, check out your public library. If they’re part of Overdrive, you can download directly to your kindle. If they’re part of 3M and you have a fire or another tablet, you can download an app and read them there. This is basically the way I get anything from the price fixers. Yes, there can be a wait. I’m fine with it.

      Amazon Prime essentially gets you two free books a month. The Kindle First program is a free book to keep and you can borrow one from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. You can sign up for the monthly Kindle First newsletter on Amazon’s site. These are mostly (always?) Amazon imprints but I love it because I end up trying something new every month. I particularly like it when one of the offerings is a translated book.

      Amazon also does a whispersync/audible combination for free. It supposed to be a new one every month but they tend to run late on it. I just picked up Call of the Wild in ebook and audio form for my dad. He says he is enjoying the narration.

      Check out the offerings in Kindle Unlimited to make sure they have the kind of stuff you like to read available. They do offer a 30 day trial. If you only read one book a month, I don’t think it would be worth it. Just watch the daily deals and other sales. I suspect you could end up finding your one book a month cheaper than subscribing to KU.

      If you like SFF, check out Baen. Look at Humble Bundles. Tor has a free book a month. If you like classics, I say go for a Delphi collection and skip the Gutenberg freebies, etc. Be sure to explore what ereaderiq.com can do for you.

      I know I missed a lot but at least you now have a place to start. Enjoy your kindle.

  5. Keith R29 December, 2016

    I have a Kindle Fire…had it for a year, and I finally started using it for an eReader. I love the fact that I can get a new book at a moments notice.


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