Using the Kindle App for Personal Scholarship

I like Kindle Books. I know people have mixed feelings on e-books and e-readers in general. I know there was a fear, hopefully now abated, that ereaders were somehow going to push people to abandon printed books.

Some people have strong preferences – I admit I love books in printed form, especially reference books. But I have made space in my reading routine for ebooks. There are several features about Kindle books that I find to be positives.

Prime Reading

Prime Reading selections are available to read for free to Amazon Prime members. This benefit also includes magazine subscriptions and audiobooks. I actually subscribe to three magazines that I enjoy reading but don’t want to have on a shelf at home – I love magazines but the ones I prefer to have in print form are usually cooking/recipe and homestead-y type of magazines that I will refer back to – think Forks Over Knives and Mother Earth News. Other mags I love reading but don’t need to make space for on my shelves. These I get through Prime Reading.

Amazon First Reads

In addition to the Prime Reads library, Amazon Prime members receive a choice of free kindle book each month – usually a fiction title. There are several to choose from, typically in contemporary fiction, mystery, historical fiction and usually a children’s book title. These are free to keep in your library.

Kindle Unlimited

As an additional subscription, Kindle Unlimited (KU) has a much larger library of titles, and you can see when looking at books on Amazon if a title is available through KU. You can borrow up to 20 books at one time, and if you are at the limit, and try to borrow another book, you will be prompted to return one or more of the KU titles in your library. You can also subscribe to up to 3 magazines through Kindle Unlimited, and new issues will automatically appear in your Kindle Library.

Click here for Kindle Unlimited plan information.

Kindle Readers versus Kindle App

I did have a Kindle Paperwhite – fairly simple and straight forward, and dedicated just for reading. I do enjoy the ink on paper appearance of these type of e-readers. But when my daughter accidentally stepped on my e-reader, I opted not to replace or upgrade it, for a couple of reasons.

First, while I like the paper and ink appearance of books, I also love being able to read books in full color on a Kindle Fire tablet or a traditional laptop using the Kindle App. My new laptop has a touch screen so it’s a breeze to open up the Kindle App, swipe to turn pages, touch to interact with words, etc. It’s also easier, in my opinion, to select texts for highlighting and adding notes.

And while I love reading in the Kindle app on my computer, I can access and view my Kindle library easily online at

Importing PDF documents

One thing that I’ve enjoyed with Kindle is having the ability to send a PDF file to my Kindle library to read on one of my devices. Each device that has Kindle App installed has a distinct email address associated with it, and the PDF can be emailed and will appear in the library on that device. This works great for longer documents or books that are not from the Amazon Kindle store.

Help accessing Kindle content can be found here. On Android and iOS devices, you can also send files to Kindle using the Share option. In the Kindle App, you can find your device’s Kindle email address in Settings.

Notetaking with Kindle Books

I like having the ability to highlight and take notes in Kindle books that I am reading, and being able to access them easily later. Details on accessing your notes can be found here. For myself, because I use the Kindle App primarily on my computer, I access my notebook online using the link Notes and quotes from books accessed through Kindle Unlimited do remain in your notebook even after the book(s) have been returned.

Casting Your Kindle App Device Screen

This is the newest feature – and it’s not Kindle specific – that I am using on my laptop. I have a LG smart TV, and I can use the Casting feature to display my laptop screen on my television screen. For non-smart TVs, an HDMI cable would accomplish the same thing. What does this have to do with Kindle? I can open my Kindle app and then have my Kindle library displayed on the larger TV screen. While I wouldn’t use this for my everyday Kindle ebooks, what makes this so exciting, in my opinion, is using this feature for children’s books.

We are going back to homeschooling this fall, and I plan to use full-color children’s books in our readings and lessons. I love having the option to get Kindle books, either through Kindle Unlimited or by purchasing, and putting on the larger screen for my children to follow along, rather than try to get them all to hudle around my laptop. This is a great option for non-fiction and encyclopedia type books that I incorporate into my lessons. It also makes doing read alouds using Kindle books doable. I’ve never used Kindle books for our read alouds because it’s just awkward. Now I can actually read from my laptop screen while my kids follow along on the larger screen. It works great!

Look for future posts with great Kindle book offerings, especially children’s books.

*Post includes Amazon Affiliate links.

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