Kindle Tips (Account Sharing, Discounts, Lending, Parental Controls)

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite (Photo credit: Zero2Cool_DE)

I was reminded last week that there are a lot of small trick that I use to manage content on my kindle that I have not shared lately. I would love to hear other kindle tips in the comments.

Keep inappropriate content from children

I am very pleased that Amazon has added basic parental controls to the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Paperwhite.  But these are pretty rough tools.  They allow you to turn off purchases or restrict access to the archive but not to specific books.

One effective way to limit content on a kindle if you have an older kindle is to deregister it. (The Parental Controls on the Fire and Paperwhite are an easier way to do this, but older kindle do not have this option.)  This is very effective.  First download all of the books you want your child to access and then deregister it.  When you want to add new books to the kindle just re-register it again.  This works best if your child has their own kindle.  When you deregister a kindle, the kindle content that is downloaded stays on the device.

Another method is to create a second amazon account for either children’s content or adult content.  This works best if you have multiple kindles on an account.  It also works well if you have a parent or other person that you don’t want to share all of you books with.  You can have a shared account and then a private account.

Kindle DX and Kindle 2

Kindle DX and Kindle 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not have any good options for restricting the content of an individual book.  My suggestion is to get children their own kindle.  This may seem odd, but I have pretty routinely seen the 2nd Generation kindles on eBay for around $25-30 and my sister in law bought a refurbished Kindle with Keyboard for $50.  My current kindle is a refurbished Kindle Basic for $49.

Share an Kindle Account

Personally I have a shared Amazon account with my extended family.  So my parents, wife, brother, etc all can access the books that are on my account. Amazon does not have a restriction on the number of people that are on a single Amazon account.  The major problem with this is that only one credit card can be charged.  So you have to trust that people are going to pay for their content or that you are not going to worry about reimbursing one another for content.

One way to take care of the payments is to have everyone ‘gift’ the book to the main account.  I have a post on how to give a kindle books as a gift.  Another is to send amazon gift card for the amount of the books once a month or so.

Reset Your Location

I did a whole post on this, but the short version is that if you sync between devices, it is useful to erase the last location read in a book and start again.  This is very helpful if you have multiple people sharing an account.

Third generation Amazon Kindle

Third generation Amazon Kindle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Loaning Kindle Books

Again I have a whole how-to post on loaning or borrowing a book.  One thing I did not mention in that post is that if you run out of time on your lend, one way to extend your borrowing time is to turn off the wireless until you are done with the book.  If you turn off the wireless the book will not expire until it connects to the internet again.  But you cannot get another other content onto you kindle either.

Get Discounts on Audiobook

I am a big fan of audiobooks.  Because Amazon owns the integration of kindle and audiobook content keeps getting better all the time.  Amazon has removed audiobook support from the new e-ink Kindles.  But they have added the ability to sync between a kindle book and an audiobook.

Amazon offers discounts on some audiobooks if you purchase the kindle book first.  There are some cases where it is cheaper to buy the Kindle book first and then the audiobook and it will be cheaper than buying the audiobook by itself.

I did a post on how to use library lending to get the same discount.

Track Prices of Books

There are many books I want to buy and read.  But I do not always want to pay the price of the book, when I am interested in the book.  And I always have more than a couple books that I could be reading instead of buying another book.  So I track the prices of books using ereaderiq.  I have a longer post on this, but the short version, create a public wishlist on Amazon.  Add the kindle books you want to track.  Go to ereaderiq and then import your wishlist.  Ereaderiq will send you an email every time one of your books drops in price.  A new feature at ereaderiq is that you can also track authors instead of specific books.

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