Kindle 3 Answers for Common Kindle 3 Questions

The Kindle 3 has received some really good reviews and generated a lot of interest but there are still a lot of unknowns.

This Kindle 3 Answers post attempts to answer as many of the common questions related to the Kindle 3 as possible.

Kindle 3 Answers – Answers to Kindle 3 Questions from Prospective Owners

Q1: Should I buy a Kindle 3?

A1: Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a device to read books on then please read my detailed Kindle 3 review. If you don’t want a device focused on reading books then you shouldn’t buy a Kindle 3.

Q2: Can I sell or loan my Kindle books?

A2: No.

Q3: Can I read books from the library on the Kindle 3?

A3: No.

Q4: Should I get Kindle 3 white or graphite?

A4: Get whatever color you prefer. Each has its advantages so getting the color you like is the safer choice –

  1. Kindle 3 graphite helps show off the screen contrast. It looks pretty good.  
  2. Kindle 3 white supposedly disappears better in the background. It doesn’t get as hot if you read outside in hot weather.

There’s not much difference. Here’s a pointless post comparing Kindle graphite vs white.

It makes hardly any difference what color you get as long as you get a color you like. Don’t get graphite if you hate graphite and don’t get white if you hate white.

Q5: Should I get Kindle WiFi or 3G?

A5: If you don’t know what WiFi is you should probably get Kindle 3 3G+WiFi. If you know what WiFi is and have WiFi at home then get Kindle WiFi.

Here’s a Kindle 3G or WiFi comparison post explaining the difference. In the long term this choice isn’t going to matter much if you have WiFi at home. If you don’t have a wireless network at home it’s best to get Kindle 3G+WiFi.  

Q6: Can I read PDFs on the Kindle 3?

A6: Yes, PDFs work very well. Embedded fonts in PDFs work too so you can read PDFs in various languages. Check out the Kindle 3 PDF post for lots of photos and details on the Kindle 3’s PDF capabilities.

Q7: What is the Kindle 3’s Browser like?

A7: Well, check out the Kindle 3 Browser post. It’s quite good but it’s not a desktop browser replacement. Since there’s no touchscreen on the Kindle 3 scrolling around is a bit of a problem.

Q8: What languages work on the Kindle 3?

A8: The Kindle 3 supports books in all the Latin based languages and now also supports CJK fonts and Cyrillic Fonts. It doesn’t support Hebrew (it didn’t support a Hebrew book).

PDFs on the Kindle 3 and the Browser support nearly all languages. In the browser some sites don’t display correctly and some sites just don’t work so your favorite website in your preferred language might not work.

Q9: What does the Kindle 3 look like? How good is the screen resolution?

A9: Actually, the Kindle 3 photos page and the Kindle 3 videos page will give you a very good idea. The new eInk Pearl screen is supposed to have 50% better screen contrast than the Kindle 2’s eInk screen. The difference between it and Nook is a bit less and the difference between it and Sony 600 is a bit more.

Q10: What are the font sizes on the Kindle 3?

A10: The font sizes correspond roughly to –

Kindle Font Size 1 = 7pt
Kindle Font Size 2 = 9pt
Kindle Font Size 3 = 11 pt
Kindle Font Size 4 = 14 pt
Kindle Font Size 5 = 17 pt
Kindle Font Size 6 = 20 pt
Kindle Font Size 7 = 30 pt
Kindle Font Size 8 = 40 pt

The Kindle 3 videos page mentioned above includes a video showing the font sizes and the three types of fonts.

 Q11:  What fonts does the Kindle 3 have?

A11: The Kindle 3 has three fonts – a Serif Font (Caecilia), a condensed font, and a Sans Serif font. The Kindle 3 photos page mentioned above has photos of each.  

Q12: How good is the Kindle 3 for email?

A12: Quite good. The full versions of Hotmail and Yahoo Mail work (hotmail – all the time, yahoo mail – most of the time). The mobile version of GMail works all the time. Ideally, you want to be using WiFi since WiFi is much faster than 3G.

Q13: Where could I see a Kindle 3 in person?

A13: At Target. By going to the official Kindle forum and asking if anyone in your city could meet you to show you what it looks like. By ordering one since it does have a 30 day return period.

Q14: Are books on the Kindle 3 free?

A14: No. There are 1.8 million public domain books from the Internet Archive available for free. There are also 20-40 free book offers every month. However, you have to pay for all the new books

Q15: How much do new books cost?

A15: New Books usually cost $9.99 or $12.99. New books from independent authors usually cost $1 to $3.  

Q16: Is it easy/possible to get pirated books? Is it easy/possible to strip off DRM from Kindle books?

A16: Yes, however this blog doesn’t detail any of that.

Q17: What if I don’t like my Kindle 3?

A17: There’s a 30 day return period. Also, Kindle 3 will probably hold its value very well as every Kindle before it has had very high resale prices.  

Q18: Why doesn’t Kindle 3 have touch and color? When will it have touch and color?

A18: The eInk technology doesn’t really support these very well and they aren’t absolutely critical for reading books. If touch is very important to you wait for the Sony 650. If color is very important for you wait a year and a half.

Q19: Does the Kindle 3 display illustrations and maps and images well?

A19: Yes, exceptionally well if you don’t mind the lack of color. You can also zoom into images.

Q20: Is it true that you can share Kindle books across devices?

A20: Yes, a Kindle book can be shared across 5 to 6 devices. You can register as many Kindles and as many devices with Kindle Apps as you like to your Amazon account. After that you can read a book across 5 to 6 devices – Your position in the book, your notes, and your highlights are synchronized across books.

Q21: Which devices have Kindle Apps?

A21: There are Kindle Apps available for the following devices – PC, Mac, Blackberry, iPhone, Android, and iPad. You can read your Kindle book purchases on these apps.

Q22: Is Kindle accessible to blind readers?

A22: Yes. There is a Voice Guide feature that you can turn on to read out menus, book lists, and book descriptions. There is also a Text to Speech feature that reads out books to you and also all your personal documents and things like text files. Publishers sometimes disable Text to Speech (perhaps 40% to 50% of the time). Voice Guide and Text to Speech combine to make the Kindle 3 accessible.

You can read more at the Kindle 3 for Blind Readers post.

Q23: How good are the voices used on the Kindle 3?

A23: They are computer generated voices. It’s not people speaking out the words and it’s definitely not trained people reading out books. If you are fond of $50 audiobooks read by accomplished speakers you are not going to be excited by the voices. If you’re OK with slightly robotic voices then you’ll be fine.

Q24: Is the Kindle 3 good for low vision readers?

A24: Yes, since in addition to the Voice Guide feature and the Text to Speech feature there are features suitable for low vision readers – better screen contrast than any other eReader, 8 font sizes including 2 super size fonts (size 30 and size 40 font), option to change line spacing, option to change words per line, landscape mode.

Q25: How much does the Kindle 3 weigh? How much does the lighted cover weigh? Is Kindle 3 suitable for those with weak hands?

A25: Kindle 3 weighs 8.7 ounces. Kindle WiFi weighs 8.5 ounces. Kindle Lighted Cover weighs 7.8 ounces. Kindle 3 is very suitable for those with weak hands. It’s very light and the texturized back is easy to grip.

Q26: Do you need to be tech savvy to use the Kindle 3? Do you need to have a computer?

A26: Kindle 3 is very simple to use. You don’t need to be tech savvy at all. If you buy a Kindle 3 3G+WiFi (or get a Kindle WiFi and have a wireless network at home) then you don’t need a computer to use the Kindle.

Q27: I’m used to Kindle 1. I’m used to Kindle 2.I’m used to Kindle DX. I’m used to a physical book. Will I ever be able to use the Kindle 3? Will I ever be able to love reading on the Kindle 3?

A27: It’ll take a really long time (a few hours of use) to get used to the Kindle 3. It’ll take forever (a few days) to start loving reading on the Kindle 3.

Q28: What pockets does the Kindle 3 fit into?

A28: Kindle 3 fits into – Large coat pockets, large jacket pockets, some cargo pants pockets. Kindle 3 doesn’t fit into – jeans pockets, shirt pockets, hot pockets, most normal pant pockets. It also will fit into a clutch purse and most small purses (not tiny ones though).

Q29: Can Kindle 3 work under water? Can it resist water? Can I read in the tub? Can I read at the beach?

A29: Kindle 3 will not work under water. Any sort of exposure to water will kill it. You can read in the tub, at the beach, and near the pool if you simply use a zip-loc bag or use Trendy Digital’s water proof kindle case.

Q30: Why doesn’t Kindle 3 have page numbers? Is there a work-around?

A30: Kindle 3 uses locations instead of page numbers. Since the font size is changeable using page numbers would be rather difficult – it would be possible but not very elegant. Using locations isn’t elegant either but it’s probably more structured. There isn’t really a workaround for getting page numbers in Kindle books – you just have to use a unique line of text as a reference instead of using a page number.

Q31: Why is there a lag when turning pages on the Kindle 3? How long is this lag?

There’s a lag of 0.5 to 0.7 seconds when turning pages in a Kindle 3 book. This is because the eInk display of the Kindle 3 first flashes everything black and then displays the new page. eInk is a lot of tiny microcapsules that can each be black or white. To ensure good quality first all microcapsules are flashed black and then black text on white background corresponding to a particular page is shown. This ‘redrawing’ of the screen takes 0.5 to 0.7 seconds.

Q32: Which countries is Kindle 2 available for?

A32: Please go to the Kindle 3 product page and scroll down to the Kindle at a Glance section (it’s 2 pages down). Under ‘Massive Selection’ in the right column you’ll see a ‘Check Your Country’ link which will let you check if Kindle 3 ships to your country.

Q33: Which countries does Kindle 3 get free wireless Internet in? Which countries will I get free Kindle 3 wireless Internet in when I’m travelling?

A33: There are some countries which get wireless Internet – please check with Amazon customer support to be sure. The above link (the ‘Check your Country’ link) brings up an information box which also provides a good idea.  

If you’re in the US you’ll get free 3G Internet in all countries that have WhisperNet.

If you’re a Kindle owner you’ll get free store browsing in all countries that get WhisperNet. Not sure whether or not you’ll be charged extra for downloading one of your purchased books outside your home country. For US Kindle owners it’s free everywhere.

Q34: How do I turn off my Kindle 3?

A34: Kindle 3 only uses power when you change the screen image. So keeping it in sleep mode is fine – you don’t have to switch it off. If you still want to switch it off slide and hold the power switch for 5 seconds.

Q35: Why are book prices different for different countries? Why are some books not available for my country? Why are some free book offers not available for my country?

A35: Books rights are sold by territory and the Publisher that buys the rights for a book in a particular territory decides the price and Kindle Store availability of the book in that territory. The Publisher also decides whether or not there will be a free book offer. Firstly, there may be different Publishers that own rights for a book in different countries. Secondly, a publisher may decide to have different prices in different countries. That’s why you’ll see a book you really want available for purchase on the dark side of the moon but not in your country. That’s why all the Stephanie Meyer books are 5 cents each on Mars but cost $6 to $10 on Earth.

Q36: Does the Kindle 3 have a backlight? If not, why not?

A36: Kindle 3 does not have a backlight. It uses eInk which tries to re-create the experience of reading print on paper. Since a backlight is tough on the eyes, uses up a lot of battery life, and is very unlike print on paper the Kindle 3 does not use a backlight.

You will be forced to use a reading light to read on the Kindle 3 in the dark – like you would with a physical book.  

Q37: Are Kindle 3s allowed on airplanes? What about through security checks?

Yes, however you might have to turn them off when the plane is taking off and when it is landing. No, there is no airplane mode. You can switch off the wireless but the staff might still ask you to turn it off – getting upset and threatening them is not recommended.

Kindle 3s pass through security detectors just fine and you can leave them in your hand luggage. Remember not to leave them in the overhead cabin in your hand luggage unless they are in a very sturdy box.

Q38: Does the Kindle 3 really fit more lines of text on to the screen? How?

A38: Well, there are three things – on every page except the page you start reading on the bar at the top disappears, the progress bar is right at the very bottom of the screen, the separation between the text and the progress bar is smaller. These all add up and there are (at medium font settings) 3 to 4 more lines of text per page.

Q39: How does Kindle 3 compare to Nook and Sony Reader 600? How does it compare to Nook 2 and Sony Reader 650?

A39: Kindle 3 is much better than Nook and Sony Reader 600 unless you need library book support or ePub support. The newer Nook 2 and Sony 650 haven’t been announced yet so can’t say how it compares to them. Sony 650 will have touch and one or both of Nook 2 and Sony 650 might support Google Editions.

Q40: Will people think I’m cool if I carry around a Kindle 3?

A40: No, they’ll think you’re intelligent and in love with books. You should get an iPad if you want to be pretend-cool and a Leica camera if you want to be super-pretend-cool. Your other options include getting a platinum pendant, wearing Affliction T-Shirts, and wearing Trucker Hats. Out of these only the Leica camera is guaranteed to work more than 50% of the time plus if you learn how to use it you actually become cool.

Kindle 3 Answers for Kindle 3 Questions from New Kindle 3 Owners

Q1: My Kindle 3 has a problem. What do I do?

A1: First, re-start your Kindle 3. You can do this from the Kindle Home Page by choosing Menu -> Settings and then on the Settings Page choosing Menu -> Reset.

You can also do this by sliding and holding the power switch at the bottom of your Kindle 3 for 15 seconds. You will know it’s been restarted as you’ll see the Kindle 3’s screen go white, flash a couple of times, and then a start-up screen will appear that shows a boy reading under a tree and amazon kindle written above the tree.

This will solve 90% of problems. Yes, it’s hard to believe but this really will solve 90% of Kindle 3 issues.

Q2: How do I reach Customer Service?

A2: Do try to re-start your Kindle 3 and do read the rest of this post. However, if that doesn’t work try customer service –

Find the email address and contact methods at the Customer Service Page. This is recommended as you can get Amazon to call you back and they know who you are.

Customer Service phone numbers –

Inside the United States: 1-866-321-8851.

Outside the United States: 1-206-266-0927.

Q3: I don’t know whether I should return my Kindle 3 and get the other Kindle 3. What should I do?

Kindle 3 White – Supposedly disappears better into the background. It’s white – in case being white is important for your aesthetic happiness. It doesn’t get as hot if you’re reading outside in really hot weather.  

Kindle 3 Graphite – Shows off the contrast of the eInk Pearl screen better. You might like black better as a color.

Kindle WiFi – It’s great. Do you really need 3G?

Kindle 3G – It offers more flexibility.

There’s not really much of a difference between the various Kindle 3 versions. If you’ve bought one then might as well keep it – Which Kindle 3 you have isn’t going to affect your happiness much. If you really feel like returning something will make you happy buy a Kindle book from your Kindle 3 and then click the ‘cancel this purchase’ button on the confirmation screen – There, now you’ve returned something.  

Q4: Where do I find free books?

A4: Well, you can check the free kindle books post for public domain books and the 50 free new kindle books post for new book offers.

Q5: Where do I find book deals?

A5: Well, there isn’t a kindle bargains and deals section in the Kindle Store. Check this blog for occasional posts on book deals and check the official kindle forum at Amazon (on any Kindle Store page click on the little ‘Discussions’ button on the top right.

Q6: If I delete a book from my Kindle 3 is it lost?

A6: No, it’s simply moved to your archive. You can go to the ‘Archived Items’ section in your Kindle and download it again.

Q7: Can I delete a book from my archive?

A7: Yes, simply go to the Manage My Kindle page at Amazon (the link is on the top right of every Kindle Store page). At the bottom of the Manage my Kindle page is a list of your purchases. Click on the ‘+’ icon next to any of the books and a number of options will show up including a ‘delete’ button. Press ‘delete’ to permanently delete the book from your account.

Note that if you delete a book in this way it’s gone – you will have to re-purchase it to get it back.  

Q8: Where do I find Kindle 3 Tips and Tricks?

A8: Well, here are some posts to get you started –

  1. New Kindle 3 owner advice – A good place to start.
  2. Kindle 3 Insights for some Kindle 3 tips and hints.
  3. Kindle Tips and Shortcuts – This has 50 tips and also links to a follow-on post with 40 more Kindle tips. Most of these will apply to Kindle 3.  
  4. Kindle Folders Guide – The best tips for using your Kindle 3’s Collections/Folders feature.  

The best source is probably the Kindle User Guide which comes with your Kindle. However, these posts include the best parts of that Guide as well as the best Kindle tips from the official kindle forums.

The best source for new Kindle 3 tricks and tips will be the official Kindle forum.

Q9: Is there a Kindle FAQ?

A9: Not an official one. Here’s an unofficial Kindle FAQ courtesy Bufo Calvin at the official Kindle forum. Please note that some of these questions and answers are not Kindle 3 specific.

Q10: Where do I find the serial number of my Kindle 3? Where do I find its MAC address? Where do I find whether I have 3G+WiFi or only WiFi?

A10: On your Kindle 3’s home page press Menu and then choose Settings. At the bottom of the first page in Settings you’ll see a Device Info section. This has information on your unique WiFi MAC address, your serial number, and the type of Kindle 3 you have.

Q11: What all can I do on the Settings Page?

A11: You can do the following –

  1. On Page 1 you can – register and deregister your Kindle 3, set a device name, connect to a WiFi network, see your Serial Number and other device information.
  2. On Page 2 you can – Turn on the voice guide, see your device email (the email address to which you can email documents to have them converted into Kindle format and sent to your Kindle 3), set a device password, set the device time, turn on the popular highlights feature, turn on backup of your notes and highlights and collections.
  3. On Page 3 you can – enter your Facebook and Twitter account information so passages from books you are reading on your Kindle 3 can be shared (if you choose to share them), set your personal information.

Q12: What if my Kindle 3 gets lost?

A12: Well, you’re out of luck. There isn’t really much you can do.

You should –

  1. Set a device password so if the device is in screensaver mode when found or goes into screensaver mode it gets locked.
  2. Deregister your Kindle 3 at Amazon’s Manage Your Kindle page so whoever finds your Kindle 3 can’t buy books through it.
  3. Set your Kindle 3’s name as your contact information (your email or phone number), set your contact information as your password hint, and enter your contact information into the personal information field on page 3 of the Settings page.

Don’t go to meet someone who claims to have found your Kindle 3 alone or in a dangerous place. If you’re under 18 let your parents know.

Q13:  Can I search the official Kindle forum?

A13: Yes, in the right side column, around halfway down the page, there is a search bar. If you want to see only results from the Kindle forum tick the box that says ‘Limit results to this forum’.

Q14: Where is the Kindle App Store? Are there any games for the Kindle?

A14: There are currently only two apps – Shuffled Word, Every Word. Every Word was using very inappropriate words and is in detention and will be back in some time. That leaves one game.

The App Store is rumored to be out sometime this year.

You can also play Minesweeper by pressing Alt+Shift+M on the Kindle Home Page. On the Minesweeper page press G to play gomoku.

Q15: Why isn’t my favorite book on the Kindle 3?

A15: Bad Luck?

Ask people at the official kindle forum to click on the ‘Ask the Publisher to make a Kindle Edition available’ link on the physical book page of the book you want. Perhaps the Publisher will think a lot of people are likey to buy the Kindle edition of the book and will release one.

Q16: If I drop my Kindle 3 will it break? If it breaks will Amazon replace it for free?

A16: Yes, it will most likely break. No, Amazon will not. If you have an extended warranty it might allow for one replacement. If you don’t have an extended warranty you’ll have to buy a new Kindle 3.

Q17: If my Kindle 3 breaks one day after the 1 year Amazon warranty ends what will happen?

A17: Nothing. It’s out of warranty and it’s broken. You have to buy a new one.

Q18: My Kindle 3 screen isn’t any different from my Kindle 2 screen. What do I do?

A18: Please add a link to a photo comparing the two. While there have been a few reports of this no one has been kind enough to add any photographic evidence.

Your Kindle 3’s screen ought to be clearly better than the Kindle 2 screen. Someone actually did a spectro-lumino-something-meter analysis of the Kindle DX 2 screen (which uses the eInk Pearl screen used in Kindle 3) and found that there was indeed a 50% improvement in screen contrast. He also found that most of the improvement was in having a much darker black. So perhaps you should compare the darkness of the fonts and their contrast with the whiteness of their respective screens and see if you still feel there’s no improvement.

Q19: What is this Article Mode I keep hearing about?

A19: When you are on a blog or on an article page in the Kindle 3 Browser you can press Menu and choose Article Mode. This strips away the formatting and ads and extrinsic structure and shows you only the article text and main image. It’s like turning the webpage with the article into a book chapter with just the article. It’s great for reading.  

Q20: Can I return Kindle books I’ve bought?

A20: Yes. If you purchased them accidentally then the purchase confirmation page has a link to cancel the purchase. If you don’t like the formatting then up to a week after buying the book you can call up Customer Service and ask them to process a return. Keep in mind that it’s not a free for all – If you keep returning books they’ll disable your ability to do Kindle book returns.

Q21: How do I put the Kindle 3 in sleep mode? Alt+Aa doesn’t work any more.

A21: Slide the power switch once to put the Kindle 3 into Sleep Mode. Slide it again to bring the Kindle 3 out of sleep mode.

Q22: How do I listen to music on my Kindle 3?

A22: Put a bunch of DRM-free mp3 format songs into the ‘music’ folder of your Kindle. On the Kindle 3’s home page or when in a book press Alt+Spacebar to start music and press Alt+Spacebar again to stop the music. You can also use Alt+F to skip to the next track – that’s about the only option. It’s meant as background music.

Those are all the Kindle 3 answers we have time for now. Will add-on more Kindle 3 questions and answers when time permits.

Kindle Questions, Kindle Answers – Top 50

May 2014 Update: SUBSCRIBE NOW! Free Kindle Book Emails that list 100+ free kindle books every day. Hand-curated. Subscribe Now – Stop missing good free kindle books!

Browsing the questions in the official Kindle forum and its interesting to find the same questions pop up again and again.

Here are some kindle questions and answers that’ll help you if you’re thinking of buying the kindle or trying to make the most of your Kindle –

Q: What is the contact information for Kindle Customer Service?

Find the email address and contact methods at the Customer Service Page. This is recommended as you can get Amazon to call you back and they know who you are.

Customer Service phone numbers –

Inside the United States: 1-866-321-8851, Outside the United States: 1-206-266-0927.

Q: Should I get Kindle or …   Nook? Sony Pocket? Sony Touch?

Here are 3 posts that will help you decide –

  1. If your heart is set on either Kindle or Nook – both are safe bets. Read my Kindle Vs Nook Review for more.
  2. The Sony Readers are a bit behind as they lack wireless – check my Kindle Vs Sony Reader Touch Review and Kindle Vs Sony Reader Pocket Edition review.

Q: Should the Kindle be switched off or is sleep mode fine?

It’s eInk technology. It only uses power when changing the screen.

  1. There is no (or almost no) difference between sleep mode and switching off. Kindle customer service recommends sleep mode.
  2. Having it in sleep mode for days will not overheat your Kindle.

Choose Sleep Mode 😉 .

Q: Are there Kindle Gift Cards? How do I buy a kindle book using a Kindle gift Card?

Yes, there are indeed Kindle Gift Cards. Check the Kindle Gift Card, Certificate post for instructions on how to use a kindle gift certificate.

Q: Can I gift Kindle Books?

At the moment there is no way to gift a kindle ebook. You can buy them a gift card that they could then use to buy books.

Q: Is there any way to set a budget and limit my spending on Kindle Books?

Yes. By using a kindle gift card i.e.

  1. If your budget is $50, buy a $50 gift card.
  2. Apply it to your account and use that to limit your purchases.
  3. Then remove your credit card information (optional).

Q: What is the return period for the Kindle? What about Kindle ebooks?

  1. 30 days for the Kindle. Free Returns.
  2. 7 days for Kindle  books.

To return ebooks –

  • Immediately after purchase – you get a ‘cancel purchase’ button on the order confirmation page (only on the Kindle).
  • Alternately – Go to the Customer Service Page and then email Kindle Customer Service (or call them) and include the title you want to cancel. Must be within 7 days of purchase.

Q: Can I share my kindle books? Can I sell my kindle books?

No. No.

We all know paper books don’t have that restriction – However, the only way to get publishers to agree to give up rights and at $10 prices was removing the used ebooks market.

Q: Why are prices higher outside the US? Why are prices lower outside the US?

Different countries/regions have different book rights. Sometimes it means higher prices, sometimes lower.

Also, outside of the US, every book has a $2 download charge built-in. This $2 charge exists even if you buy and download a book on your PC.

It just exists. Not going to justify it and not going to label it evil or unfair as wireless bandwidth isn’t exactly free.

Q: Why are books so expensive?

$10 is not expensive. Printing and distribution accounts for 10-20% of a book’s price. Things like the author making enough money to be able to eat and have a house to live in necessitate a $10 price.

Q: How big exactly are the font Sizes?

Here’s the magic sizing of the Kindle –

There are 6 font sizes, which correspond approximately to the following Microsoft Word standard font sizes:
1 = 7pt
2 = 9pt
3 = 11 pt
4 = 14 pt
5 = 17 pt
6 = 20 pt

Please see the kindle review video page, videos 4, 5 and 8, to better understand font sizes.

Q: Is Kindle suited for low vision people? blind people?

Please read this – Kindle FAQ for Low Vision Readers

Q: Does Kindle support PDF?


PDF support included –

  1. PDFs work on the Kindle. PDFs that have Chinese text or other languages also work.
  2. Formulas, images, tables all look good.
  3. Bookmarks work.
  4. Landscape mode lets you see PDFs in a larger size and crops whitespace.
  5. Search works.

PDF features that are not included –

  1. Adding notes and highlights.
  2. Changing font sizes or zooming into PDFs.

You can get the latter functionality by converting PDFs to Kindle format – read the convert PDF for Kindle post.

Q: Why isn’t PDF support better?

They just added Kindle PDF support – Could we please see the half full glass?

Q: What are the Kindle Shortcuts?

Aha – it just so happens that the Kindle 2 Hack and Tips post has 25 of the best tips for you.

Q: Where do I find free kindle books?

Three places –

  1. New Free Kindle Books.
  2. Top 250 Public Domain Kindle Books.
  3. Free Kindle Book Sites.

Q: Where do I find cheap kindle books and kindle book deals?

These are hard to find.

Searching around at Amazon is best. The official kindle forum has lots of indie authors hawking their wares for $1 to $2, and any deals on Published Books get mentioned there too.

By the way, most of the questions and some of the answers on this page are from that very forum.

Q: Should I buy my 10-year-old a Kindle?

There are a few concerns –

  1. The Kindle is very susceptible to breaking as it has a glass screen. Replacements cost $180 to $200.
  2. Dropping the Kindle can harm other parts of it.
  3. 1-click buying means your kid could end up buying $100 of books by mistake or by intent.
  4. There aren’t really any parental controls and some of the books available can be racy – including topics you might get really upset about.

Since the Kindle is so great for reading, it makes sense to still consider it. Here are a few things worth doing if you buy a kindle for your kid –

  1. Turn off wireless and keep it off.
  2. De-register your Kindle so no purchases can be made. You’ll have to register it again  to buy books on it later.
  3. Get a sturdy case. One with padding – some of the M-Edge cases are good.
  4. You can even get a messenger bag with a shoulder strap.
  5. Monitor book titles and make sure the wrong books aren’t reaching your kid’s kindle.

It really helps if your child is responsible and careful with toys and gadgets.

Q: Are textbooks available on the Kindle?

Yes. In limited quantities.

Please make a list of books you’ll need and check before buying a Kindle. There are more textbooks being added regularly so it’d be enough to check the next 2 semesters.

Q: Are medical books available on the Kindle?

Yes. Again it’s in limited qualities.

Please check for titles you’d want.

Q: Why buy a Kindle if I can use Kindle for iPhone or Kindle for PC?

The polite answer would be – a much better screen for reading, a much more focused reading experience.

The apolitic answer would be – If you read less than a book a month then the Kindle is not for you.

Q: Does Kindle work on PC? on Mac?

Yes for PC. Kindle for Mac is slated to arrive in a few months.

Q: Does Kindle work with Mac?

As in, can you transfer files and plug in your kindle and charge it and so forth? Answer is yes.

Q: Why is my favorite book not on the Kindle?

Really don’t know.

Q: Can I read library ebooks on the Kindle?

No. Please check what ebooks your local library has available and how many of those you’d want before getting upset.

Q: Does Kindle have a lock feature or a password setting or a privacy feature?

No. Be careful who you give it to.

Q: Can you put your own screensavers?

You could with a kindle hack. Soon enough that hack will be updated to work with the latest version of the Kindle firmware.

Q: What features are dependent on the wireless?

These are the features that depend on wireless –

  1. Free Internet.
  2. Free Wikipedia.
  3. Browsing the Kindle Store.
  4. Downloading Books.
  5. Wireless Delivery of subscriptions – blogs, newspapers, magazines.
  6. Certain books that need wireless Internet such as the Sudoku book.

Q: What exactly does the Text To Speech Read To Me feature do? Is the voice bearable?

The Text To Speech feature takes –

  1. Any new book for which the Publisher has not disabled it.
  2. Any public domain book.
  3. Any converted PDF.
  4. Any of your own documents in Kindle format.

And reads out the text to you in either a male or a female voice, at one of three reading speeds.

The Kindle has stereo speakers so you don’t even need headphones.

Depending on how picky you are –

  1. You might love it.
  2. You might be OK with it.
  3. You might hate it and find it torments you to the very depths of your soul.

It’s a robotic voice reading out words – it’s not going to sound like NPR.

Check the kindle review video page and listen to video #3.

Q: Can I get my Kindle expensed?


  1. Whatever line of work you’re in, there are books in the Kindle Store and audiobooks at related to it. That’s what the Kindle is for – work related reading.
  2. You can add your own documents.
  3. It focuses on reading so it’s not like you’ll be wasting any work time 😉 .
  4. It now supports PDFs making it easier to get academic grants.

If you need supporting evidence leave a comment.

You should be able to get it expensed or written off for tax purposes.

Q: Can I save articles for reading later on the Kindle?

I have heard that something called InstaPaper is great for this.

Q: Why doesn’t the Kindle have page numbers? What are locations?

The ability to change font sizes makes things complicated.

Amazon decided to use something strange called locations and a strange progress bar and a percentage complete indicator. Locations = your place in the book based on some unknown combination of paragraph number and number of words.

Q: Why are there different versions of books and different prices for the same book?

Territorial rights and negotiating contracts with different publishers for the same book.

Q: Where can I try out a Kindle?

Go to the ‘See a Kindle in Your City’ forum and ask someone to show you their Kindle. You’ll be surprised how happy people are to show you their Kindles.

Q: Does Kindle support unicode? Does Kindle support chinese and other languages in PDF?

No. You can get a Kindle Hack to add unicode font support. Google it.

Thanks to the new PDF support you can take any PDF in any language (think so, Chinese works) and read it on your Kindle.

Q: Is there a clock on the Kindle? A Calendar?

Clock on Kindle 1 -> Alt + T on any page.

Clock on Kindle 2 -> Press the Menu key on any page to see the time.

Clock and Date on the Kindle 2 -> On the Home Page, type in ‘ @t ‘ and press the 5-way.

Q: What is a Kindle firmware update? How does it work?

Occasionally Amazon will decide to add cool features (PDF support) and boring features (some minor change). They do this by sending an update wirelessly and ‘updating’ your Kindle’s software.

Q: When is the Kindle App going to be available internationally?

No Idea. If you can’t wait just register as a US customer in the App Store and download it. Your books may or may not work based on what home country you have chosen.

Q: How do I find self-published authors?

Very cool of you to support indie authors. Here’s a list of some of the best Kindle Store Independent Authors. The official kindle forum is a good resource too.

Q: How can I tell whether I have Kindle International or Kindle US?

Good question. Kindle Global is pretty much the same as Kindle US, except it uses AT&T’s network. here’s how to find out –

For Kindle Global, typing 311 on the Settings page (or perhaps 611) brings up wireless information, including a list of wireless providers you can choose between.

Typing 611 in Settings Page of Kindle US -> 3 pages of information on your Modem, EVDO connection, and more.
Typing 311 or 611 in Settings Page of Kindle Global -> 5 pages of information, including the ability to change your wireless carrier (not verified by me, from official kindle forum).

Q: How can I tell what version of the Kindle firmware I have?

On the Home Page, press Menu and then choose Settings.

On the Settings page, look at the bottom right to find your Kindle firmware version.

On this page you can also –

  1. Register and de-register your Kindle from your account.
  2. Re-christen your Kindle.
  3. Set Device Email.

Perhaps most importantly, you can add Personal Information so people can find you if you lose your Kindle and they find it.

Q: Are there any parental controls?


Q: What is the screen contrast on the Kindle like?

Please see the Kindle Review Videos – video #3 or #4 has screen contrast compared with physical books.

Q: Can I sell a Kindle with books on it?

Yes, although it’s probably illegal.

If the new owner registers the Kindle to their account, they lose all the books.

If they stay registered to your account they will buy books on your tab so be careful to de-register your Kindle.

As long as they keep wireless turned off they should be able to access your books (not 100% sure).

It’s illegal – do keep that in mind.

Q: How do me and my family share an account and books across multiple Kindles?

You can register up to 6 Kindles to one account. Then all the Kindles can share a book, and even read it at the same time.

This is the Kindle ‘Family and Very Close Friends’ sharing plan that no one talks about because Nook lets you lend an ebook once.

Q: How do I print a Kindle document? How do I capture the screen?

You can’t really. You can highlight a snippet and then connect your Kindle to the PC and then print out the relevant section of the MyClippings.txt file. It’s rather inelegant.

You can capture the Kindle’s screen using Alt+Shift+G. Press and hold down the first two and then press G. Shift is the Up Arrow key.

Q: What countries does Kindle ship to?

Please check the Kindle Global Review and Availability Guide for a complete list of countries.  The Kindle Global Wireless Coverage post shows you the kindle global wireless coverage maps.

Q: What is the best kindle cover? What is the best Kindle light?

M-Edge for the cover. MightyBright for the reading light.

Q: Can I convert a Kindle US into a Kindle Global?

No. It’s sort of like trying to convert copper into gold. It might be doable – however it’s not going to be worth all the effort.

Q: Can I change the Kindle dictionary? Can I use foreign dictionaries?

Yes. Check the Kindle 2 Tips post for details. Last time we checked only Merriam Webster was supported.

* Press the Menu button on the Home Page.
* Select ‘Settings’ and the on the settings page press Menu button again.
* Select ‘Change Primary Dictionary’.
* Move 5-way to select the dictionary you want as your primary dictionary, when it’s underlined press 5-way to select it.

Q: Why doesn’t Kindle have folders or some sort of organization? When will it be added? Are there any workarounds?

Kindle Folders are being worked on and will arrive in 2010. Here’s a rough kindle folders workaround.

Wow – that’s a really long list of kindle questions and answers – hope it was less painful for you to read it than it was for me to write it – just kidding 😉 .

Kindle FAQ

Here are some of the most common Kindle related questions I get –

  1. When is the Kindle 2 coming out?         
    • A: There is no official release date. Mid to late February 2009 seems like a probable release date.  
  2. Should I wait for Kindle 2?                    
    • A: At this point – Yes. At least wait till end Feb to see whether Kindle 2 is available then.
  3. Can I use the Kindle outside the US?   
    • A: Yes, with two important caveats – first, Whispernet will not work; and second, you will need a US address credit card to make purchases.
  4. Can you gift Kindle books?                   
    • A: No, although you can send a gift card. The gift card recipient can then register it to his account and buy kindle books. 
  5. How do I reset my kindle?                    
    • A: There is a reset button at the back. Also, the alt-up arrow-R combination forces a hard reset.
  6. What are the different font sizes?       
    • A: There are 6 font sizes ranging from around 8pt to 20pt. 
  7. On a plane, do I have to turn off the Kindle at take-off and landings?  
    • A: Yes.  
  8. What happens if I damage my Kindle?  
    • A: It varies – sometimes you get a free replacement. Sometimes they charge you $180 for a replacement. You will have to return the defective kindle.
  9. Can I return a Kindle I bought?            
    • A: Yes, you have 30 days to return it.
  10. Can I read pdf documents on the Kindle? 
  11. Where can I find a map of Whispernet Coverage?   
  12. Is Apple released an ebook reader?      
    • A: Not that i know of. They are rumoured to be releasing a larger iTouch in Fall of 2009. 
  13. Where can I find the Kindle shortcuts and experimental features? 

I’m going to keep adding to this list over time.