It took me a while to accept e-readers. After all, I grew up knowing that one of my No. 1 goals was to own a library exactly like the beast gives Belle in Beauty and the Beast. And that library wasn’t filled with ebooks. It was filled with dusty tomes and classics that had been passed down for years and years, their covers worn and their pages holding unknown secrets.
When I go on vacation, I can’t bring these dusty tomes. When I went to college, my dorm room couldn’t hold the amount of books I required (though I still shoved them in every corner possible). When I’m traveling and trying to keep my suitcase as light as possible, it’s just not ideal to lug around a stack of books. So I finally accepted the fact that e-readers have a time and a place. Namely, allowing me to read a bunch of books without taking up a ton of space (until I buy the hard copies later).
Of course, there’s even more to e-readers than meets the eye. Sure, you can use it to read books. That’s the primary purpose. But there are a few tricks that Kindles and Nooks have which enhance the reading experience… so here’s to technology for doing something great: helping us book-lovers read EVEN MORE BOOKS.
1. Get Free Classics
This is my all time favorite hack, because it's so useful. Though Kindle and Nook often offer classics for free, sometimes they cost money (especially if you don't have "Kindle unlimited"). However, Project Gutenberg has many public domain texts available for free, including ebook/pdf versions. Simply head to the website, find your favorite classic, and download the epub or mobi file. Add that file to the "documents" folder on your device, and boom! You're reading your fave for free.
2. Read Epub Files Or Mobi Files On The Opposite Device
Say you have an epub file, but you're a Kindle owner. Or vice versa. It's simple to switch the file into what you need; there are tons of online converters available to help you convert your file with no charge. I found this helpful, especially in college, if someone sent me a PDF they wanted me to look over, and I wanted to put it on my Kindle. The converters work with those too! Here is one example of a converter you can use.
3. Read PDFs On Your Device
Here's another great use for the above converter: put PDFs on your device. Practical example: Your friend is writing a book and wants you to take a look. They send you a PDF. If you don't want to print out the document, but you don't want to read on your computer, simply convert the file to epub or mobi, add it to your "documents" folder, and you can read it as you would any other ebook.
4. Download Extra Dictionaries
For those of you who read books in English, but sometimes read books in other languages as well, this is a great hack for your Kindle (especially if you're trying to learn a new language, but still need to look up a lot of words!). Forget your French/English dictionary: download the dictionary files for the language you want to use, and add these files into the "documents" folder. Then eject your kindle and go to: Menu > Settings > Device Options > Language and Dictionaries > Dictionaries. You can now switch between dictionaries, so you can look up words in other languages.
5. Make Your Battery Last Longer
This is a small hack, but it can make a big difference: by keeping your device on airplane mode, you will conserve your battery. If you want to make a purchase, this is easy to toggle on and off by pressing Menu > Settings > Airplane Mode. I always leave my Kindle (and my iPod!) on airplane mode, and this has SIGNIFICANTLY cut down time I've had to spend charging my devices.
6. Play Games On Your Kindle
Did you just finish an amazing yet mentally strenuous book, and now you need to play some games to settle your mind? Well, the Kindle has you covered. If you go to the store and search "Kindle active content," you can find plenty of apps such as Sudoku and Blackjack that are easy to add and play on your device. Plus, plenty are free.
7. Keep Reading On Your Phone
You've probably seen ads for this one at the bottom of your e-reader, but it's actually very helpful. Download the Kindle or Nook app, link your accounts, and easily switch between your phone and device when reading. This is nice because you can take your books everywhere with you, without constantly scrolling through chapters to re-find your place.
8. Get A Discount On Audiobooks
Since Audible is owned by Amazon, they have some perks for ebook and audiobook lovers. Click on the upgrade button of a purchased ebook, and you have the option to also download the Audible version for a discounted price (this is not available on all books, just FYI). With the Whispersync technology, it will start exactly where you left off reading. So, basically, you can read 24/7. Sounds good to me.
Images: Giphy (8)