6 E-Reader Hacks You Need To Know

by Julia Seales
lncreativemedia/E+/Getty Images

Whenever I go on vacation, I’m always thankful for my e-reader. As a kid I used to stuff as many books as possible into my suitcase, only to realize that I had no room for my clothes, so it’s nice to have everything in one compact place (especially when I figured out a few e-reader hacks).

Of course, e-readers will never replace actual books for me. I can’t resist beautiful hardcovers, and my TBR pile has quickly turned into a TBR shelf. But e-readers aren’t mean to replace books in my mind, they’re meant to complement them. And isn’t it kind of amazing to have a piece of technology made just for book-lovers?

As it turns out, your e-reader can do a lot more than you know. Yes, you can read books on it (and you can use the built-in dictionary to look up words you don’t know, which I still can’t get over. It’s so easy! So quick!). Yes, you can still order books with just a click of a button (I don’t know whether I love or hate this. It’s dangerous, that’s all I’ll say). But in addition to those functions, there are also several hacks that will take your e-reader love to the next level:

1. You Can Read Library Books On Your E-Reader

Did you know that libraries allow you to check out digital copies of books, so you can read them on your e-reader? It's not difficult to set up OverDrive, an app that will facilitate digital borrowing. For full instructions on how to set up your Kindle for library checkouts, click here. For Nook instructions, click here.

2. You Can Read Blog Posts On Your E-Reader

If you enjoy reading web articles (and I'm guessing you do since you're reading this one) and would like to read them on the go, you can get the Kindle browser extension and send internet posts straight to your e-reader. Simply install the extension, and you can clip any article to send to your kindle! You can get the extension here.

3. You Can Waterproof Your E-reader

For me, the most difficult part of having a Kindle is that I never want to bring it to the beach or read in the bathtub — I'm terrified that I'll get water on it and lose my virtual library. There are, however, a few hacks to help with this. Seal your e-reader in a plastic bag, or grab a waterproof case like this one. And if you're really scared that you'll drop your reader in the bathtub, try this lifehack from a genius eight-year-old.

4. You Can Get Books For Free

If you have Amazon Prime, you can read books for free using the Kindle Owners' Library. Even if you don't have Prime, you can still read books for free, and not just by renting them from your library: Project Gutenberg has plenty of free classics available for download as mobi, epub, and pdf files.

5. You Can Take A Screenshot On Your E-Reader

You can highlight your favorite quotes on your e-reader, but if you want to actually screenshot the whole page, that's also an option.

On the Kindle Voyage and Paperwhite: At the same time, press two opposite corners of your Kindle screen.

On the Kindle Fire: Press the volume down button and the power button at the same time.

On the Kindle Touch: Hold down the home button and tap the screen.

On the Nook: Press the volume down button and physical "N" button for 2 seconds.

These options will save the screenshot onto your device, which you can access once you plug your e-reader into your computer via USB. Just drag it from the e-reader to your computer, and voila! You've got the screenshot.

6. You Can Read Newspapers And Magazines On Your E-Reader

If you have a subscription to a newspaper or a magazine and want to read on your e-reader in addition to receiving a physical copy, you can usually receive a discount on the digital copy as well. This is particularly great if you travel a lot, but want to keep up with your subscriptions. If you have a Nook, all you have to do is login to your account at Barnes & Noble's website and click on "Manage Digital Subscriptions." You can do the same thing for your Kindle on Amazon's website.

Images: lncreativemedia/E+/Getty Images; Giphy (3)