Kindle as a Christmas Gift – A How to Guide for New Users

If you’re giving Kindle 2 as a holiday present (it’s now available in Canada), these “how to use Kindle” tips will help you and your gift recipient! This wireless reading device can be a great Christmas gift idea – if you know how to use it Kindle is perfect for people who travel or college students who read textbooks. And, Kindle’s new “text to speech” application might make it a perfect holiday gift idea for elderly parents!

Kindle is now on sale on Amazon (from $299 to $259)…

“Kindle is the most wished for, the most gifted, and the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items we sell on Amazon, and we’re excited to be able to lower the price,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO.  “We’re also excited to announce a new addition to the Kindle family—Kindle with global wireless.  At home or abroad in over 100 countries, you can think of a book and download it wirelessly in less than 60 seconds.”

That’s one of the best parts of Kindle: you can start reading a book within seconds of finding it on Amazon. For more info about buying Kindle 2 (it’s the updated version) as a Christmas gift, click the picture. And, read on for a “basic how-to guide for new Kindle users”…

Kindle as a Christmas Gift – A How-to Guide for New Users

Note from Amazon: If you purchase your Kindle as a holiday gift, you should deregister your Kindle device from your account. You can deregister your Kindle from the Settings page on the device itself.

Consider buying a refurbished Kindle (even for a Christmas gift!). They may be hard to come by on Amazon (depends on your luck and timing!), but refurbished Kindles are still under warranty and will be replaced if you have problems. Refurbished Kindles are less expensive (about $200), and look exactly like the brand new ones. Amazon doesn’t always have them in stock – to check, click on the Kindle above and search for “Refurbished Kindles.”

Take time to read the user guide. I rarely read instruction manuals — my “do it yourself” tendencies mean I sometimes miss valuable information and waste time trying to figure things out. Take my advice: to optimize your use of Kindle, read the instructions after you open the package and plug it in to charge the battery. While it charges, you’ll have about three hours to learn about navigating the device, using keyboard shortcuts, troubleshooting problems, using the dictionary, etc.

If Kindle is a holiday gift, consider downloading books before giving. Though many apps are free, Kindles don’t come pre-stocked with your favorite books. If you’re giving a Kindle as a Christmas present, you might download a few books or magazines from Amazon first.

Consider buying an Amazon Gift Card. If you can afford it, consider buying an Amazon gift card so your gift recipient can buy a few books and magazines to read right away (without spend his/her own money!). Most books cost around $10; magazine and newspaper subscription costs depend on the publication – and not all publications are available on Kindle.

Learn about the extra Kindle costs – such as music. For instance, you can email Word documents, PDF files, or text files to yourself – and it costs ten cents each time. And, this wireless reading device plays music: you can copy MP3s to Kindle, and listen to music while you read. Again, if you’re giving Kindle as a Christmas gift, you might consider downloading a few songs first.

Tell your gift recipient to plug Kindle in regularly. Amazon recommends keeping the battery at least half charged, to avoid problems loading pages or graphics. Using the wireless drains the battery more quickly than reading books or magazines; some Kindle users plug it in every night.

Use the free Personal Computer (PC) application. Kindle for PC connects your computer to your Kindle, so you can start reading on one device and finish on the other. Whispersync technology allows you to make notes and highlights in the text, change font size, store hundreds of thousands of books, and turn pages with a fingerswipe.

Consider a Kindle carrying case for Christmas. One of the first tips for using a Kindle is to get a carrying case! The Kindle itself is just over a third of an inch thin (0.36 inches) and weighs 10 ounces. It’s as thin as a pencil and lighter than a typical paperback, which means it can get lost in backpacks and purses. The Kindle carrying case pictured (a Kindle 2 Double Memory Foam Pouch) is one of the least expensive cases on Amazon. Other options for carrying a Kindle include a case that fits on a belt, a minipack (small backpack), a small shoulderbag that fits across your body, a travel vest, and a zippered book cover.

If you need ideas for holiday wrapping, read 6 Creative and Inexpensive Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas.

If you have any tips for using Kindle – or giving Kindle as a Christmas present – please comment below…

To talk to a group of people who own Kindles, visit The Kindle Forum, Kindle Social Network.

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4 thoughts on “Kindle as a Christmas Gift – A How to Guide for New Users”

  1. I got a Kindle for christmas at first I was sad since I want something else but when I search online and come across articles about kindle it quickly change my prospective about this wonderful product. :D I would like to share it to your readers if you dont mind
    Amazon Kindle – Top 10 Things You Need to Know

  2. I’m giving my dad a Kindle for Christmas because I love mine! I like your idea of pre-loading it with books, thanks. And if someone gave me Amazon gift certificates for Christmas, I’d be so happy because I’ve spent too much money downloading digital books :-)

  3. Thanks, Clemento — that’s nice of you to say! I am a full-time writer and blogger, and my vision is to write books based on my “Quips and Tips” blogs :-)