Homescreen Sweet Homescreen

The homescreen on your Kindle is one of the most important parts of your Kindle experience.   Hey, it’s important enough to have its own dedicated button, right?  That’s like having your own exit on the freeway.  🙂

It’s the one “computer-y” thing you have to get used to using, but it’s pretty simple.  I believe one of the reasons Amazon grabbed a large share of the e-book market is that their device appeals to people who are readers and not necessarily techies.

However, it does have a lot of capabilities, even though they may not be obvious.  Feel free to just keep clicking the title you want to read, but for those of you want to get a bit deeper into it, read on.  😉

I’m going to gear these instructions to the Kindle 2: the Kindle DX is similar, but the Kindle 1 is pretty different.  Don’t feel slighted, K1 owners: you got the “screensaver” instructions.  🙂

First, click the Home button on your right side of your Kindle (even if you are already there).   That way, we’ll all be in the same starting place.

What you’ll see

In your top left corner, you’ll see the name of your Kindle.  In your top right, you’ll see the current Whispernet (the Kindle’s wireless internect connection state).  It may just say that it is off.  If it is turned on, you’ll see a number of bars, indicating the strength of the connection.  The more dark bars you have, the better your connection…up to 5.  You may also see an indicator of the type of connection (3G, which is the better one, or 1X).  The last thing you’ll see is the battery indicator.

Below that, you’ll see indicators of how you are filtered and sorted (see below).

At the bottom, you’ll which page (of your title listings) you are currently viewing.

Tip: you can jump to any page you want.  Click Home.  Type the number of the page you wish to see, and click.  Why would you want to do that?  Your Archived Items are on the last page, and this is an easy way to get there.  However, you can also do that with Menu-View Archived Items.

 Filtering

Flick your 5-way (the little joystick) up.  Now flick left.  You’ve got four choices for a filter.  A filter is a computer term that means you are going to limit what you see based on rules you set.  You’ll get the following choices:

All My Items

Not surprisingly, this shows you all compatible files in your documents and Audible folders.  You’ll see books from the Kindle store, from other places, your periodicals, and so on.

Books

These are books from the Kindle store, and files in your Audible folder from any source.

Subscriptions

Blogs, magazines, and newspapers.  Choosing this is a good way to get to your Periodicals: Back Issues

Personal Docs

These are documents you’ve put on the Kindle.  They could be books you got from other sites, files you’ve had converted, and so on

Flick to the choice you want, then click. 

Trouble-shooting tip: if you put a file in your Kindle’s documents folder, it was a compatible format, and you aren’t seeing it, your Kindle may be set to show you Books rather than Personal Docs or All My Items.

 Sorting

Sorting means to show you your items in a certain item.  It is a similar process to how you change the filtering.

Hit Home (just to get it in the right spot).  Flick up, then flick right.

You have three sorting options:

Most Recent First

This will sort your most recently read and/or downloaded items, so that the more recent ones are on the first page.

NOTE: If this is not working, it is probably because your Kindle clock is out of sync.  See my earlier article . 

Title

This will sort by title alphabetically in what is called an ascending sort in computers: numbers will come before letters, and then it will sort A-Z (A being on the first page).   I believe it’s not using the name of the file, by the way, but what is called the metadata.  Changing the name of the file won’t help the sort.  

Tip: you can jump to a particular letter in the alphabet so you don’t have to flip through all the pages.  Hit Home, then type the letter you want (like M).  Click, and you’ll jump to the M titles.

Author

The author sort is similar to the title sort.  It’s also dependent on the metadata, and sometimes people put the author in last name first, sometimes first name first, and there are other variants as well.

You can also do things with specific titles.  Use your 5-way to get to the item you want.  Flick left. 

  • If it’s a book you bought from the Kindle store (even if it was free), you’ll see remove from device
  • If it’s something else (including a sample you got from the Kindle store), you’ll see delete

If you do want to do one of those two, you can click.  Note that if you delete it, it will be gone altogether.  If you haven’t backed it up yourself, you’ve lost it.  If you remove it from the device, it will still be available in your archives.  Samples are not archived, nor are personal documents you put on the Kindle, even if they were sent by Amazon via Whispernet.

If you do not want to delete or remove the book from your device, hit the Back button. 

 You can also flick right.  For some reason, I find that very few people have done this.  You’ll get to see the cover of the book, if there is one.  You’ll see the author’s name (if one was entered).  You’ll also have some menu choices:

Go to Last Page Read

Go to Beginning

Go to Location…

Book Description (this one requires the Whispernet be activated to work, but you’ll be taken to the book’s product page in the Kindle store…you can see the publisher’s description, ratings, and so on)

Search This Book

My Notes & Marks

Remove from Device

Since the Kindle also has “context sensitive menus” (depending on where you are and what you are doing, the menu key will show you a different list), the homescreen has some significant menu options.  I’m going to write more on menu options in later posts, but I’ll give you a quick run down here:

Turn Wireless On (or off)

Shop in Kindle Store

View Archived Items

Search (the entire Kindle…not just one book)

Settings (this is an important menu: you can enter your personal information, register/deregister, and more)

Experimental (one of the ways to get to your music and the web)

Sync & Check for New Items

You can keep it simple and just click on titles you want to read if you want, but just remember…”there’s no place like homescreen”.    😉

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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