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Enjoy Reading with Help from the Kindle Reading Aids

Your Amazon Fire phone contains many options for enhancing your e-reading experience, including syncing to the latest page when you’re reading a book on multiple devices that are tied to the same Amazon account. You can also change the background color or increase/decrease the font size for more comfortable reading, jump to specific locations within a book, and organize your book titles.

By default, you’re already using the Whispersync feature. Whispersync lets you read the same book on multiple devices using the same Amazon account—never losing your place. Suppose you finish reading Chapter 11 on your Amazon Kindle Fire HDX; later, you want to continue your reading with Chapter 12 on your Fire phone. Just choose OK in the Sync to Furthest Page Read dialog.

Tour the Hidden Left Panel

The hidden panels of the Books app enable you to navigate a book efficiently and learn more details about its content. You can easily perform searches, jump to a desired page or location, or review the Table of Contents and use it to jump to a different chapter. The panels also provide access to more comprehensive information on characters and locations within the story you’re reading.

Tap a book that you want to read in your library. Swipe the left edge of the screen to the right to open the left panel (see Figure 13). Then use the option you want:

  • Tap Search Inside This Book to search the contents of the book.
  • Tap Go to Page or Location to specify a page or location within the book, and then jump there.
  • Tap Sync to Furthest Page Read to sync to the last page you read on any device (when Whispersync is activated).
  • Tap Add Professional Narration to make your Fire read aloud from the book, when this feature is available.

Scroll further down the panel to view more options. Tap a chapter in the Table of Contents section to jump to that location (see Figure 14).

Scroll down to view even more options (see Figure 15):

  • Tap About to learn more about the author(s).
  • Tap Copyright to read the copyright information for the book.
  • Tap End to rate the book and view more books written by the same author. You can also see other books purchased by customers who bought the book you’re currently reading.

Swipe the panel to the left to close the left panel.

Add Bookmarks, Highlights, and Notes

Your Amazon Fire phone contains many more options for enhancing your eBook experience. The following paragraphs describe some of the major features.

Tap and hold on a sentence or paragraph that you want to highlight or where you want to leave a note. An overlay with handles appears over part of the text, and a menu opens. A partial dictionary entry also appears at the bottom of the screen (see Figure 16).

Drag the handles to cover the complete text that you want to mark. Select a color to highlight the text. After you choose a highlight color, the menu closes. Tap the highlighted area again to open the menu. An X appears over the color that you originally chose. Tap the color with the X to remove the highlight.

Just to the right of the highlight colors, tap the Share icon to share the selected text via email, Facebook, Bluetooth, LinkedIn, or other social network or communication apps you may have installed.

Tap the Note icon, which looks like a pencil on a sheet of paper, to create a note for the selected text. After you create a note, the menu closes. The annotated text is highlighted with a little paper icon located at the edge of the note. To remove the note, tap the highlighted area again to open the menu, tap the Note icon again to view the note, and then tap Delete to remove the note.

Tap the menu icon (three vertical dots) to search the book or the Web for other instances of the text you have selected.

At the bottom of the screen, tap Translation to translate the highlighted passage to a different language.

Tap and hold on a word to see its definition. Use the handles if necessary to highlight the whole word. Select the Language drop-down menu to select a different language for the dictionary. In Figure 17, the language dictionary is set to English (US). Select Full Definition to read the full definition of the text you have selected. Tap the text of the page to close the overlays and return to reading the book.

Tap the screen again to reveal more options at the top and bottom of the screen (see Figure 18). Tap the Bookmarks icon in the top-right corner of the screen to bookmark this page. You can tap the bookmark icon again to review and/or remove all bookmarks you have made.

Tap Settings to change font size, background color, line spacing, or font type while reading. (Note that these settings modify the display of the book for more comfortable reading on your phone’s screen; they don’t alter the book itself.) You can also configure the Books app to allow you to scroll through a book instead of flipping pages left or right. When the Scroll setting is on, you can simply tilt the top of your phone away from you to scroll through the book automatically. You can also scroll up or down with your finger.

Tap X-Ray to review all X-Ray information for the book, if the feature is enabled for this title. X-Ray provides more detailed information on characters, places, and terms found in the book. The X-Ray information is pulled from the open content encyclopedias Wikipedia and Shelfari.

Select Notes to review all notes you have left throughout the book. When you first open this option, you’ll see popular notes left by other Kindle readers. Your notes appear at the bottom of the screen. With millions of Kindle customers highlighting books as they read, Amazon has combined the most popular highlights of all Kindle customers. That’s what you see when you first tap Notes to review your notes. By collecting the most popular highlights for a book, Amazon hopes to help readers focus on the most meaningful content for the greatest number of people. Popular highlights are just another way that Amazon attempts to provide you with a more enhanced reading experience.

Tap the Share icon to share a link to the book with friends or family via email, Facebook, Bluetooth, LinkedIn, or other social network or communication apps you may have installed.

Drag the location marker located at the very bottom of the screen (a horizontal scroll bar) to jump to a different location within the book.

Explore Immersion Reading

Select titles in the Kindle Bookstore add professional narration to the Kindle book, and enable you to follow along with real-time text highlights. Immersion reading gives you the best of both worlds. Read and listen simultaneously to popular titles for a fully immersive experience, or just listen, or of course you can always just read. Whispersync for Voice makes sure that you never lose your place while going back and forth between listening to your book or reading, syncing your books so that you can pick up right where you left off. The Fire filters titles for you that are available for Immersion Reading. Follow these instructions to take advantage of Immersion Reading.

Slide the left panel open, scroll down the page, and then select Immersion Reading (see Figure 19). A page may open with a short explanation of Immersion Reading and a video about this feature. If so, this page also has titles to review, so continue.

Peek, or hold your Fire at a slight angle to the left or right to reveal more information about the book while shopping, such as star rating and price.

Tap Filter to sort Immersion Reading options by category, customer reviews, or popularity.

Tap a title to purchase. The book’s description page opens. Select Buy to purchase the book (see Figure 20). The book begins to download.

Tap Add Narration to add the narration component of Immersion Reading (see Figure 21).

Select Read and Listen Now (see Figure 22).

Tap the screen to reveal the book options. Select the Play/Pause button to begin the narration. In the example in Figure 23, the Play button has already been tapped, so that you can see how real-time text highlighting looks as you read along. You can also just read the book without tapping the Play button.

The narrated text is highlighted in real time. Tap the Speed icon to speed up or slow down the narration. The book also appears in your audiobook library. Just tap the book to listen only.

Organize Your Books

After you have accumulated many titles in your eBook library, you’ll need some method to the madness of organizing all those books. By default, books are ordered by download date. The order of the books changes if you don’t read the books in download order; in that case, your most recently read book appears first. The Fire phone has a few more sorting options available to organize your growing number of books.

On the Books screen in your library, swipe or tilt to open the left panel.

Tap Sort (By Recent) to change to a different sorting method, such as By Title or By Author. Tap View (Grid View) to organize your books as a list onscreen (see Figure 24).

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