Read Kindle books on multiple devices

Read Kindle books on multiple devices
Mac Tip #551, 12 September 2012

I’ve been happily reading Kindle books on my iPad for quite a while now. It’s great to settle down in bed with the iPad and read with the room lights off. But as I enjoyed a quick read outside in the Spring sun the other day I remembered the trouble I had last summer. The iPad would get too hot after a while in the summer sun and shut down until it cooled off. And, to be quite honest, the iPad screen’s a bit glarey for reading in the sun.

So I went and bought an actual Kindle device: the Kindle touch, specifically for reading out in the sun. The e-ink screen has good contrast outdoors, the battery life is long and the device weighs next to nothing.

See also How to read Kindle books on your Mac, iPad or iPhone for information about getting the free software and buying books. The Kindle Touch (affiliate link) has just been replaced by a newer version.

Luckily, given that I may now read the same book on two different devices at different times, Amazon usually help keep things in sync. This Tip explains.

With a connection, Amazon tracks reading progress

Provided your reading device — iPad, iPhone, Mac or Kindle — can connect to the Internet, via WiFi, 3G or Amazon’s Whispernet, Amazon knows where you leave off reading.

Kindle Sync to Furthest Page.

Kindle Sync to Furthest Page as shown on the iPad.

For example, after reading some of my book on the Kindle the previous afternoon I opened it again on the iPad later that night. Immediately an alert appeared, pointing out that while the iPad was on Page 15, the Kindle had reached Page 87. I could tap No to continue from where I was up to on the iPad, or Yes to jump to the page I’d reached on the Kindle.

A similar message appeared the next day when I opened the book on my Kindle, after reading further on the iPad the night before.

Kindle Sync to Furthest Page Read.

Kindle Sync to Furthest Page Read.

When purchased books don’t show up

While synchronising pages within one book happened automatically, I struck a problem with my next book. I’d downloaded it onto my iPad, but it refused to show up on the Kindle, even after forcing a refresh.

Manage your Kindle

Go to the Amazon website to Manage Your Kindle books.

Go to the Amazon website to Manage Your Kindle books.

After some messing around I discovered that the answer is to log in to your Amazon account and go to the Manage Your Kindle section.

Locate the listing for the book that’s ‘missing’ and click or hover over the Actions button on the right-hand side of the page. You may need to scroll to see the button.

As you hover over the Actions button a menu appears. Click the item Deliver to my….

Go to the Amazon website to Manage Your Kindle books.

Go to the Amazon website to Manage Your Kindle books.

A small window appears with details of the book and a drop-down menu beside the words Deliver to. Select the device you want to send the book to and click the Deliver button.

Next time you open that device, and provided you have a WiFi, 3G or Whispernet connection, the book will appear.

My recent reading list

The books in the screenshots are by my current favourite author, Dana Stabenow (affiliate link). She writes mainly detective fiction, set in Alaska, though she also has an all-too-brief sci-fi series (one book of which is currently free). If you buy any Amazon product after following my affiliate links above I receive a few cents that will help me buy the rest of her books. 😉 For some bizarre reason, not all of the books in the series are available in Kindle format, but check Apple’s iBook store for them.

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