Tricking Out Your New Kindle

Since Christmas Day has passed I can tell lots and lots of Kindles have been opened. How? From the increased number of buyers of my book Free Kindle Books and How to Find Them. If you are new to this blog and enjoying the free two-week trial – welcome! I send out free book alerts most days of the week plus a few tips to help you maximize the enjoyment of your Kindle.

I’ve sent out a similar post this year as well as last Christmas, and with the several million or so Kindles opened up this week I thought I would update it – there’s a lot of things I don’t need to do in order to add more “bling” to my Kindle, but I am going to treat this post like I never had a Kindle before and have this post be along the lines of “what would I do to accessorize a new Kindle?” Long-time Kindle owners may say something along the lines of “duh, I already know this stuff” which may be true in all respects. On the other hand, they might be surprised.


Cover

If I were a new Kindle owner, I would want a leather cover to hold my new eBook reader. Why? It makes it seem more like a book, and provides a little bit of protection from a fall / drop, carrying around in my laptop bag, etc.

There are all sorts of covers out there – leather, soft-skin, plastic, waterproof, oversize, you name it. I’ve been very happy with the standard Amazon-branded cover as it is (a) leather, (b) very sturdy, and (c) fits in my hands like an oversized paperback or an undersized hardback. In other words, it is just right. To see all of the covers available for your Kindle Keyboard, click here or type in http://amzn.to/kdcrG2 to see it. To see all of the covers available for your Kindle Fire,click here or type inhttp://amzn.to/firecovers into your computer’s web browser. You can also click this link and quickly navigate to the other covers for your K1, K2, or Kindle DX.

The kind I have on Kindle 3 / Kindle Keyboard is the cover with the built-in light – click here or type in http://amzn.to/lArbaQ to see it. I stuck with the plain black, my son got the blue, and my daughter likes pink – you can get it in a variety of colors to suit you.


Extra Power Cord

You can’t have enough chargers, and a replacement or second power charger for the Kindle doesn’t cost too much; I was glad to see Amazon kept the same type of plug for the K3 that they used for the K2 and the DX, which means I don’t have to have a lot more different kinds of adapters laying around the house. The nice thing, to me, about the Kindle charger is the USB portion separates from the wall charger, and you can then use the wall charger feature with the USB slot to power other USB devices like my kids’ Nintendo DS or iPod. I keep this one in my computer bag in case the battery needs a boost while I am out of town or away from home (sadly, the laptop goes most places I go).

I just have an extra wall charger (click here or type in click here to see).

There is even a car charger for your Kindle that, as of this writing, is about $4.00 with shipping. You can see that one if you click here or type inhttp://amzn.to/cigcharge into your computer’s web browser.

Before you decide to buy a power adapter, if you have a Droid phone check to see if that charger fits and charges your Kindle: the adapter for my Motorola Droid phone charges all of my Kindles, including the Kindle Fire, no problem.

 

Micro-USB Cord

If you purchase a new power adapter, for example one that separates and has a “big” USB portion, you can probably skip this one. The Kindle Fire did not ship with a micro-USB cord: you will need one to manually transfer music, movies, documents, books, etc. from your computer or other devices to your Kindle Fire. If you do not have a micro-USB cord and want to purchase one from the Amazon website (it’s a heck of a lot cheaper on Amazon than Best Buy), just click here which will open up the appropriate page on the Amazon website or type in http://amzn.to/smallusb into your computer’s web browser. I like this specific one because it is six feet long, which gives me room to move the Kindle around without feeling squeezed due to a short cable.

 

 

Emergency Charger

There are a lot of devices that charge up via a USB cord. I’ve also found there are a lot of situations you can be in where you need to recharge something, and there isn’t a power source available such as camping or an airplane; here in Houston, we just worry about the power being out for days after a hurricane. I bought an “emergency” charger that is powered by two “AA” size batteries – you just plug the other end of the USB cord into the device, and it starts charging away; it also has an LED flashlight on the end of it. I bought one because all of my kids’ devices when they went to summer camp needed power and there are not too many power sources available at the camp; it worked so well I bought two more – after all, I live in a hurricane prone area (plus I remember the days upon end the power was out after Hurricane Ike).

I think this was one of my better “be prepared” investments. As of this writing these things currently cost $3.28 from Amazon which includes shipping. I previously saw these for sale for $14.99 at Home Depot. You can see what I am talking about if youclick here or type in http://amzn.to/battusb into your computer’s web browser.

 

Solar Charger

I received a solar USB charger as a gift from a large business software company in San Francisco (that’s not very definitive) when I was visiting their main campus: it’s pretty neat, but a little pricey. The concept here is pretty simple – place the small charger facing the sun, and let the sun’s rays charge up its internal battery. Then, you plug your USB cord into the charger and transfer the power from the solar-powered battery to your Kindle or other electronic device. If youclick here or type in http://amzn.to/suncharge into your computer’s web browser, this one looks a lot like the one I have: it comes with a windshield-mounting device so you can power it up while you are driving, for example. I imagine you could also mount it to the window of your room, office, etc., and do the same thing. This one is about $20 – I would imagine thecar charger I told you about above would be a better economical option (your car will be generating electricity for you anyway), but this one does have the “bling” factor.

 

Screen Protector and / or Skin

The last thing you want to have happen, among other things, is have your screen scratched. You can get a pack of two screen protectors from Amazon for the regular Kindles (click here or type in http://amzn.to/lVttJF to see) for $4.99; I’ve seen a pack of three at a Radio Shack for $14.99, or you can get one from Decal Girl (a stand-alone website).

For the Kindle Fire, you can get a pack of two screen protectors from Amazon (click here or type in http://amzn.to/fireprotect into your computer’s web browser to see) for about $15; these are a bit pricey as compared to the screen protectors for other Kindle versions, and I would expect the price to come down as third-parties get involved in the selling process.

Decal Girl has skins / covers for your Kindle – Amazon does, too, but Decal Girl has hundreds to choose from – things that cover your Kindle and have holes so the buttons aren’t covered up. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as some look good and some, well, leave a lot to be desired. I had the US flag on my K2 for about a year (until I broke it).

Decal Girl has skins / covers for your Kindle available in the Amazon store. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as some look good and some, well, leave a lot to be desired. You can click here or type in http://amzn.to/fireskin into your computer’s web browser to see these skins.

 

Reading Light

Many people like to read at night, or maybe you need one for the plane or commute to / from work. While I have the built-in light with my cover for the K3 / Kindle Keyboard, I used a Mighty Bright light for my K2 (click here or type in http://amzn.to/mBgYTI to see), with no pun intended is pretty bright. It has two LED lights, and you can have one, both, or none on depending upon your need. I don’t use mine very much as the cover I have for the Kindle Keyboard has a light built in and takes up less space.


Other Items

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other things you can purchase to add more bling to your Kindle. All things are not for all people and the things I use for my Kindle may not work for you and vice versa. If I had a bare minimum or three things I absolutely had to have for my new Kindle, it would be the leather cover, extra power cord, and screen protector. Your results may vary!

Hope that helps!

Michael

Want to have this blog sent wirelessly to your Kindle vs. reading it on your computer? Try out the free two-week subscription!  Click here for the Amazon page for Free Kindle Books Plus a Few Other Tipsor type in http://www.tinyurl.com/fkblog into your computer’s web browser.

Check out my new Kindle guide, Kindle Fire How-To Guide: Your Guide to Tips, Tricks, Free Books, and Startup.  You can check it out if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/firebook into your computer’s web browser.

 

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