Monday, May 16, 2011

Sharing Within Your Kindle Account

Both Amazon and B&N have long offered lame solutions for the ebook sharing problem.  Why limit the share period and why only allow it once in the life of the book?  Ebooks should be more powerful than print books but here's a great example of how the market leaders are trying to make them less powerful.

I don't see the situation changing anytime soon but I wanted to mention a partial solution that works well for me: sharing within my Kindle account.  Our family now owns three Kindles.  Every time I buy a new one I just add it to my original Kindle account.  Now all three of the Kindles have access to the same common library.  There's no reason for us to buy any ebook more than once.

Until recently I assumed pretty much every Kindle owner was aware of this option.  I've mentioned it to at least three others in the past couple of weeks though and none of them had considered it before.  That's why I'm sharing it here.

Obviously this in-account sharing doesn't address the larger problem of being able to share with all your friends but at least you can share within your family (assuming you're all configured to use the same account).  And yes, Whispersync complicates things when two or more are reading one book at the same time.  That's why I always bookmark my last location before I close a book!


Anonymous said...

You can turn off sync in your Amazon Kindle account settings. Helpful if multiple people are reading the same book.

jruschme said...

The downside of the single shared account is that everyone can see all the books. Unfortunately, Amazon implements no forms of parental or other content controls on a Kindle library. So, for instance, if I get my tween daughter a Kindle, there is nothing to stop her from getting access to the "extreme romance" selections which my spouse may have purchased.

Anonymous said...

How about using - the new KindleOS X software?

Andrys Basten said...

Last I looked, the sharing in an account feature was not limited to 'family' (but I looked a year ago.