June 3, 2010 Cindy O'Neal
Sharing your Kindle account
Say you and your best friend (or several friends) love to read and you each have a Kindle, or an iPhone or iTouch, or any one of a number of devices that Amazon has a Kindle app for so you can read Kindle books on it. You may have a lot of book favorites in common, and sharing a Kindle account might be a terrific way to "share" books. The best time to start something like this would be when most of you haven't made a lot of purchases in the Kindle store yet. Once you start changing the account on your Kindle devices, which is what you are going to need to do, any books you have purchased on your personal account will not be able to be shared.
One of you sets up your Kindle with your Amazon account. The others purchase their Kindles or other devices, then "remove" their Kindles from their Amazon account (deregister). The Kindle or other device will be like brand new and can then be registered with the new, agreed upon account. The email address and password only needs to be entered on the Kindle (or other device) once. Each Kindle can purchase books from the device. Each also has access to the Archives on that account.
You can "deregister" your Kindle any time from the Kindle itself. With the Home screen on, press the Menu button, move the 5-way switch down to the word Settings and press in on it. The registration information is at the top of the Settings page. Toggle the 5-way switch to the word derigister and press in to make it happen. Then you can Register your Kindle (or other Kindle reader device) with the account you want to use.
You can see how easy it would be to pool your resources and save a lot on books. It could also be a bit of a pain if you don't make it clear from the beginning how each is going to pay the main account holder for books they purchase and how to keep things straight. I'm thinking this would work best with very close friends, or even family members who are not necessarily living in the same house. Amazon gift certificates to the main account holder is a great way to contribute to the cause and keep track of who pays what, and when.
Not all of you have to have an actual Kindle. One of you may have an iPhone, another may have a Blackberry. There are Kindle apps for each. There is also Kindle software for the PC and Mac. Each one can be tied to any Amazon account (registered or deregistered). I think the main thing to keep in mind are the number of devices each book you purchase is actually on. That is where the limitations are. Some books are only allowed on 2 or three devices at a time, others are more generous with the device numbers, and some books (like public domain books) are pretty much unlimited.
I am enjoying reading my books as much on my iPhone as I do on my Kindle. I really appreciate the versatility Amazon offers when it comes to what we can read our "Kindle" books on. The only one I haven't tried yet has been the Blackberry app, but I may eventually get my daughter to install it on hers so I can take a peek at it. She has been drooling over my iPhone though, so her Blackberry may be on the way out.
My daughter adopted my first Kindle 1 and we just kept it on my Amazon account. It works great for us. She has access to all my archived books (I guess they are ours now). If she wants anything special, she just reimburses me. I love the idea of being able to share my library with her and it is great to know the older Kindle still has a good home and is being exercised regularly. It's a mom thing, I suppose, and it is kind of neat to know she may be enjoying some of the same books I have become so fond of. I have enjoyed reading some of the books she has enjoyed too, even though they didn't seem to be a genre I would have thought I would enjoy. We have both done a little stretching and enjoying... and sharing is really fun!