Amazon's Kindle and other eReaders have surged in popularity over the past few years. Prices have also plummeted recently, with Amazon offering a non-keyboard version of its eReader for £89 and WH Smith also offering the Kobo's eReader for the same price. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on an Amazon Kindle, here's all you need to know about setting it up so you can start reading.
What to do when you get your eReader for the first time
You'll need to start by charging your Kindle. In the UK, the Kindle comes with a USB charger, so you'll need to connect the device to a laptop or PC that's switched on. The Kindle Keyboard comes with a mains charger so simply plug it into a socket to start juicing your device. It's worth noting you'll need to connect the Kindle to a USB socket on the PC itself and not through the keyboard or hub as it's unlikely to charge. Kindle owners can also invest in a mains power charger that features a USB connection, available from etailers to charge your device. The LED next to the USB socket will glow yellow when charging and will change to green when the eReader is fully charged.
Once the device is charged, you can now switch it on. The power switch can be found next to the USB port on the Kindle. To turn the eReader on, simply slide and release the switch. To turn it off, slide and hold the switch for four seconds until the screen goes black. When its on sliding the power switch and letting go will simply put the device in sleep mode or wake it up.
You can use your Kindle while it's charging via a USB port by unmounting it. To do this in Windows 7 or Windows Visa, select Computer from the Start Menu and then right-click on the Kindle icon and press Eject. If you're using Windows XP, you'll need to right click on Safely remove hardware which can be found in the right-hand side of the task bar.
If the Kindle has never been used before, you'll see Setup my Kindle, displayed on screen. Follow the onscreen instructions to connect to a Wi-Fi network and register your device. If the device has already been used, then you connect to a Wi-Fi network by pressing the Home button, which is located on the front of the eReader then press the Menu button. Using the joy stick-style controller, select Settings and then scroll down to Wi-Fi Settings and choose View. A list of networks within range will be displayed so simply use the joystick to select the one you want and then press Connect. Now enter the password for the Wi-Fi network using the device integrated keyboard on a Kindle Keyboard or by pressing the keyboard key on the Kindle.
After you have connected to a Wi-Fi network, you now need to register your device. Open the Settings menu and select Register. You'll be required to enter your Amazon.co.uk user name and password. Now press OK. If you don't already have an Amazon account you'll be able to set one up from your PC, which is the easiest option, or select Create an account from your Kindle to sign-up using your eReader.
To stop others accessing your Kindle, you can set a password on the device so if it goes into sleep mode it can't be used unless the code is entered. Press Home followed by Menu and then choose Settings. Scroll to Device Password and select the Turn on option. Here you can choose a password and also assign a password hint that will help your remember the code if you forget it. Then press Submit and the password will be switched.
Finally you need to set-up a payment method so you can purchase eBook to read on your Kindle. Visit the Manage Your Kindle page either from the Kindle using its web browser, which can be opened by pressing the Menu button when on the Home Screen and selecting Experimental, or your computer. The Kindle uses Amazon's 1-Click Payment Method to purchase eBooks, which will use the credit or debit card assigned your default shipping address in your Amazon account. Select Your 1-Click payment method and then press Edit. Select or add a credit or debit card that you want to use for 1-Click payment and then press Continue to ensure the changes will be saved.
You can now start shopping for eBooks for your Kindle. Press the Menu button and then select Shop in Kindle to store to browse Amazon's selection of eBooks. To download an eBook simply press Buy and then, providing your Kindle is connected to a Wi-Fi network, it will be automatically downloaded on your device.