Kindle Fans: Help Meeeee…

f58bece565008387c95ee25036b84ad3I am cranky, so if this sounds passive-aggressive and whiny, forgive me. A month ago, my father was also passive-aggressive and whiny, and was pouting that his eyes were bad and he was having trouble reading. My solution? I bought him the Kindle Paperwhite delux thingy. And case and charger and blah blah. I figured out how it worked, set everything up, bought him some books, the usual stuff. Feeling a bit proud of myself, too. And he really liked it. Everything worked great.

It wasn’t to last.

Now, he is no technical wonderkid, I admit. And for the first week, things were running smoothly. Books were bought and read and all that good stuff. But for the last three weeks, it (he) has been making me mental. He can’t seem to maneuver the damn thing. I have taken off every “recommended for you” and dictionary and extra feature I can, but he still can’t do it. I keep getting calls at work saying he can’t get to another book, he can’t get to the home page, etc (like I can help from work). He gets a “rate this book” screen and can’t get off of it, he can’t figure out why pushing the bottom of the page isn’t doing it, that sort of thing. My personal favorite was when he called me to ask what he was reading because he couldn’t see a title anywhere. Yes. That happened.

So, I remove each book as he reads it, have no more than 6 on the Kindle at any one time so that all of his possible choices are shown on the one home screen, and I open the books in reverse order so that he can keep his reading order straight with a written list of what he has (all six of them) as a backup.

My question is this, oh Kindle lovers…

Is there a way, ANY WAY, to have the damn thing finish a book and either roll immediately over to the home screen, or possibly just start the next book on the list?


I have stripped everything possible off of it, but still no dice. Either that, or I need someone to become his personal librarian. Please?


22 thoughts on “Kindle Fans: Help Meeeee…

  1. Cassandra B. says:

    I have a Kindle Paperwhite and I have never heard of such a feature. Such a thing might be possible, but you likely have to jailbreak the Kindle and find a code to load (if something like that exists) to have a feature like that.

    Is he just having a difficult time remembering the touch screen areas? (i.e. touch the top for a menu bar, swipe left to turn page.) Maybe it would be helpful to draw diagrams of where to touch to do certain things (there are diagrams in the user manual, I suggesting just copying that and customizing on outside paper for reference). And maybe making a legend of what things represent (ie the house will take you to the home screen). Hope it gets better!

    • kaleigha says:

      Hey Cassandra…I will look around for the jailbreak thingy. He does remember to touch (or rather pound on) the screen areas. But he has it in his head that hitting the bottom of the page will end the book, that sort of thing. Page turns are easier now after I got rid of the dictionaries since he was always triggering that and couldn’t get out of it. It seems to be the extra stuff that throws him – ratings, suggestions, that sort of thing. I wonder if shutting the darn thing off sends it back to the home page?

      • Cassandra B. says:

        Fair warning on the jailbreak, it can be complicated and when I first got my Kindle, code to jailbreak my version of the Paperwhite had not yet been written. Jailbreaking just lets you add code to the device and different codes will enable specific features. There are forums that talk about it, but be careful because you could damage the Kindle possibly if you do it incorrectly.

        Turning off the Kindle and turning it back on will just take you back to where you were when you turned it off. To get rid of the ratings, reviews, etc there is a small X in the corner to close the box like with a computer.

        I have my Home Screen set up in a list format (as opposed to covers or collections). When you want to exit a book, you tap the top of the screen and a taskbar appears. You hit the house icon and you return to your home screen which the Kindle lets you format in a few different ways. Then you tap the cover or title of the book you want to read next.

        Also, not sure if you have looked around for these, but there are in-depth reviews and videos that display and demonstrate how to use the Kindle. Maybe seeing some of those would be helpful for your dad.

        I also second the advice for calling the Amazon helpline. Give the number to your dad and ask him to call it next time he has trouble. Amazon has good customer service and may be able to give him some tips.

  2. Michelle Willms says:

    I am so sorry. I’ve had two types of Kindles – the first one (you could set up files and that was a nice feature), and the Kindle Fire HD. Neither has anything like you’ve described. Nor have I heard of the problems you’ve described. Will the Paperwhite not simply tap past the rating if he doesn’t want to rate the book? The photo of the house should solve everything or perhaps the star? I know my home screen gets me back where I want to go most of the time (though that’s not always where I want to go). Both my Kindles have been pretty straightforward. Have you tried emailing Amazon? When I’ve had a question, they’ve gotten back to me pretty quickly. Sorry I’ve been no help.

    • kaleigha says:

      Hey Michelle…thanks, though. It totally isn’t the Kindle’s fault, to be honest. It is just him. Basically I am down to telling him, then showing him, then making him do it while I supervise “push the top. Now home. Done”. It is a good idea to get in touch with Amazon and ask if I can strip absolutely everything else off, though. Thanks!

  3. Pat Vierra says:

    I can only suggest that you call or chat with technical support on Amazon. I have a paper white and do not know of it ever doing those things. On the fire with some books it gives u the option to go to the next book in a series.

    • kaleigha says:

      That would be good, too, since there would be less of me having to keep track of what he is on and should be reading next, too.

  4. Lisa says:


    First, forgive me for smiling (read Hearty Chortling) at your charming tale of woe:)

    This might be out of left field, but what about a second Kindle under the same account that you control. I believe the Paperwhite has a Synchronize feature that allows multiple devices to be on the same page. You could possibly do for him on your device that he cannot do for himself. You would need to confirm that feature and do a bit of extra research to make sure this idea will work.

    In the meantime, hang in there and (((((HUGS))))).


    • kaleigha says:

      Hey Lisa…don’t worry, I usually laugh, too. Along with a lot of eye rolling, and grumbling, that is. I might look into the second kindle, and look at it like a remote control.

    • kaleigha says:

      On some of my research, someone said there was an update that was a bit glitchy on the dictionary side. I am not sure if you can undo an update, though.

    • Iain says:

      The kindle indexes all books on it for search features in a file on the kindle somewhere… the more books you’ve had on the kindle at one time or another the slower it gets… I think you can delete these files if you connect the kindle to your computer… should research… and be warned it takes awhile to reindex afterwards any books still on kindle…

      • Iain says:

        Was exploring a lot of my settings to try and respond and yea… Parental Controls seem to gray out alot of features… make it harder for him to get lost… ratings are kind of annoying with the X in the corner… the rating comes up when there are no pages left so swiping doesnt help

  5. Brenda Hyde says:

    Is there anyway to talk to amazon and see if you can get one of the older ones? They don’t have all the extra stuff…and might be better for him? I wonder what the kindles for kids are like–are they more simple?

    My mother in law bought a kindle fire and doesn’t use it at all now. I just couldn’t get through to her:(

    • kaleigha says:

      You know, it was kind of sad. I eyeballed the basic version when I bought it, but noooo, I didn’t want to be a cheapskate, so I sprung for the fancier version. Dufus. Maybe you can steal her Kindle Fire, since it is just going to waste?

      • Iain says:

        the cheaper version has visible page turning buttons I think… the discontinued model with the keyboard I started with did anyway… the newer cheap model just has direction buttons and an enter button in place of all the touch functions I think

  6. Abra says:

    I’m really surprised that Kindle doesn’t have a OS option for older people. The baby boomers are getting older and it’s a huge potential market. My mom has trouble with her kindle because the screen saver goes on too soon and she gets frustrated. I think Mom gets distracted and by the time she goes back to the page it’s black.

    I remember my husband trying to teach his mother cut and paste. He’d sound so sweet while talking to her, but as soon as he was out of hearing range he’d be so frustrated! She never did learn.

    • kaleigha says:

      Ah, your hubby has mastered “the voice”. Mine is slooow, and quiet, and I don’t think I blink when I am using it. And I show a lot of teeth. Then I conveniently have to go to the bathroom, turn on the fan and run the water, and vent. Good to know I am not alone.

  7. Charleen says:

    I don’t think it will work on any Kindle all books ask for a rating and if he does it will ask for remarks. I agree that you should call Amazon, if there is a way to stop it, they will know. I know how frustrating it can be, I didn’t even try to buy one for my Mom, she just couldn’t understand how I could get a “whole book” into my Kindle. If he has a friend who has one, it might help to have them explain. Sometimes it just has to come from someone else who words it differently.

    • kaleigha says:

      Ah, yes. I had “the talk” with my father, too. How did a book get in there? After a long winded explanation, he still looked confused. I believe I summed it up with “magic”.

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