Kindle owners will find browsing, buying and sharing books easier when a software update arrives this month, according to Amazon.
An Amazon page details the features and refinements coming to Kindle e-book readers. The update will enable you to personalize the home screen, for example, so your most recent books appear at the upper left of the screen. All of your books can be retrieved by clicking on My Library.
A new section dubbed "My Reading Lists" shows all the books on your wish list as well as any samples you've downloaded. The bottom of the home screen will change to show you recommendations, best-selling titles and books that your Goodreads friends are reading. Goodreads is a social book site in which friends share their book lists and rate books.
Sales of e-book readers have shrunk in recent years, in part because people can also peruse novels and news stories on the mobile phones and tablets that have become central to their digital lives. Still, e-readers are a handy and low-cost way for people to tote their electronic libraries. For Amazon, they're also a route for consumers into its electronic bookstore where people are prompted to purchase books.
Ironically, Amazon on Tuesday revealed plans to open a chain of brick-and-mortar bookstores where people can buy actual books. Amazon already has a physical bookstore in its hometown of Seattle. The company not only sells books there but also displays its devices, including the Kindle, Echo and Fire Tablet series.
The software update will strive to offer better book recommendations, with your help. You first list your favorite book genres, then rate books in your chosen genres. You will receive recommendations tailored to your preferences and can read a free sample.
If you have book you'd like to tell someone about, you will be able to send a link to a free preview of the book to another person via Facebook or Twitter. That person can read the sample through a Web browser on a phone, tablet or PC -- no Kindle required.
The update is coming to the 2013 and 2015 Kindle Paperwhite, the 2014 Kindle and the 2014 Kindle Voyage. The update will automatically arrive sometime this month, an Amazon spokesperson said.