Tips & more

Switching from Kindle to Fire? One thing will highly disappoint you

On a Fire tablet, managing side-loaded ebooks is annoyingly difficult. They are not being handled by the Kindle book app.

Starting point

Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers are both powered by Amazon and many users expect to see similar – if not the same – features.


Amazon lets you add and manage sideloaded books easily. Sideloaded books are the books you add to Kindle from third-party sources, such as sites with ebooks from the public domain.

You can send a file to an email address associated with your Kindle, and the book will appear in “All” tab a few minutes later.

On the Kindle, your personal books have the same status as books you purchased in the Kindle Store. You can sync last-read positions, bookmarks, or notes.

Kindle vs. Fire – managing own ebook files

On Amazon Fire, sideloaded ebooks are treated as third-party files.

In other words:

  • The books you purchased in the Kindle Store are managed by the Kindle app (called here “Books”).
  • The books you added from third-party sources are managed by the Docs app.

As a result:

  • If you want to read a sideloaded book, you will need to open Docs app, not Kindle app.
  • Sideloaded books are located in Send-to-Kindle section of the Docs app.
  • You open a sideloaded book in a Kindle interface, but it’s just a borrowed viewer – opening the book doesn’t add it to Books app.
  • When you close the sideloaded book, you will need to go through the entire process again: Docs » Send-to-Kindle » Find ebook » Open ebook.
  • Docs app provides basic book management tools: reading progress and All/Downloaded filter.

If all your books come from the Kindle platform, you will enjoy the Fire, but if you have lots of own ebook files, you will have to accept the limited integration.

Please make sure to read other facts about Amazon Fire, before making a final decision whether you need it at all.

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