The books you have added yourself to your Kindle library are now called “Docs,” and are separated from the ones you have downloaded from the Kindle Store.
With the redesign of the content management page on the web, Amazon has finished the process of separating two kinds of books users read on their Kindle e-readers or in Kindle apps:
- Books from the Kindle Store are called “Books” – these are all the titles that you purchased or downloaded for free from the Kindle store, including free samples.
- Books from other sources are called “Docs” – these are the files that you have added to Kindle by sending them via email, using Send to Kindle extension, or sideloading from your computer.
Books versus Docs on the Kindle
Books from the Kindle Store are a premium category, your own Docs are economic class. These two kinds of content are being handled by Amazon differently. Here are the things that I have observed:
▸ Your own books, the Docs, can be much easier removed from your Kindle or Kindle library than Books. Be careful when you manage the title. When you select “Remove from Library” for your Doc, it will be removed not only from your device but permanently deleted from your Kindle library in the cloud. For Books, the equivalent command is much clearer – “Permanently Delete.”
▸ Syncing problems happen much more often with Docs than Books.
▸ Even if properly prepared, the Docs appear on your Kindle or in a Kindle app with an ugly blank cover with a rendered title and “doc” label. Usually, what you should do to render the original cover is download the book to the device and open it, so that its content is fully loaded.
▸ The biggest difference is when you search for the title you want to read. Books and Docs are grouped in different catalogs. The guide below explains the details.
How to find your own books on Kindle and Kindle app
To find your own books in your Kindle library, you can use one of the three ways:
Use an Amazon website
1. Go to the Amazon website, then choose “Accounts & Lists” on the right-hand side of the top navigation bar, and then select “Content and Devices.”
2. Click on the block called “Docs” – it’s where all the books you downloaded to Kindle are stored.
If you want to see the books you purchased in the Kindle Store, click the “Books” block.
Use your Kindle e-reader
1. Go to the home page, and tap “From Your Library” heading at the top.
2. Tap the slider icon in the top left corner, and select the “Documents” button at the bottom. You will see all your personal books, no matter whether they have been added as mobi, epub, prc, azw, or pdf files.
If you want to see the books or free samples from the Kindle Store, tap the “Books” button at the bottom.
When you tap the book cover of a single book, it will start downloading to your Kindle or Kindle app. You will be able to read it even without access to the internet.
Use your Kindle app
Kindle apps for Android and iOS/iPad have a similar design, and this guide should work for both systems.
1. Open the Amazon Kindle app on your device. Quit the book you are currently reading to go back to the main view.
2. In the main view, tap “Library” in the bottom navigation bar.
3. Tap “All” on the top – you are now seeing all the books in your Kindle cloud library, not only the ones that are downloaded to your Kindle app.
4. Tap the slider icon in the top left corner, and then tap “Docs” in the menu. You will see the full list of the books you added yourself to the Kindle library.
Own books on the Kindle – thoughts
As you know, Amazon ends the support for mobi format, but epub has already been added. Generally, epub files are harder to add to the Kindle library (I will write a separate post about it), but seem to be the best format to replace mobi.
Can separating native Kindle books from own Kindle books go any further? Theoretically, it can – just take a look at Amazon Fire. Your own Kindle books can be found in a separate app, called Docs, but you can read them in the Kindle app. It’s a ridiculous solution, but the intentions are clear: Amazon wants you to shop in the Kindle Store.
I think the current Books vs Docs split is the most Amazon can do to discourage users from adding books from third-party sources.
However, you can’t expect any help from Amazon when it comes to problems with sending your own books to the Kindle. The pain of conversion is going to stay with us for longer.
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