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Sharing Two Kindles, How does it work?

It works great!

My wife and I both like to read. I recently got a Kindle, and Holly just had to have one too. One downside of e-books is that you can’t share a book with a friend. However, if two people can share one Amazon account (at least, just for Kindle purchases) , then they can share all their books between their two Kindle’s.

kindle-buy-options.jpgIt works really simply, and really well. When you get the second Kindle, you just register it to the same account as the first one. Then when you buy a book, or download a sample, you get a drop-down box that lets you choose which Kindle you want the book sent to. In the image to the right I’ve selected “Mick’s Kindle”.

So it gets sent to whichever Kindle you like. There’s no option to send it to both Kindles, but once you’ve bought it, then it’s in your “Media Library” on Amazon, and from there you can send it again to either Kindle.

You can also buy books on the Kindle itself, and with that it works just as you would expect – the book goes to the Kindle you ordered it on, and to the Media Library, so it can be downloaded to either Kindle at a later time.

Finally you can also get a copy of the book on the other Kindle without using the computer. Just go to the “Content Manager” on the Kindle’s main menu. In the Content Manager, some books are labeled “Kindle”, meaning they are in your Kindle, and some are labeled “Amazon”, meaning they are just in your Media Store. If Holly buys a book, it will automatically show up here.

So, to download a book Holly just bought on her Kindle, I just select it in the Content Manager, and then select “Move to Kindle Memory” from the Menu. The book will transfer, and twenty seconds later you can start reading.

This all brings me to an unexpected advantage of the Kindle. We can read the same book at the same time. Normally you’d read a book and then lend it to someone. But since we have two Kindles, with two copies of the book (for less than the price of one paper book), we can both be reading it at the same time. We are currently both reading What is the What by Dave Eggers, and it’s a novel experience to be able to discuss the book while were are both still reading it.

81 Comments


  1. //

    “it’s a novel experience…”

    No pun intended, eh?

    Just wanted to add that my kindle is better than yours!


  2. //

    Mick,

    Thanks for this information!

    Very similar stories here. I’ve had a Kindle for a few months and then Debbie wanted one, just ordered it. Needed to know how to share books. Thanks again!

    Very cool website!


  3. //

    I’ve been enjoying my Kindle for some time now and had run into the same problem here; my wife wanted similar titles to my account. Now we can share!

    Thank you Mick!


  4. //

    I am so glad to hear this! Thank you for your detailed description of everything I was wondering about before buying one for my wife for her upcoming birthday; I know I’d want one too and now with this info I can get one now and another for myself later and read right along with her!

    One faint question left is that I’ve heard on Kindle 2 that if you own two it remembers which page you ended on for both; if she reads faster than I, is there a way you’ve found to turn that feature off for a particular title and separately Bookmark your Kindle Title where YOU leave off?



  5. //

    Can you do the same thing with a magazine subscription?


  6. //

    My wife has a kindle and I have a kindle for iPhone account. Can we share books?


  7. //

    You need to use the same account for both devices. You can de-register one, and then re-register it with the other account. You’ll lose the books bought on one account though, so read them first.

    Best to start out using the same account.


  8. //

    If you can’t share magazine subscriptions, does that also mean you can’t share newspaper subscriptions? As expensive as home delivery subscriptions have become ($200 a year here), I could justify a couple of Kindles if we could share newspapers.


  9. //

    As far as I know, ALL subscriptions are to a specific Kindle, and cannot be shared.


  10. //

    Thanks for info Mick. With the 2nd Kindle, do you need to deregister or can you just edit the account information to match the 1st kindle? It gives u options to do both. Thanks, Rich


  11. //

    I’m not sure, but I think it’s safe to try editing the info first. I suspect you would need to reregister though. We did it with a new unregistered kindle


  12. //

    Hello! Can I actually register more than 1 device to one account? to create a sort of book club with friends?


  13. //

    I ment more then 2 devices. obviously.


  14. //

    Yes, I think the limit is five, although apparently this can vary by book. I have four registered now, with iPhones.

    Be aware though that all those devices will be able to purchase books from the device.


  15. //

    Thanks for the help, Mick! :)


  16. //

    regarding 2 kindle readers, I have the same question as Justin: 2 readers should have 2 different “last page read”. If I turn off whispersync, then my page numbers won’t interfere with my wifes. But when I turn it back on to buy a new book? Or want to synch so my iphone can also read from MY last page? Not obvious to me, anyway.


  17. //

    Ok, now that I read a little more, I see that this would just stop the sync’ing of last page read, annotations, etc. But I suspect that my wife would not be happy to find that she can no longer sync last page read on her iphone with her kindle if we turn whispersync off. Sounds like I am asking a little too much from the service, as I would need to have multiple sync configs (eg, synch this device with that one, and that 3rd device with this 4th.)


  18. //

    OK, what a moron I am. Ignore me. (like my wife does ;-) last page =/= furthest page. duh.


  19. //

    As I do not live in USA,I cant use whispernet.I download the books to my computer and drag drop it to my Kindle’s memory so don’t you think I can do the same if we had more kindles in the house.Can’t I share like this?


  20. //

    The Kindles still need to be registered to the same account, as the books are encrypted so they only work on specific Kindles.

    Plus, if you are not in the USA, you might not actually be able to buy e-books from Amazon. You might want to look at some of the alternatives that are available.


  21. //

    Do the people that are registered to the same account need to be in the same family or can a few friends register together? also does one person have to make the official purchase of the kindles or can each person buy their own?


  22. //

    Hi, Mike wrote: “You need to use the same account for both devices. You can de-register one, and then re-register it with the other account. Youll lose the books bought on one account though, so read them first.

    Best to start out using the same account.”

    But if i have downloaded my books to the PC, couldnt i download them again to my first Kindle that i deregistered after i registered it to the other account?


  23. //

    This is talking about if you have two accounts, say you and your spouse both have an individual Amazon account. Any Kindle at any one time can only contain books from one account (the one it is registered to).

    If you’ve downloaded purchased books on your PC, I believe they will only work for the Kindle account and device they were originally purchased for.

    Hence it’s best to have one account for multiple devices.


  24. //

    Thanks for the help. I am thinking about buying a Kindle (actually 2) and being able to share books with my wife is essential since I do not want to pay twice for the same book, nor swap the kindle device to share the book.

    By the way, I live outside the US and I have read that service is available in my country, Spain, with a little surcharge per book (not too bad 1.99 US$). If you take into account that regular book prices normally range between 20 to 30 (29 to 44 US$), ebooks are the solution.


  25. //

    I am going back and forth between the Kindle and the new Nook coming out by Barnes&Noble. The pro’s to the Nook is you can share books with anyone!!! It has a color touchscreen, & expandable memory.
    The con to the Nook is that it doesn’t have the cabability to read to you… so how well does that feature work on Kindle? Another con is the buttons to turn the page are on the side and it looks like you just touch them, I would think it would be easy to accidently touch this all the time. Tho I don’t know that for sure.
    So, which device should I get? Your thoughts??


  26. //

    I just got a Kindle 2. But it sounds like I jumped the gun…should have waited for the Nook. I can’t believe that once you buy a “book” you can’t freely swap it with others. iTunes doesn’t have all these restrictions…absolutely crazy.


  27. //

    I have a kindle- The text to sprrech (the feathure that reads to you) is not that great. You really have to focus to hear it. It is computer speak- sounds a little like Charlie Brown’s teacher:)wo wo wo wa ….


  28. //

    The Nook also does not have a web browser. The Kindle’s web browser is very simple and not fully featured, but I can browse most news websites fine and check Gmail with it.


  29. //

    Brandy & Terrry: re the Nook swap vs Kindle. I read that you can only “loan” the Nook book once for a specific number of days and if the reader hasn’t finished the book, too bad, it comes back to you and you can’t resend it. It’s a feature that’s not quite as good as it sounds.


  30. //

    Thanks for the great information! But i do have one question; my sister and i share the same account for our Kindles, and its both on our mom’s credit card. and so whenever on the home page it says welcome, and then my mother’s name. is there a way to change this? would i have to deregister to be able to change this?
    –thanks for your help


  31. //

    Can you use 2 separate Credit cards?


  32. //

    It’s linked to one amazon account. You can in theory use two cards on one account, but you can’t select the card via the Kindle, so really no.


  33. //

    Just wanted to make sure I read this correctly…

    If I have a Kindle and my own Amazon account that it is linked to, I cannot add another Amazon account to my Kindle? It only works the other way around, i.e. you can add 1 or more Kindles to an Amazon account but only 1 Amazon account/Kindle?


  34. //

    Yes. As far as I know you can only associate one account with any given kindle. I’m not 100% sure though.


  35. //

    Obviously you’re already trusting the 2nd person on the amazon account, so, you could add the 2nd credit card, then whenever you go to buy books, just make sure to change your one-click purchase option. Though I suppose it defeats the purpose of buying from the kindle to be at a computer to adjust your payment options, but you could plan ahead or the like :)

    My sister just got a kindle (I’ve had my for half a year), and I’ve lots of books she’d like, and am trying to figure out the best way to get them to her.

    I don’t mind her being able to buy books, as long as she eventually coughs up the money :) So I’ll probably do as suggested and register her kindle under my account.

    As to the Nook vs Kindle…the nook is bigger and heavier. And seems a bit slower than the Kindle. Just my two cents.


  36. //

    Frankly, the inability to be abel to share is one reason why I decided NOT to buy a Kindle just yet. Imagine – you can’t even lend a book to a friend. How mean is that.

    Then there’s the longevity issue, I’ve just reread a book that’s been sitting on my bookcase for over 20 years…

    … and then there are the platform issues – as libraries go electronic will the books all share the same file format, or will you find that some are not compatible with your reader…?

    Considereing the price of a book, you really should be able to share it with a couple of friends… I think they should look at that.


  37. //

    Mick,
    Great information and very useful discussion. Just what I needed. Thanks for doing this.


  38. //

    Can you share books between two iPhones using the Kindle app? That’s where I am. My husband has a book on his iPhone Kindle app that I would like to read on my iPhone. Is this possible?


  39. //

    Yes, but the phone needs to be registered to the same kindle account as was used on the other phone


  40. //

    I purchased a Nook earlier this year and ended up returning it. It was slow, the battery drained somewhat quickly, my book didn’t download properly, and it froze twice in the week I had it. The book sharing is not as fabulous as it sounds either – you can only share the book once, and only for 14 days. B&N really wants to get in on the e-reader game, but I think they released their device before getting all the bugs out. I ended up returning it and buying a kindle – much better!


  41. //

    I bought a kindle for my daughter using my amazon account so my name comes up on her kindle. I just bought myself one. How do I personalize my daughter’s with her name and have my name on mine?!


  42. //

    On your computer, go to amazon.com and log in, then under “Your Account”, “Manage Your Kindle”, you will see a list of Kindles registered to your account. Click on “Edit Info” to change the name.

    Any books bought so far will be on your account, and so if you want to have her Kindle on another account (deregister it), then that may mean she can’t get the books she’s already got.


  43. //

    Can you register one kindle on multiple amazon accounts? For instance, I have a kindle so does my mom so can I give my mom my kindles serial number to register under her and still keep my serial number on my account in order to share books?


  44. //

    I have just registered my iPad and PC under the same amazon account. Can I download books to the PC and then move across to the iPad? I’m wi-fi less for a few weeks and can’t download straight to the iPad unless I go to a wi-fi cafe (and I’m in Australia).


  45. //

    i am getting a kindle, then will be purchasing kindles for my children at christmas. I would like to put them all on the same account so we can share books for the most part, but since my children are still younger, some of my reading material is not appropriate for them. Is it possible to make part of my library available for them to share but not all of it? or is it an all or nothing kind of deal?


  46. //

    Thank you for all this great information of sharing an account so my niece and I can share our kindle books.

    If we currently have 2 separate accounts and transfer both kindles into one account, will the books we have on each of our kindles transfer to the new joint account?

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