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Author Topic: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon  (Read 16854 times)  

Offline puglover333

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I just spent a frustrating 30 minutes on the line with customer support, and they said it couldn't be done.

I'm hoping someone on here might know the answer.

I want to set up freetime for my son on the Fire HD.  I have a lot of books for him that are not bought from Amazon.  So, Amazon classifies them as "personal documents".  I have no trouble getting the onto the Fire.  I can read them on the Fire.  When I go to manage his freetime, there are only three tabs to pick content from - books, video, and apps.  I can only choose books that have been bought from Amazon.  I can't choose files from personal documents.  Amazon says there is no way for them to show up under the "books" tab.

So I sideloaded an epub reader app - I figured I'd just convert them to epub and allow him access to that app.  Well, apparently sideloaded apps are also not available to be used in freetime.  They don't show up under the "app" tab at all.

Can anyone think of a way to make this work?

(the only thing I can think of is if there is a epub reader for the fire that can be bought from the amazon appstore that I don't know about)

Thanks


Offline TraceyC/FL

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 02:19:10 PM »
Aldiko does epub.

http://amzn.com/B004V1XJ6Q

But that is frustrating - totally.... I am "saving" my eBook fun for the kids Nabi's i bought for after the 15th. I anticipate it being... not so much fun.

The reading time should be limited/controlled by everything in the kindle app in my mind. Since it is their first go at it I will give them the benefit of the doubt to "fix it" in the future... which doesn't help you NOW either.

Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 02:29:07 PM »
It doesn't really surprise me that it's only designed to work with 'stuff' you get from Amazon. . . . they make no secret that they consider the device a means to an end -- namely: to get you to buy Amazon content. 

But if you need it to do more, definitely provide feedback; they do listen. . . . .

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Offline puglover333

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 02:39:29 PM »
Aldiko is not compatible with the Fire.  None of the ePub readers are compatible as far as I know.  :(

I did write to them and provide feedback.  I'm curious as to their reply.

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 03:13:24 PM »
Aldiko is not compatible with the Fire.  None of the ePub readers are compatible as far as I know.  :(

I did write to them and provide feedback.  I'm curious as to their reply.

Well, the version available at Amazon shows as not compatible.  But folks have loaded the app from other places -- like 1Mobile -- and it has worked.  (Of course, you'd have the same problem with Free Time not really recognizing it.)

Again, it's not hugely surprising that they don't let you load a different ereader app on the Fire from their store. :-\  I find it more suprising that they offer it at all! :o

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Offline TraceyC/FL

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 03:36:19 PM »
Aldiko is not compatible with the Fire.  None of the ePub readers are compatible as far as I know.  :(

I did write to them and provide feedback.  I'm curious as to their reply.
Whoops - sorry, I only have non-Fire tablets and got it at Amazon.

Hopefully they sort it out, they have a huge potential for grabbing a market segment - and need to step beyond the "content consumption" part of the equation a bit. I have the same suggestions to most manufactures of things aimed at kids. THe point being, what you start them on is what they will likely stick with - Nabi is about to start shipping a rugged android tablet device for the young toddler set. Tell me those kids aren't going to now grow up in the Android world... are you listening Apple?!?!

Oh. I got sidetracked. Again.

Offline JuliMonroe

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 06:06:08 PM »
Isn't the Overdrive app Fire compatible? It will read ePubs.


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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 07:03:49 PM »
Isn't the Overdrive app Fire compatible? It will read ePubs.


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I'd understood it was strictly for borrowing from Libraries using the Overdrive system. . . . .but I don't really use it so could be wrong about that.

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Offline JuliMonroe

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 07:18:17 PM »
The version I had for my rooted Nook Color read any DRM-free ePub, and the Amazon description says their version does too.


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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 08:05:42 PM »
Overdrive's "about" page in the app says "DRM-Free EPUB ebooks from various online resources can be downloaded directly to this app."

The question is, can you sideload already-purchased ebooks into Overdrive; and, if so, can you see them if Free Time is active.  I don't have any epub books to test with...  But it's worth a try, puglover.

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Offline puglover333

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 08:55:23 PM »
Isn't the Overdrive app Fire compatible? It will read ePubs.


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Ok. I did a little playing with the Overdrive app.  It does show up under the "app" list as selectable when choosing content for freetime.  It keeps all data available when in freetime.  I downloaded a file into Overdrive from project gutenberg (using the silk browser directly on the fire).  It was available in both normal fire mode and freetime.

When I hook my fire to the computer to try to sideload, and I can't figure out where to drop the file so it shows up on overdrive. 

Directly downloading works, but I can't figure out how to sideload.

Offline puglover333

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 08:56:50 PM »
The version I had for my rooted Nook Color read any DRM-free ePub, and the Amazon description says their version does too.


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Do you recall where you drop the files so Overdrive recognized them?

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2012, 09:19:23 PM »
Ok. I did a little playing with the Overdrive app.  It does show up under the "app" list as selectable when choosing content for freetime.  It keeps all data available when in freetime.  I downloaded a file into Overdrive from project gutenberg (using the silk browser directly on the fire).  It was available in both normal fire mode and freetime.

When I hook my fire to the computer to try to sideload, and I can't figure out where to drop the file so it shows up on overdrive. 

Directly downloading works, but I can't figure out how to sideload.

OK, puglover, I just tested moving an epub book into my Dropbox folder.  I then opened Dropbox on my Fire, clicked on the epub to open it and got Overdrive as an option.  So that should work.

Or any online location for the book that you can access through the browser should work.  If you have Calibre, it has a way to access files through a network.

If you don't have dropbox, you can get an account and download the app http://www.dropbox.com/android

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Offline puglover333

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2012, 10:00:46 AM »
OK, puglover, I just tested moving an epub book into my Dropbox folder.  I then opened Dropbox on my Fire, clicked on the epub to open it and got Overdrive as an option.  So that should work.

Or any online location for the book that you can access through the browser should work.  If you have Calibre, it has a way to access files through a network.

If you don't have dropbox, you can get an account and download the app http://www.dropbox.com/android

Betsy

Thank you so much!!!!!!

Using Overdrive and Dropbox, I can get the files into FreeTime!

 :) :) :) :) :)

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2012, 10:03:50 AM »
Thank you so much!!!!!!

Using Overdrive and Dropbox, I can get the files into FreeTime!

 :) :) :) :) :)


Great!!!  It takes a village...I would never have thought of Overdrive without Juli's post.  Like Ann, I think of it only for library books.

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Offline TraceyC/FL

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2012, 10:09:46 AM »

Great!!!  It takes a village...I would never have thought of Overdrive without Juli's post.  Like Ann, I think of it only for library books.

I thought of it - but was afraid to mention it after the Aldiko suggestion was a bust!  :D

I"m happy that a solution was found - and I will remember it for my "week before Christmas" project setting up my kids Tablets and a friend's Fire.

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2012, 12:17:38 PM »
Can't you email them to your account?
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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2012, 12:27:26 PM »
Can't you email them to your account?

I think they become personal documents at that point, don't they?  Per the OP, personal documents are not available when "Free Time" is turned on.  (I don't do much with emailed docs or personal docs.)

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Offline JuliMonroe

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2012, 01:36:17 PM »
Glad my suggestion of Overdrive worked out!

Not bad for someone who doesn't even own a Fire. ;)


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Offline TraceyC/FL

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 12:39:09 PM »
Here I sit going to do this.... which cracks me up!

But I have some ePubs that i'd like to let the Fire HD recipient read - and this should be the easiest way. I'd like to go ahead and get her set up for library books too, but need her Dad to sign for her card!

Offline theruleslawyer

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2012, 01:45:57 PM »
Use calibre to convert your books to .mobi format and send them to the fire. They show up on the books tab them. I've done it with tons and tons of material.

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2012, 01:51:07 PM »
Use calibre to convert your books to .mobi format and send them to the fire. They show up on the books tab them. I've done it with tons and tons of material.
The OP implies that she had tried that but they were "personal documents" and didn't work in the free time app - because she then states she loaded and ePub reader and converted them.

For me, I just needed the ePub reader to get my DRM-free Harry Potter ePubs on there, dropbox worked great and I didn't have to fight with Calibre anymore today (because i'm doing stuff with it for MY kids).

Offline theruleslawyer

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2012, 01:55:31 PM »
The OP implies that she had tried that but they were "personal documents" and didn't work in the free time app - because she then states she loaded and ePub reader and converted them.

For me, I just needed the ePub reader to get my DRM-free Harry Potter ePubs on there, dropbox worked great and I didn't have to fight with Calibre anymore today (because i'm doing stuff with it for MY kids).

Exactly. Converting to .mobi in calibre made my books show up in books instead of docs. That means they could be included in the free time function. Most of the stuff I convert starts as epub.

Offline puglover333

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2012, 07:15:37 PM »
Exactly. Converting to .mobi in calibre made my books show up in books instead of docs. That means they could be included in the free time function. Most of the stuff I convert starts as epub.

Thanks for the suggestion.  I already tried.

I do use Calibre.  If I email my kindle the book, it goes to documents.  If I sideload it, I can make it show up under "books".

However, just like with sideloaded apps, they don't show up on the list when you are choosing content for freetime.  Only the things purchased from amazon are available.

 

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2012, 04:44:53 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion.  I already tried.

I do use Calibre.  If I email my kindle the book, it goes to documents.  If I sideload it, I can make it show up under "books".

However, just like with sideloaded apps, they don't show up on the list when you are choosing content for freetime.  Only the things purchased from amazon are available.
It happens with movies too - you can only "free time" the ones that you bought from Amazon. I can say that you can add the "Movie Gallery" app and any movies loaded into it will show up in free time.

After fiddling with free time, i can say that it seems like a decent first cut, but very limited due to the content consumption aspect of the Fire. Amazon still can't seem to wrap their head around the fact if they flex more NOW, the kids will consume more as they get older.

I'm hoping the Nabi time controls end up doing what I need more specifically - i'm part of the beta test group for it so at least I get a chance to be vocal about it!  :P

Offline theruleslawyer

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2012, 09:43:47 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion.  I already tried.

I do use Calibre.  If I email my kindle the book, it goes to documents.  If I sideload it, I can make it show up under "books".

However, just like with sideloaded apps, they don't show up on the list when you are choosing content for freetime.  Only the things purchased from amazon are available.

 

Wow... that is a strange distinction. Almost like they are using the cloud to run freetime. I wonder what happens with freetime if wifi is off?
You'd think that it would be a metadata tag that it is looking for, or maybe its looking for .AZW I forget if calibre can convert to that format.

Offline TraceyC/FL

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2013, 06:06:35 AM »
I was revisiting this topic since there is a good chance i'm going to exchange my Nabi's for Fire's today or tomorrow.

I"m guessing that the Overdrive solution will not allow Freetime to use it for the "unlimited reading" - that that must be the Amazon app?

I really really STILL do not want my kids in my archive, and can get around that with Freetime, but would just rather side load the books like i'm doing for Aldiko on the nabi's. This is hard without a device to play with, and I never played with one attached to my Prime account either.

I wish the $50 off for students covered the 7"..... sigh.

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2013, 08:12:48 AM »
I was revisiting this topic since there is a good chance i'm going to exchange my Nabi's for Fire's today or tomorrow.

I"m guessing that the Overdrive solution will not allow Freetime to use it for the "unlimited reading" - that that must be the Amazon app?

I really really STILL do not want my kids in my archive, and can get around that with Freetime, but would just rather side load the books like i'm doing for Aldiko on the nabi's. This is hard without a device to play with, and I never played with one attached to my Prime account either.

I wish the $50 off for students covered the 7"..... sigh.


Reading on overdrive is considered using an app.  So you have to set the app time limit to unlimited.

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2013, 08:27:34 AM »

Reading on overdrive is considered using an app.  So you have to set the app time limit to unlimited.
UGH. Darn it. Expected, but not what I wanted to hear either! Thanks!!

Offline ksburgess

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2015, 04:36:17 PM »
I know this is an old thread but I just wanted to share how I found to side-load books into Freetime since I found this thread while looking for a solution :).  This works in both little kid and teen Freetime on our new 5th gen Fires (2015 $50 tab).  I installed the Calibre Companion app, then loaded in the books I wanted each kid to have (I had Calibre convert any epubs to .azw format).  Then my child picks a book off the Calibre Companion app, and it automatically launches the books in the book reader app (you can configure the app settings to launch on click, or show an info page). 

It will not remember position in the book, so my older kids have to bookmark (it remembers the bookmarks).  But otherwise it works great for us - they are able to read sideloaded books, and since it's the Kindle app, it counts as reading time (unlimited) and not app time.

They just have to remember to leave 15 min or so on app time always so they don't lock themselves out of their bookshelf in the Calibre Companion (there's no other way to access the books in Freetime!)

It's also nice because my older kids can use Calibre Companion to sort books by tag, etc., since I keep our ebook collection organized in Calibre (on my desktop).  And transferring books over is easy.

This has been a great solution for us and I hope it helps someone else!

Offline gaidinsgirl

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2015, 05:39:00 AM »
Thank you so much for this info @ksburgess! I have spent hours trying to find a way around that. The app does cost $3.99 for anyone else wanting to try it, but it works so I'm happy with it!


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Offline TraceyC/FL

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2015, 06:55:35 AM »
I know this is an old thread but I just wanted to share how I found to side-load books into Freetime since I found this thread while looking for a solution :)

Let me 1-up your found the thread thing.... because, I just googled to find some answers - and found myself in a thread I had participated in!!!  ;)

My kids have been enjoying greatly their iPod Touches I ended up getting for them instead of the Nabi's I returned. They chose those instead of the Fire at the time. They were using eInk readers for books. Now i'm back to needing to replace those and ordered the Kids Kindle. I am happy to see I can to from A to Z easier now, except now i really want access to Tales2Go audio streaming (Amazon rejected their app), and apparently audiobooks don't work in Freetime... nor does Immersion Reading. BUT, they can read the books - so lets focus on that first.

Thanks for the further info on getting things to work. I'll mess with it when the one shows up (after Christmas) and see how it goes.

Offline gaidinsgirl

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2015, 06:05:59 AM »
You can turn on the text to speech feature too and let the kindle read the book to them. It worked with all the books I added the calibre companion app.


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Offline tsemple

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2015, 09:10:49 PM »
This is not an issue with FreeTime per se, but with the way Parental Controls function on the various devices. There is no Personal Document functionality to that at all, by design. The thinking is that any Parental Controls that allowed side-loading of unidentified reading material or even Personal Documents delivered wirelessly would not meet the requirements and expectations of most customers that want that feature. The whole point is to lock the device down so you don't have to worry about what your kids can read on there if, for example, they get hold of a USB cable at their friend's house.

To me it sounds like too much trouble to engage the calibre/calibre companion workaround, with its less than perfect result (not able to save reading position). I'm very technical but am simultaneously very convenience oriented. In the 'time is money' equation, maybe it is less expensive just to buy stuff from Amazon.

I think it is unfortunate that Immersion Reading is not available to the child accounts in Family Library, since that's supposed to be a great way to learn how to read.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 09:12:52 PM by tsemple »

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2016, 07:15:46 PM »
So close, and yet so far away... This thread seems to have exactly the solution I need. I want to use Overdrive in Freetime just as described on page one of this thread. It seems to work great:

1. Install Overdrive
2. Allow Overdrive on Freetime account
3. Access ePub file via Silk browser on main account (I went directly to my calibre library, i.e. 192.168.1.XXX:8080)
4. Click file and it automatically opens the ePub book in Overdrive
and here's where it breaks
5. switch to freetime account, but the book isn't there.

This actually makes sense to me, because other apps do not share data. For example, my kids both can play the same game on the same kindle and it keeps their progress saved separately. So it is more surprising to me that the above method was working for anyone. Has something changed? Am I missing a step?

I thought maybe signing into Overdrive with a library account might help (on main and freetime) but no luck there. I'd even be happy manually copying the ePub to the kindle, but when I put it in a similar structure I see overdrive using for downloaded books, it still doesn't show up (on main or freetime overdrive).

I may just buy the Calibre app, but I'm annoyed that I have only 300 'coins' after having thousands of them (promotional) expire recently.

Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2016, 11:28:51 AM »
If you want to sideload things, you need to be signed into the same profile as you want them to be viewed on. At least connecting it directly with a USB cable, you see a completely difference folder structure depending on whether you are in the parental or child profile.

I was, however, able to sideload movies and tv shows to the Fire while I was signed in to my daughter's profile. I'd guess that books would work similarly. So authorize silk for the child profile, get the books into overdrive, then unauthorize silk. I think that would do it(?)

Offline Kindledadagain

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Re: Freetime question - reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2016, 01:56:10 PM »
ARGH Thank you speaker to animals! Your comment was finally the one that fixed everything. I just installed adobe free reader and allowed it in freetime but I couldn't ever find the pdf files from the kid account. I just assumed it wouldn't let you see certain files but you solved the problem. Sideloading simply needs to be done when logged into the child account. THANKS and hopefully the adobe pdf reader app from the amazon store will solve the problem for others trying to access .pdf files.

Offline Raz39c

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reading your own books not purchased from amazon
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2017, 12:58:00 PM »
I was reading an older post about books, etc. not bought from Amazon.

I have an amazing number of books, mostly in mobi or pdf format.  I didn't know the Fire could use epub books.

I downloaded a free app from (Amazon's?) app store called ES File Explorer.

Using the little square button on the bottom to show all  the apps on the screen shows ES Explorer.  When I open this it shows a good group of icons. Scrolling across  these I see a folder named documents.  It shows all docs on the Fire.  You can't read Amazon books here but scroll down and all mobi, pdf epub, ect docs are displayed and read them from there.

I don't know if this is the best way but it seems simplest to me.

Warning- the Fire doesn't save the last page read.  I wright down the location before I stop reading.

Richard