My big annoyance with the otherwise adorable—and budget-priced—Fire Tablet is Amazon’s incredibly stupid decision to segregate personal documents into their own app.

On both the iOS and plain-Android versions of the Kindle app, both purchased and side-loaded content is treated equally and listed in the app together.

It has to be—there is no other place to put it.

On Amazon’s $50 tablet, however, there is space to put it. Amazon can pre-load these tablets with any software it chooses, and what it’s chosen to do is separate out the personal documents.

I understand why. Amazon wants you to buy its books, not load your own. But Amazon was very late to the game in Canada, and I already had a lot of books when I got this little tablet. I intend to keep using them. And it irks me to no end to have to juggle back and forth between two apps to do it! Tear down this wall!

But here is the conundrum. Since I use Amazon’s app on my other devices, I can’t really up and move to another reader app without losing the ability to sync my bookmarks and highlights. So, how can I mitigate this incredibly irksome annoyance?

So far, I have found two hacks which might help.

1) Load Books Using the ‘Recent’ Screen

If you swipe left from the home screen, you’ll see a ‘Recent’ section. It can display a mixture of books and apps, or you can tweak a checkbox in the settings and have it display only books. Good news—personal documents show up here like books! And you can browse them in cover view just like a library.

If you have a ton of personal documents, you won’t be able to browse all of them this way. But if you are primarily reading a handful of books at a time, just that they come from different sources, this may work for you.

2) Sideload All Your Books

This is probably the option I will choose, since I know how to sideload even an Amazon-purchased book. I will simply side load everything, then use the Docs app exclusively. It’s not a perfect solution, but I feel that Amazon has forced my hand on this. Into Calibre it all goes!

Although I’ve tried the above tricks on the $50 Fire, they should work with more expensive models using the same operating system.

Image credit: Here.


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