Thursday, July 22, 2010

Biggest Problem with the Kindle: How to Turn It Off

We have had Kindles at my library for a bit over one year now. They were donated by the Western Springs Library Friends so our clients can experience using a Kindle before making a choice to buy. Many have enjoyed the device and purchased, while a few have thanked us for helping them see that the Kindle is not the device for them. The waiting lists have now dwindled, so we are letting them go out for longer periods. Our three Kindles are often out, but readers sometimes find one available.

One thing we notice as they come back is that they are not turned off. Instead they are just asleep. We demonstrate how to use the Kindle to each new user, and in the process, we highlight turning it off, but if the returns are an indication, many people don't get it. This has been verified to me by some Kindle owners who have come to me for troubleshooting. Their Kindles are losing their charges too soon. I show them how to turn it off properly and their problems usually end.

To turn off a Kindle, slide the on/off button that is located on the top edge of the Kindle to the right and hold it there until the screen goes gray. That sounds easy, but many people just slide and let go. The Kindle then shows a picture of famous author and may go blank after that. The Kindle is in this case only sleeping and slowing draining its battery. Also, if you slide the button to the right and hold a second too long, it comes back on again.

If you practice, you learn to turn off Kindles flawlessly. But it should not a trick to turn off a Kindle. I urge Amazon to redesign.


Amy said...

It's not the sleep mode that's draining the battery - it's the wireless. I never completely turn off my Kindle - I only put it to sleep - and I leave the wireless turned off unless I'm actively downloading. The documentation does not (although I can't find the source right now) that there is no more battery usage by a sleeping Kindle than by a turned-off Kindle and this has indeed been my experience. However, according to the Kindle User Guide, a sleeping Kindle still accesses the wireless, which drains the battery very quickly.

ricklibrarian said...

Thanks, Amy. That makes sense since the Kindle is reported to use no power between page resets.