Kindle Navigation Tips #4 – The Back Button

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Back ButtonIf you really want to get around the content on your Kindle, the “Back” button is key. It isn’t talked about a lot, but there is a big difference between going “back” and going to the “previous page.” Kindle Tips and Troubleshooting at Amazon tells us this much:

Back vs. Prev Page: When you are reading books, periodicals and personal documents, the Next Page and Prev Page buttons take you forward and backward within the content. The Back button is like the back button on your web browser and allows you to retrace your steps on Kindle. For example, you can follow a link in a book and then use the Back button to return to your place. Or, you can start in the Front Page section of a newspaper, follow a link to an article, read that article and hit the Back button to go back to the Front Page.

I think about the way I experience the “back” button a bit differently. It seems to be to be the most useful to think of pressing the back button as “undoing” your last click of the scroll wheel. The button takes you back to your last selection using the scroll wheel, not the page flippers.

And maybe the most important thing to understand about the back button, bar none, is that, unlike your web browser, there is no “forward” button on the Kindle. It doesn’t exist. So once you hit the back button, you have to re-navigate yourself all the way back to where you were in your content–the newspaper, for example, or the book, or whatever. Sometimes, this is darned inconvenient.

So, you can make the Kindle sing with the flippers, the menu key, and the back button, but if that right thumb twitches at the wrong moment, all you can do is curse under your breath and start over again in finding that spot in the book that you just left.

  6 comments for “Kindle Navigation Tips #4 – The Back Button

  1. Ardis
    January 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    You people are brilliant. In the space of a short post and five comments, I’ve found answers to three questions that have frustrated me in the few hours I’ve had this delightful gadget. Thank you.

  2. userhusband
    December 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    On the K3 you can go forward with the shift+back, maybe the older versions do too?

  3. willd
    December 16, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Rita, on the Menu you can find a choice called “Go to…” and by clicking that you will be given the option of returning to the beginning of the book, or the cover (and sometimes the table of contents). Hope this helps!

  4. Rita
    December 14, 2010 at 12:34 am

    I’m frustrated trying to go back to the beginning of the book (I have a book with many short stories and don’t want to read them consecutively). I tried hitting the back button as suggested above and it just sent me to a previous location like menu or home. Is there any way to go back to the beginning of a book without paging back one page at a time? Thanks. I’m new at this easily frustrated.

  5. Howard
    November 9, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Yes, it’s a major flaw… Amazon, please fix it.

  6. September 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Ah… my frustration with not having a Forward button on my shiny new Kindle, and subsequent Googling led me hear. Thanks for spelling this out – not happy about it though.

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