Instapaper is an indispensable app that saves lengthy online articles and re-formats the text for easy reading. The Kindle, meanwhile, is one of the best e-readers around. Can we get these two together?
Turns out we can—and indeed, you can set Instapaper to wirelessly send your Kindle a daily digest of your latest saved stories. Here’s how to do it.
First, a little background on Instapaper, a free online service that’s a must-have for bookworns.
The site itself is simple: just sign up for an account, and add a “Read Later” bookmark to your favorite web browser. Whenever you happen upon a long online article (from, say, a newspaper or magazine website) that you’d like to curl up with for a leisurely read, just select your new “Read Later” bookmark to send it to your Instapaper reading list.
Your can then peruse your saved articles online in an easy-to-read format, stripped of all ads, sidebars, and other distracting elements. Instapaper also offers a $5 app that saves articles to your iPhone or iPad—perfect for reading even when, say, you’re on a plane, in a subway, or otherwise without an Internet connection.
But what about the Kindle, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite ways to read e-books? Well, Instapaper makes it easy to send your most recent saved stories to your Kindle—no wires required.
There’s one catch: While you can receive e-mail on your Kindle over Wi-Fi for free, Amazon will charge you a small fee for transmitting articles over the Kindle’s 3G receiver. The charge is 15 cents a megabyte if you’re receiving stories in the U.S., or 99 cents/MB overseas. Just so you know, I sent a batch of 20, rather lengthy Instapaper stories to my Kindle, and the file was barely half a MB (the fee is rounded up to the nearest MB); still, those charges can add up, especially for globetrotters.
So, let’s get started!
- If you haven’t already, head to Instapaper, set up an account, install the “Read Later” bookmark in your browser, and start saving some stories.
- Since Instapaper will be sending articles to your Kindle via email, you’ll need to make sure your Kindle is ready to accept email. Visit this page, go to the “E-Mail Settings” section, make sure the “Auto Deliver” setting is set to “Enabled.” Also, make note of your Kindle’s email address (yes, your Kindle has its own email address); it should be your Amazon.com user name with “@Kindle.com” tacked on at the end.
- Next, find the section on the page that reads “Approved Personal Document E-mail List,” click the “Add a new approved e-mail address” link at the bottom, and add this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. (That’s the email account from which Instapaper will be sending stories to your Kindle.)
- Now, let’s head back to the Instapaper.com site. Visit this page, and click the checkbox next to “Send my Unread articles to my Kindle automatically.
- Take your Kindle’s email address and plug it into the field that reads (appropriately enough) “My Kindle’s email address.”
- If you have an older Kindle or you want to receive Instapaper articles over 3G or Wi-Fi, select “kindle.com” from the pull-down menu—but again, keep in mind that Amazon will charge you for 3G article transfers. To receive stories only via Wi-Fi, select “free.kindle.com” from the pull-down. (Unfortunately, Wi-Fi isn’t an option for owners of the original or second-generation Kindle, which only has a 3G receiver.)
- You can configure how often you’d like Instapaper to send bundles of stories to your Kindle—either daily or once a week. You can also set Instapaper so it will only send an email after you’ve saved a certain number of articles to your Instapaper account.
- Click the “Save changes” button, then go ahead and click the “Send now” button to make sure everything’s working properly.
Bonus tip: If you’re only receiving Instapaper stories on your Kindle over Wi-Fi, make sure to sync your Kindle before you head off to the airport or the pool.