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Amazon Updates Kindle E-Readers

Seattle — Amazon said it is preparing to deliver a software update for Kindle e-readers adding exclusive features and improvements, including Word Wise and Family Library.

The update will be offered free and automatically over-the-air in the coming weeks to the newly announced $79 Kindle and Kindle Voyage, as well as to the most recent version of Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon said.

It can also be downloaded starting today from

Word Wise is app designed to make it easier for kids learning to read and readers learning English to understand more challenging books more quickly. It provides short and simple definitions that automatically appear above difficult words.

Word Wise is already available on thousands of titles, including “The Hunger Games,” “The Giver” and “Wonder.”

Family Library lets family members share books with a spouse or partner, without sharing an Amazon account.

“We can’t wait to hear what customers think about these new software features,” stated Peter Larsen, Amazon Devices VP.

Other additions in the update include Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, providing kids unlimited access to hundreds of chapter books and early readers for as $2.99 per month. Titles are curated for age-appropriateness.

Also added is Expanded X-Ray for Books, which makes it easier to explore by quickly flipping through all the images in a book, and use the new timeline view to easily browse the notable passages.

Deeper Goodreads Integration will allow easily sharing reading progress updates, adding books from a Kindle library to Goodreads shelves, and seeing friends’ updates, ratings and reviews when looking at a book on Goodreads.

Enhanced Search makes it easier to find titles by combining and previewing results from a Library, Goodreads and the Kindle Store on the same page.

About This Book provides information about a book when reading begins, including its place in a series and author information, plus mark it as “Currently Reading” on Goodreads.