How to Get Amazon’s Alexa to Read E-books to You

It can be great to have someone else read to you…while you simply chill-out and relax. But with conventional audio reading, you have may even have to have a CD player handy. Let’s face it, that’s so “last century” in this digitally-advanced day and age. But now there is a cool hack that can literally transform your library of e-books for Kindle into an e-library of audio versions. You can sit and just listen, even with your eyes closed, to all those same great titles you enjoy. All it takes is utilizing Amazon Kindle in conjunction with Amazon’s popular feature called Alexa. By combining these two cool technologies, you can enjoy a regular e-book in the dual capacity of an audio book.

What Alexa Usually Does

Alexa is the brand-name for the female-voiced feature that powers Amazon’s Echo gadgets, to become a kind of voice-activated virtual assistant. These nifty gadgets allow the user to control multiple Wi-Fi household appliances, music playing devices, and other technology. All you have to do is turn the device on, talk to it, and let Alexa follow your instructions. Alexa can order items online for you, update you on the latest news, help you manage your microwave cooking, give you weather and traffic reports, and even turn on and off lights, lawn sprinklers, and TV sets. Ask Alexa to order Chinese take-out from the nearest restaurant, or help you search for cheap plane tickets. Then she’ll even text your itinerary to your friends and reserve a taxi to take you to the airport.

Make Alexa Your Audio Book Converter

Alexa is all about translating your voice commands into practical action, the way Siri can do on an iPhone. But you can also talk Alexa into reading to you from your favorite e-book on your Kindle. It could be any genre, and might include trade journals, how-to manuals, popular magazines, an ancient classic, the latest New York Times best-seller, or a school textbook. All you have to do is ask, and she’s ready to oblige. That means that with Alexa, and Kindle e-book can instantly become an audio book.

Alexa Can Multi-Task

If you want to hear one of your Kindle e-books read to you, just use an Alexa-enabled device and use commands like “Alexa, read Harry Potter,” or “Alexa, read War and Peace. Or you can get really specific, and ask Alexa to skip a particular page or chapter or read for a certain length of time. You could be cooking, for instance, and ask Alexa to look up a recipe in a Kindle cookbook. That allows you to keep your eyes on the stove, with both hands free. Or if you need to roast something in the over for 20 minutes, you can get clever and use reading instead of using a conventional kitchen timer. Just ask Alexa to read to you from a favorite book, but tell Alexa to stop reading after 20 minutes. As soon as you notice that she’s stopped reading, you know it’s time to take the food out of the oven.

You Can Also Use Amazon Kindle VoiceView

Kindles also come with a text-to-speech feature known as VoiceView. But for now, VoiceView is rather limited in its refinement and capability, and navigation for audio reading purposes is clunky, at best. Plus, VoiceView can pull a heavy load of electricity from your Kindle battery, and that means you’ll have to recharge your device more often when using VoiceView. But you don’t have to wait for VoiceView technology to get a major upgrade. If you subscribe to Amazon Alexa, you can enjoy advanced and sophisticated audio e-book listening right now.

Having Alexa do the reading can be a much more wonderfully satisfying experience, because the newest generation of Echo gadgets offers high-quality audio with premium bass responsiveness and noise-cancellation technology. With the built-in omnidirectional speaker system, Alexa’s voice output can fill a large space with warm, 360-degree surround sound. Alexa isn’t just available on Echo devices, either, because you can also connect to this feature through Fire tablets and some other Amazon devices.

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