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I have a growing collection of reference books in Kindle reader. I often find that I would like to search for keywords in all of these reference books simultaneously. I rarely know which book has information on the term I am interested in.

I mainly use the Kindle Reader App for iPad (v3.2 as of 2012-08-30) It seems to have the following search capabilities:

  1. Search the title and author but not contents of all and only books in my library.
  2. Search the contents of a single book in my library.

My question is this:

Is there a way to perform (on any device or application) a keyword search on the contents of all and only books in my kindle library? If so, how?

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Can you specify which version of kindle reader are you using? –  Vimal Venugopalan Aug 30 '12 at 17:37
@Vimal added version to question –  alx9r Aug 30 '12 at 18:19
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The e-ink Kindle devices have a search function that searches the content of all books stored on the device. After a book is downloaded to the Kindle, the full text index is updated in the background. Once the index is updated, the book is searchable.

On my Kindle 3 (aka Kindle Keyboard) I can do a full content search by going to the home screen and selecting Menu > Search. The search results show all matches inside all books stored on the device. Interestingly, the Kindle Fire does not seem to have this functionality, so it must be only the e-ink Kindles.

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This is not an answer to your question, but a pair of observations:

1) mobileread.com and some other sites may be able to provide much faster and more complete answers than here, since they are communities narrowly focused on such topics; and they are very good places to frequent if you use any ereader, to pick up all sorts of tips, tricks and such.

2) If you have any meaningful collection of ebooks that you plan to keep and manage for more than one read (I have around 35,000), I would strongly recommend you get calibre as an elibrary management tool. It is platform independent for both host and reader (meaning that whether you change your favored OS or your favored ereader, it will still be useful), it provides real library management and organization, and it is free and very well maintained. Sadly, the ebook vendor solutions all seem aimed at the "summer fiction" crowd and at getting you to buy more content (perfectly valid business, fwiw), but they are mostly very poor at actually organizing or manipulating the books (yeah, an opinion, but formed from using kindles, nook, sony and others for past several years).

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Thanks for the help. mobileread.com is an old-school forum so the information there is hardly canonical. I suspect that your second point is actually even more valuable than the direct answer to my question. –  alx9r Aug 30 '12 at 18:11
I just amended the question so the solution can be any device or application. Can you shed some light on whether Calibre would be able to do the search I am looking for? –  alx9r Aug 30 '12 at 18:17
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