I’ve always thought that the Kindle has way too big of margins. 

So much of the screen seems wasted on huge margins.  Yeah, it produces a prettier pictures when photographing the Kindle, but if you prefer a little bit larger text size, these large margin cuts down on the number of words-per-page significantly.

I wanted those margins to be a bit smaller, so I set out to find out how.

After much digging, I found a tip on the Kindle forums that told me how to change the margin size.

Here’s how to change the margin size on the Kindle:

1.  Set your Kindle to show the main screen (i.e. not displaying a book), then connect the Kindle to your computer.

2.  Using your computer, browse to the system > com.amazon.ebook.booklet.reader directory. 

3.  There, you’ll find a file called “reader.pref.”  Open it with your favorite text editor.  (If you’re on Windows, you can use Notepad if you don’t have another one.)

4.  There’s a setting in there for “HORIZONTAL_MARGIN”.  The default setting is 40.  change it to whatever you’d like.

5.  Disconnect your Kindle from your computer & restart it.  (Press Menu, choose “Settings”, press Menu again, then choose “Restart”.

I changed the margin setting on my Kindle to be 20, which seems to be fine for my tastes.  I had originally tried setting it to 10, but when the margin is that small the bezel casts a shadow over a small portion of the text. It bugged me, so I’m fine with 20.

There are a couple of other settings in the file, too – one for font justification, for instance.  I haven’t played around with changing these.

A note: Don’t open up a document before restarting your Kindle. If you do, the changes you made will be overwritten. Also, make sure that your Kindle is on the home screen before connecting it to your computer.

Another note: If you change the “words per line” setting while reading a book, your changes here will be lost.  (That is, the margin setting will revert to “40”.)  Chances are you never use this feature anyway, particularly since you came here trying to make the default words per line even greater.  I have been able to change the font size without losing my new settings.

Yet another note: This setting also affects the margins for the main Kindle screen.  So depending on how slim you make the margins, the little “new” or “sample” flag that shows up next to a title may get cut off.  With my setting of 20, everything seems to fit.  Even if it didn’t, though, it really wouldn’t bother me too much – what do I care if my screen shows “ample” instead of “sample,” as long as I know what “ample” means?

A tip for Windows users:  If you’re unable to see the “system” folder on your Kindle, make sure that Windows Explorer’s “Show hidden/system files” setting is turned on.