As mentioned in my previous blog post, I want to use my Kindle to read fanfiction.net in bed at night. FFnet recognizes the Kindle browser as one that it should shunt to the mobile version of its site, so it displays at a readable size, and not a hyper-tiny zoomed-out web page.
And I also mentioned some problems that has. Firstly, the Kindle browser doesn’t seem to recognize anchor tags, so you can’t use the FFnet link to go to the bottom of the current page. Which is a problem, because in the mobile edition of FFnet, that’s where the chapter selection drop-down is. So you have to scroll. And scroll. And scroll and scroll and scroll! Did I mention how horrible the Kindle browser is at scrolling?
Secondly, once you DO get to the chapter drop-down, FFnet un-helpfully refuses to display the chapter names. Whereas the normal FFnet dropdown list has a number and then the chapter name, the mobile version just says “Chapter #.” Even though I do suck at remembering names, looking at a list, I can usually pick out which ones I’ve seen before! But numbers? Forget it.
So, here is a method to be able to browse FFnet’s regular site on the Kindle Touch.
First, enter this URL on your Kindle browser: http://m.fanfiction.net/m/ This will pop up a 404 not found page. It’s supposed to! This is going to be a workaround. Bookmark that page. I call it FFnet no_mobile.php, so I remember what I need to type in to get to the regular site.
Secondly: go to that URL, and tap to edit it. If you’re dexterous, you can click your fingernail at the end of the URL and start typing there. (If not, you might have to type the whole thing again.) What you want to end up with is entering the no_mobile php part so the entire URL looks like this:
This will bounce you to the www version of FFnet. Navigate to your home page by searching for your author name. Bookmark your home page in your Kindle. It should end up as http://www.fanfiction.net/u/#######/YourAuthorName. Some number, and your name will appear there, obviously.
If you try to use that bookmark, FFnet will shunt you to the mobile page. So here’s what you do, when you start a new browser session:
1: Go to the FFnet no_mobile bookmark (yes, the 404 page)
2: Edit the URL to put the no_mobile.php on the end.
3: Return to your Bookmarks, and select your www-version FFnet home page.
Once you use the no_mobile.php in a session, FFnet should remember to leave you on the regular web page version as you navigate the site.
But ah…, as you browse, you’ll notice you can’t read anything because it is too small. And when you zoom in on the page, the browser doesn’t behave as if you’ve shrunk it (and thereby forcing word-wrap). Instead you end up having to scroll side-to-side as well as up and down! How is this better? Hang on, trust me!
Get to your Favorite Stories or Favorite Authors tab, either in zoomed in or zoomed out mode. Find the story you want to read and tap the link. You’ll get to the first page of the first chapter. Blessedly, the chapter selection drop-down will be right there.
Tap on that, and you’ll get the list of chapters with names! Select the chapter you want. And you’ll get there in miniscule fine-print mode, or zoomed-in scroll nightmare mode. How is this better? Trust me!
Go to the menu and click on Article Mode. Voila! The web page will be transformed into a properly-sized plain text document. Unfortunately, it still scrolls like a web page, instead of using taps to turn the pages. (I have sent Amazon the suggestion for Article mode, if not the entire web browser, to behave like an e-book. If you like this idea, I suggest sending them a note about it as well.) But if you’re on the wrong chapter, you don’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page!
Go to the menu and click Web Mode to return to the web page view.
Enjoy reading FFnet on your Kindle!