How to Enjoy E-books Without Buying an E-reader

Don’t own an e-reader? Wish you owned more than one? Here’s how to enjoy e-book on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets and computers.


Every week I round up freebies for our deals posts. In the process, I’ve noticed there seems to be an almost endless supply of free e-books available online.

It’s almost enough to make me wish I had an e-reader. That is, until I learned I didn’t need to spend a couple hundred bucks to enjoy the Internet’s wealth of free e-book downloads.

E-reader manufacturers, as well as independent software companies, offer free reading apps that you can download onto your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. In other words, you could turn your phone or computer into an e-reader without spending a dime. Plus, that means one less electronic device to carry around and risk losing.

Of course, e-readers still have their advantages. Their screens are bigger than most phones, and they’re more portable than most computers. But what’s free is free. And even if you already own an e-reader, you can still add a free reading app to your phone and computer. The free reading apps for Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader will sync your e-book collection so you can access it from multiple devices…

Kindle

Kindle is Amazon’s line of e-readers, but you don’t need one to enjoy Kindle e-books.

You can download the free Kindle apps to a variety of devices, enabling you to read Kindle e-books on them.

The app is available for:

Browser-based alternative: In addition to its free Kindle apps for the devices listed above, Amazon offers what the Kindle Cloud Reader. This is free cloud storage space for Kindle e-books. It’s accessible online at read.amazon.com, meaning you can read Kindle e-books from the web browser of most any device — no need to download an app.

Nook

Nook is Barnes & Noble’s line of e-readers, but you don’t need one to enjoy Nook e-books.

You can download the free Nook Reading App to a variety devices, enabling you to read Nook e-books on them.

The app is available for:

iBooks

iBooks is a free e-reading app by Apple. It effectively enables Apple devices to double as e-readers.

The app is available for:

  • iPad tablets
  • iPhone
  • iPod touch
  • Mac computers

The app comes pre-installed on Apple devices with certain operating systems, and it can also be downloaded from iTunes.

Google Play Books

Google Play Boos is a free e-reading app by Google. It effectively enables various devices to double as an e-reader.

The app is available for:

Browser-based alternative: Books that you download from the Google Play store are also accessible at play.google.com/books. That means you can read them from the web browser of most any device — no need to download an app.

Other options

Do a web search for whatever device you want to double as an e-reader (“free e-reader apps for Android,” for example) to learn your options. If you own an iPhone or iPad, you probably already know that Apple’s free iBooks is one. Google Play is Android’s equivalent. Kobo is another free reading app for phones – iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. It’s known for its collection of one million free e-books.

If you prefer to read on your computer, check out Adobe’s Digital Editions, a free downloadable software program.

What’s your favorite way to read e-books? Let us know by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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