How to read ebooks on a pc is a topic that seems to be popping up around me a lot lately, especially from kids who do not own ereaders. So it was time for a concise post on this subject. Yes, you can use your computer as an ereader. Yes, you can do it for free!
Ebooks come in two main file formats, MOBI, which is compatible with the Amazon Kindle, and EPUB, which is compatible with pretty much everything else. You can read both formats on your computer, giving you access to the extensive Kindle store and to the other bookstores like Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc. that sell in the EPUB format. Here are the methods I like best:
Visit the Kindle website for free a software download that will open any Kindle book on your pc. You can manage your account right from the website. They will conveniently add purchased titles to your online library and store the books on their database (not your computer’s memory). And if you ever do purchase a Kindle, you can sync it to your account, making all your titles available on your new devise.
If you want to be able to read EPUB ebooks, there are two methods I really like. The Bookworm Online ePub eBook Reader is a free app that stores and opens ebooks for you. All you have to do is sign up. Any ebooks you purchase and download to your pc can then be uploaded to and stored on your Bookworm library and read via your browser, allowing you to free up memory space. Pretty handy, and no software download is required.
But maybe you don’t want to use your browser. Adobe Digital Editions is another free and easy-to-use option for reading EPUB files. Once the software is installed, it will open EPUB ebooks for you automatically, no browser required. This is the method I use to preview my own ebooks in the EPUB format before I publish them.
Even without an ereader, the world of digital books is open to anyone with a pc. Take advantage of those low (and free!) ebook prices and give one a try!