Monday, May 7, 2012

But I DON'T Have a Kindle! --- Reading Free Kindle Books without a Kindle

For years I belonged to this camp.  In fact, my Kindle is less than a year old, and the first time that I saw a Kindle was my birthday nearly a year ago.  Imagine my delight when a cousin across the country from me, generously gave me a Kindle for my birthday.  One of the Top 10 Birthday Presents Ever!!!

But, before then, I didn't own a Kindle.

But I still purchased a few Kindle books - especially free reads.

Back then, about 3 years ago, the Kindle for PC app, although Free, was kind of cumbersome to use.  I upgraded a few weeks ago, and was shocked and delighted at how much it has improved.

There are several ways to read a Kindle Book ... and not have a Kindle.  I'm going to walk you through a few today.

Nothing needed option:  The Kindle Cloud.  Every single media purchase (games, apps, MP3s, and books) end up in your Cloud whether you know it or not.   When you purchase your Kindle book, one of the options will be to save to your Kindle Cloud.   When you purchase your first book for Kindle, it will ask you where to send your book, and you can "Read Now" on your Cloud.

My Cloud looks like this:

You have an Amazon account,

and IF
you are signed in.

This link should take you to the Kindle Cloud directly -
I can click on a book in my Cloud and it looks like this:

That's pretty nice for the kids books in full color!

And usually, the Text is pretty easy to read.

If you are struggling to read it, (and IF the print isn't part of the picture),
then you can adjust the print size.

Getting to your books again, can be done through this link -


Go to the bottom of ANY page on Amazon (signed into your account).

First click on "Manage Your Kindle"

You will go to a page like this.

Now, every single purchase you have made will be on this page ... or pages.
Over to the right is a button " Actions "

When you hover over that button,

you see this drop down menu.

When you click "Read Now",
you will go to your ONLINE Kindle Cloud.

Incidently, if you ever purchase a book by mistake (not free - don't like it),

If you paid money for the book,
this is one place you can return it - 
and I've done it many times.
They will ask you for the reason before it goes through. 
But I usually have my money back in minutes.

Now... there are also quite a few Reading Apps 
that you can download.

If you want to read a book OFFLINE,

you will want to get one of these Free Apps.
Depending on your device, 
You can get apps for ipads, Android Tablets (like Kindle Fire),
Smart Phones, and Personal Computers/Laptops.

You can also activate a Cloud from this window if you don't have one
and cannot seem to get one any other way.

I have Windows, so I downloaded the PC App for Windows.

Installation is pretty quick,
just register by entering your Amazon sign in information.

One of the recent improvements is Collections. 
But they still aren't as good as the kindle Proper.

And pretty quickly,
your're books start to populate your screen.

I have over 2000 books, 
and not all will fit on the screen at the same time.

Over here to the left,
you have a menu.

This will help you choose which books that you see.

You don't have to have all of your books downloaded, 
most of mine stay in the cloud all of the time.

I kind of fuzzed it out,
because my kids real names are listed.

(What?  You didn't think their real names were
Story, Song, Scholar, and Sunshine?  Did you?)

This picture was taken several days ago.

You can see that I can sync my books with the online Cloud anytime
that I want to do so.

I can see full color, 
and my book can be as large as my monitor.

I have 2009 books in the Cloud.
And 115 books stored on my computer.

The collections are new - I can import my collections from 
any of my other computers or Kindles.

Both Story and Song and The Ref have Kindle Apps on their
computers - so we have quite a few to choose from
whenever I get ready to purchase a book.

On the down side - unlike my Kindle set on Collections -
the books I've already added to a collection will
not disappear from the remainder of the books.

This makes it cumbersome to sort out new purchases.

I expect that this is a flaw that people with large collections will 
complain about - and they will eventually fix.

Right now, it is a little cumbersome to get books into the collection.

However, it isn't all that hard to go ahead and search through the books,
and the Search feature is Awesome!

here are 3 of the Kindles.

The white one is a Kindle 2.  ...  A friend gave it to Story and Song a few weeks ago.
Story actually likes it better than my Kindle 3.

The purple one is my Kindle 3 or Kindle with Keyboard.

And the 3rd one is belongs to a friend - it is Kindle Touch.

There are pros and cons to each of them.

But as you can see, the reading area is about the same for each of them.
They are about the same weight and same thickness.

The Kindle 2 has no case.
My Kindle 3 has a cheap case protector.

Meanwhile, my friend has a faux leather case for her Kindle Touch.

Another friend has a Kindle app on her Smart phone.

You can see how much smaller the screen here is than our Kindles.


it is in color!

She keeps her print pretty tiny,
but she can easily read it.
She can make the print bigger as well.

Being able to adjust the print size based on your light level 
has been a HUGE plus.

Since my eyes are really really bad -
it has allowed me to read again.

I almost forgot.

The Kindle Touch was purchased
with "Special Offers".

These are non-intrusive and usually offered based
on your buying habits and location.

So you might get a coupon for a nearby store or 
a zoo or something.

Or just a special offer via Amazon itself.

So the cheaper price is really worth 
the advertisement hassle for most people.

And one more thing.

If you own a Kindle...
Keep it offline to preserve the battery power.

Especially if you are in a low service area.

I read my Kindle enough that I charge it every 5 - 10 days.
(Yes - I REALLY use my Kindle a LOT!)

But if I forget to turn off the wi-fi,
then I'm charging it within 3 days.

Do you have any other Kindle Questions?


Update:  July 25, 2012

Recently, I tripped on a new program that will allow you to 
read your Kindle books without a Kindle device or application,
Of course, you still need an Amazon account to pick up books, 
it allows you to covert books into mobi (Kindle) format
or any other format.

I'm still just starting to figure it out,
but so far, 
I'm really impressed.

Best part .... It's FREE!

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