If you’ve read any of the books in my “Sudoku Player” series, you’d know that I’m always up for a good tech mystery along with the process involved in tracking down the solution. However, as of the date of this post, my books are only available from the Amazon Kindle Store. That means they’re only available in digital form–not yet in print format.
The Dilemma: you’ve found a Kindle eBook that you’d like to read, (hopefully, either “Asylum House Call” or “The Sudoku Player”) but you don’t own a Kindle reader. Short of coughing up $199 for a low-end Kindle Fire, what are your options?
You could certainly scour the aftermarket for used Kindles and you’ll find many there for under $100; almost like new. But with a few easy steps you can read a Kindle eBook without spending a penny on eReader hardware. And what’s even better; you can have an almost identical reading experience to having an Amazon Kindle in your hands. Along these lines, I’ve summarized the available free options below. Hopefully, you’ll find one that satisfies your needs.
Amazon Cloud Reader
A great all-purpose Kindle Reader application that runs in a Web browser is the Amazon Cloud Reader. Since it runs in a browser, it works across the major computer operating systems: Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. You can install it from the Amazon Read Anywhere Page. (Please refer back to this page for all of the reading platforms listed below).
PC, Mac or Laptop
We’ve already looked at the Amazon Cloud Reader and this is a great option for reading Kindle eBooks within a browser regardless of operating system. The other option is to download and install the Kindle Reader App for a specific OS: Windows or Mac (use the link above and select your preferred OS). The major difference, and debatable advantage of going this route over the Amazon Cloud Reader, is that you get more of a native Kindle eReader experience. But you’re still reading on a computer. I don’t now about you, but I don’t enjoy reading books on a computer. I find it too tiring. That’s why I suggest you investigate the options for reading Kindle eBooks on mobile devices listed below.
If you want to replicate the Kindle reading experience as close to the original as technology allows, then installing the Kindle app for your particular device is what I recommend. There are apps for all the major mobile operating systems including Windows Phone and Blackberry and of course Android and Apple iOS. There are separate apps for phones and tablets. You can download them from Amazon to your computer, but the more straightforward route is to do it directly from your mobile device, at least for Android and iOS. My preferred eBook reading platform is the Kindle iPod Touch app running on an ancient iPod Touch (second gen).
The only mobile device that isn’t directly supported by Amazon is the Barnes and Noble Nook–more of a competing eReader to the Amazon Kindle than a mobile device. However, you can sideload Kindle eBooks that don’t have Digital Rights Management (DRM) enabled onto a Nook. In theory, you can probably install the Android Kindle App onto a Nook since it’s running a version of the Android OS.
Of course, you could always purchase a Kindle–new or used. The Kindle Fire is more of a general purpose Android Tablet rather than a dedicated eReader like the earlier generations of Kindles. As a result, it can perform double-duty as an eReader and tablet device on which you can avail yourself of the same suite of apps available from the Google Play Store for Android phones and tablets and the Apple iTunes for iOS devices. You can find used Kindles from both Amazon.com as well as on eBay.com.