How To Read Kindle Books on your PC or Online
Have Kindle books but no Kindle? Want the freedom to read Kindle books on your PC or online? You can access your eBooks anywhere if you know how.
There is something to be said for holding a paper book in your hands while you read. It has a reassuring weight, the smell of the paper is like nothing else, there’s nothing quite like hugging and/or throwing the book when it makes you feel a feeling, and the sound of the page turning is as cathartic as waves on the seashore. But that’s so last century. Now books are ethereal, merely appearing on a screen on our devices, accessible anywhere at any time.
Kindle is an Amazon brand dedicated to books. It includes e-reader devices, apps, and the publishing platform as a whole. While Amazon would most definitely prefer you to buy and consume your Kindle books on a Kindle device, the company is wise enough to know that we demand choice and that they’re going to make more money if they humor us. Which is why there are apps for most operating systems and a cloud reader for everything else.
The eBooks themselves cost money (albeit not always a lot of money), the Kindle Fire costs money, but everything else in the stable is completely free.
When you buy a Kindle eBook, you don’t buy a physical item, but rather just a license to read that book. A copy of the book is stored in your Amazon account and downloaded to each device with the Kindle reader app and/or your Kindle Fire. A copy is downloaded to any device with the reader app, which means you can read your book anywhere.
The upside is that you have the ability to read the book anywhere you like on any device. The downside is that you don’t actually own anything, you merely have permission to read it in the form of the license. While it’s unlikely to happen, in theory Amazon can revoke that license and there isn’t much you can do about it, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
Read Kindle books on PC
In theory, you could begin a book on your Kindle Fire, continue reading it on your phone on the way to work, read a bit more at lunch online, and then go back to your Fire when you get home. As long as each device has a network connection and you log into your Amazon account on each, you can do exactly that.
Note: I said continue reading. Amazon uses Whispersync, which aside from being a very cool name for cloud syncing technology, allows you to seamlessly pick up and put down a book on different devices.
- Download the Kindle eBook reader for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS from here.
- Install the app onto each device you are planning to use.
- Log into the app with your Amazon account credentials.
- Begin reading a book.
Once the app is set up on your devices, you can start a Kindle book on your PC and then continue reading it on the subway or wherever on your phone and so on. Whispersync remembers the page of the book and links to your account. When you access the app on a different device, the app checks Whispersync, gets the page number of the book in progress, and shows the last page you read. No scrolling necessary on your end.
Read Kindle books online
But what if you’re using a computer at the library, or the computer on your desk at the office? You can’t exactly install whatever apps you want on those. But don’t worry. You can also read Kindle books online using the Kindle Cloud Reader. The Kindle Cloud Reader is one of many cloud services offered by Amazon that allows you to read your Kindle eBooks even if you don’t have your usual devices with you. So if the battery runs out on your smartphone or your laptop is in the shop, as long as you have a browser and internet access you can read.
It uses the same Kindle platform as Whispersync, which is tied into your account. Kindle Cloud Reader accesses the main copy of your Kindle eBook, caches it in your browser, and uses the Whispersync data to find the page you were on. The book is then ready to read wherever in the world you might be, on whatever device you might be in front of.
- You can access Kindle Cloud Reader here.
- Log into your Amazon account.
- Select the Cloud tab to access your books.
- Select the book you want to read and begin reading.
The book will open in a pseudo-Kindle app within the browser window and you will be able to read as normal.
Cheap or free Kindle eBooks
If you have a Kindle library but like the idea of cheap or free eBooks, Amazon has you covered there, too. Kindle Book Deals is the place you need to be. It is where all the discounted books are listed and it includes daily, monthly, and Kindle exclusive deals, so it is well worth checking out.
For free eBooks, you need this page that lists all of the current freebies on Kindle.