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Read Kindle Books Without a Kindle

ELAINE: They do good things (talking about her new friends). They read.
JERRY: I read.
ELAINE: Books, Jerry.
JERRY: [pause] Oh.

This classic exchange from the fabulous Seinfeld show captures how I often feel amid the daily barrage of blogs, Twitter and Search.

And this conversation took place before social media caffeinated the vaunted Age of Information.

Sometimes we just want to read a book. To devour from cover to cover, to commit to and exercise our brain for the duration – to plant forests instead of tending potted plants.

After the Harry Potter series, I moved on from the leaf turning exercise. It no longer even represents a romantic longing from a bygone era. And it’s not because of tree-hugging environmental concerns (I do have those, but let’s face it, power hungry devices are a drain on the environment, too). It’s about convenience. Accessibility. Productivity.

It’s about the difference between reading a book, and not.

Continuing the digital consumption

Scores of digital devices have sprung up claiming the “New Book” space. But I don’t own a Kindle or a Nook or any other narrowly defined book reading devices. And the Kindle store has over 950,000 Kindle books, over 550,000 of which are $9.99 or less. Thousands are free.

I need another device to lug around in my knapsack like I need another ruptured cervical disk. I don’t need a Kindle to read a Kindle book. I own a laptop. And an iPhone. I consume 100 percent of my digital content on these two devices and have one or both with me at any given moment.

Kindle Apps for computers and mobile devices

My journey into Kindle apps started with my desire to purchase a recent book that was published only in digital format. So, I downloaded the free Kindle App on my Mac, PC and iPhone. It’s also available for the BlackBerry, iPad, Android and Windows 7 Phone.

It took me less than two minutes to order my first Kindle book (for under $10) and start reading – on my computer. Later, during a train ride, I continued reading the book — on my iPhone.

Kindle App features

Among a host of features, the Kindle Apps, like the device:

  • Remembers where you left off reading and syncs across devices to the last page read
  • Allows you to search the entire book for keywords and phrases
  • Provides the opportunity for you to highlight a section or add a note. Even to see what others have highlighted.

Kindle Cloud Reader

You can also enable the Kindle cloud reader browser add-on and continue reading that tome right from a Chrome or Safari window on your computer.

So, start reading…books without shelling out hundreds of dollars and lugging around a new device. Get an app and read it on your computer or mobile device.