Before I tell you about this, let me explain a few things. First of all, Kindles can read books in the Kindle, PDF, and a couple other formats. They cannot read books in other eBook reader formats. This is done intentionally in an attempt to prevent you from reading the competition’s eBooks. Amazon does not want you buying Barnes and Noble eBooks. They only want you to buy Amazon eBooks.
This is the same for Barnes and Noble and Apple and pretty much anybody that sells eBooks. Their e-readers will read the standard PDF format and some other formats not specific to anyone else’s e-reader. But nobody wants you buying the competition’s books
What I find amusing about this whole issue is the fact that you don’t even need an e-reader to read these eBooks. Amazon tries so hard to keep you from buying the competition’s books. They also try hard to keep you from reading your Kindle eBooks on anyone else’s e-reader. They do this by publishing their eBooks in proprietary formats that only their devices can read.
But then what do they do? They turn around and write an app (software program) called the Kindle App, that can run on any device except the competition. This Kindle application can run your Kindle books on your computer, smart phone, tablet, iPad, or any other device; just as long as it’s not the competition’s device.
What does this mean to you? It means that if you don’t want to buy a Kindle, or just don’t want to buy one now, you don’t have to. You can buy all the eBooks you want from Amazon without laying out the cash for the Kindle. This is very handy if you don’t like the current model of Kindle or you have some other device that will work already.
Personally, I’m waiting for a color Kindle. Not like the Nook with the color LCD screen. I mean one that uses color e-paper, just like the current Kindle uses black and white e-paper. Color e-paper has been invented and works, it’s just not in production for low priced consumer models yet. Anyway, back to the point at hand.
Now here’s another thing you might not have known. Pretty much everybody else has an App too. So if you have some Barnes and Noble eBooks, you don’t need a Nook to read them. You can download the Barnes and Noble app and read those books anywhere you want. Except of course, on the competition’s e-reader.
I have an iPad as my eBook reader. Prior to buying it, I tested the Kindle and the Nook. I purchased eBooks for both of them. Now I have the Kindle and the Nook apps on my iPad so I can read all my eBooks regardless of where they came from.
Now here’s my last treat for you. Did you know that you not only don’t need to spend money on a Kindle, there’s a good chance you don’t even need to spend any on the books! I’m not suggesting theft, piracy, or anything illegal here. The truth is, there are millions of free eBooks.
The last official count I was able to find was in 2008 when there were over 1.8 million free eBooks. These were not all Kindle books but the total of all free eBooks available online. There are many free eBooks available offline too. Like at your public library. Many e-readers have the ability to read the format used at public libraries.
According to Amazon, there are over 950,000 free kindle items just on their site. This includes books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs. That’s enough to keep you busy for a long time! Many of the free eBooks on Amazon are publications in which the copyrights have run out. This makes them public domain works which is why Amazon can give them away for free.
Another source of free, public domain books is Project Gutenberg. They have over 36,000 free eBooks. These are old classics that were originally published by reputable publishers. Since the copyrights have run out, they have been able to scan the original books and offer them online. They offer their books in many different formats so you can use just about any e-reader you want. You can visit their website by clicking here.
Going back to Amazon for a moment, I should mention one more thing. Amazon’s free eBooks are not just limited to public domain works. They constantly have specials where they offer books by today’s authors for free. For example, I wanted to purchase Steven Pressfield’s book “Do the Work.”
When I arrived at Amazon I was surprised to see that the Kindle Edition was actually free. The hardcover edition was around $13.00. As of this writing, they are both around $6.00. So if you visit Amazon fairly often and watch closely, you could accumulate quite a library for not much money
So there you have it! Now you can have an entire eBook library without having to spend a dime on an e-reader. Or, in the case of this article, an entire Kindle library without having to own a Kindle
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About Robert Seth
Robert Seth is a CPA in the Clark County, Washington area who has been serving individual and small business clients for the last 25 years. His business includes a growing number of remotely serviced customers throughout the United States. He’s also a writer and technology expert. He has a passion for improving the lives of others by helping them simplify the complicated stuff in their lives.