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Old 05-12-2012, 07:59 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Kindle books without a Kindle

An author I like has written a book I'd like to read. But it's apparently only available in Kindle format. And I don't have a Kindle (or any other ebook reader).

If I buy a Kindle ebook, can I download and read it on a regular PC?
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:04 PM
TheChileanBlob TheChileanBlob is online now
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Yes, you can download Kindle for PC for free. You can also use Calibre to change to a different format, like if you want to read on a smartphone or tablet.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:08 PM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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Is it sold in the Kindle store, or downloaded somewhere else 'in Kindle format'?

If it's sold in the Kindle store, then I doubt Calibre will convert it, because the Kindle store uses DRM. But you may not need to either. Amazon has Kindle software for iPhone/iPad, Android, Mac, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7 as well as PC. And I have to say, the iPhone version is pretty nifty.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:08 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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The book I'm looking at is being sold by Amazon. (It's Castro's Bomb by Robert Conroy. I'm a big AH fan.)

So I can buy the book and then download Amazon's Kindle for PC for free to read it? Are there any catches to this?

What happens if later on I buy a Kindle? Can I upload the book to the Kindle from my PC at that time?

I'm not trying to do anything illegal or underhanded here. I'm just trying to make sure nothing underhanded is done to me.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:19 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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Nope, no catch. I started using the "Kindle for PC" app before I bought my Kindle, as a way of getting my feet wet and seeing what all the fuss was about (and "bought" a few of the free e-books Amazon had available).

Any Kindle book you get from Amazon should be available to you on any Kindle, or any device running their Kindle App, that's registered to your account. When you buy the e-book, you specify where you want it "delivered," but you can always re-send it to a different device.

Here's there "Free Kindle Apps" download page.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:22 PM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is offline
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You should also be able to read Kindle books on pretty much any smartphone.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:31 PM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
The book I'm looking at is being sold by Amazon. (It's Castro's Bomb by Robert Conroy. I'm a big AH fan.)

So I can buy the book and then download Amazon's Kindle for PC for free to read it? Are there any catches to this?

What happens if later on I buy a Kindle? Can I upload the book to the Kindle from my PC at that time?

I'm not trying to do anything illegal or underhanded here. I'm just trying to make sure nothing underhanded is done to me.
I think there's a limit to how many times you can register devices (PCs, phones, kindles etc) to your Amazon account, but I've never had trouble with that, reading books on my Kindle, my phone, and 3 different PCs.
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Last edited by chrisk; 05-12-2012 at 09:32 PM..
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  #8  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:35 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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Originally Posted by chrisk View Post
I think there's a limit to how many times you can register devices (PCs, phones, kindles etc) to your Amazon account, but I've never had trouble with that, reading books on my Kindle, my phone, and 3 different PCs.
If there is a limit I haven't found it, with 4 kindles, 5 PCs and 3 smartphones so far on the same account.
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2012, 09:38 PM
Archergal Archergal is offline
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Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
You should also be able to read Kindle books on pretty much any smartphone.
You can also download the Kindle app for the iPod Touch, if you have one of those. Works fine.

I think I now have 6 different ereader apps on my touch.
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:17 PM
Implicit Implicit is offline
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Along with the apps you can download from Amazon to read on a million devices, you can also read Amazon books with your browser using Cloud Reader.

Quote:
What happens if later on I buy a Kindle? Can I upload the book to the Kindle from my PC at that time?
The book is yours and Amazon stores it for you in their cloud. It can be downloaded later to a Kindle or any of the apps. Because there is usually DRM protecting the file, you have to download from Amazon directly instead of copying the file from your PC anywhere.
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  #11  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:38 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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So this kindle on PC thing, will it also work for Amazon's new Kindle lending library for Prime? I found out that a couple of books I'm interested in (Mammoth ghost stories) are available for free loan to those of us with Prime accounts, and I don't have a kindle, so...
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2012, 12:35 AM
chizzuk chizzuk is online now
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
So this kindle on PC thing, will it also work for Amazon's new Kindle lending library for Prime? I found out that a couple of books I'm interested in (Mammoth ghost stories) are available for free loan to those of us with Prime accounts, and I don't have a kindle, so...
I don't think so. Amazon's website indicates that you need the actual Kindle device for this.

As for OP, yes, just download the free program from Amazon. I've got Kindle for PC, iPad, and iPhone and have read dozens of books this way. The trick is to keep yourself from blowing too much money!
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2012, 12:35 AM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is online now
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
So this kindle on PC thing, will it also work for Amazon's new Kindle lending library for Prime? I found out that a couple of books I'm interested in (Mammoth ghost stories) are available for free loan to those of us with Prime accounts, and I don't have a kindle, so...
Nope, it's only for people who own Kindles. I am a disgruntled Nook-owning Prime member.
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2012, 01:17 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Well, I went ahead and downloaded the Kindle for PC program and bought the book I was looking at. I figured it was worth the risk of $6.75 to try it out. I even bought a second book for ninety-nine cents.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2012, 09:22 AM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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Originally Posted by Archergal View Post
You can also download the Kindle app for the iPod Touch, if you have one of those. Works fine.

I think I now have 6 different ereader apps on my touch.
That makes sense. As I understand it, an iPod touch is close to the same device as an iPhone, without voice call or 3g data capabilities - and e-book readers are a good example of iPhone apps that don't require constant access to the internet.

Mind if I ask which 6? As it happens, I have six e-book reader apps on my iPhone:
Kindle
ereader.com
ebooks.com
Bluefire (which supports Adobe Digital Editions epub books)
iSilo (For books I 'made' myself using iSilo's HTML converter program.)
Kobo
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2012, 05:28 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk View Post

Mind if I ask which 6? As it happens, I have six e-book reader apps on my iPhone:
Kindle
ereader.com
ebooks.com
Bluefire (which supports Adobe Digital Editions epub books)
iSilo (For books I 'made' myself using iSilo's HTML converter program.)
Kobo
I'm curious what you think of these and which you think are the best. I also have Stanza, which I heard doesn't work with IOS 5, but is working fine on my device(which I did update).

I currently only have Kindle, Stanza, and Ibooks.

I use Kindle the most.
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2012, 06:23 PM
Archergal Archergal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk View Post
That makes sense. As I understand it, an iPod touch is close to the same device as an iPhone, without voice call or 3g data capabilities - and e-book readers are a good example of iPhone apps that don't require constant access to the internet.

Mind if I ask which 6? As it happens, I have six e-book reader apps on my iPhone:
Kindle
ereader.com
ebooks.com
Bluefire (which supports Adobe Digital Editions epub books)
iSilo (For books I 'made' myself using iSilo's HTML converter program.)
Kobo
Yup, that pretty much describes the iPod Touch. It DOES have wi-fi, so I can access the internet at home or wherever there's free wi-fi.

I have these reading apps:
eReader (for my legacy pdb files from Palm)
Kobo
Kindle
Stanza
iBooks (the Apple reading app)
Bluefire
Nook
Diesel (which is essentially Bluefire, I think)

Stanza INITIALLY didn't work with IOS 5, but they did an update on the app, and now it works fine. Which is good, because honestly Stanza appears to be the most flexible in terms of formatting your reading experience. You have lots of options for fonts, text size, etc. And I seriously love that their "night" theme has stars in the background. (I read in bed with the lights off quite a bit.) I just wish it supported DRM books.

Most of the other ebook apps lock you more or less into their version of what they think the book should look like. I particularly hate that the Kindle app ALWAYS justifies the text. On a larger device it might not matter so much, but on something as small as an iTouch screen, those gaps between words created to justify the text annoy the heck out of me. And you can't change fonts in the Kindle app. (I like sans serif fonts, dunno why.)

The iBooks app from Apple is surprisingly (to me) decent. You have a few font options, only two text size options, and it takes FOREVER to load, for some reason. But the reading experience (layout, amount of text vs amount of page, etc) is actually kinda nice.

Kobo's "social reading experience" annoys me. And I hate Barnes & Noble with the burning passion of a thousand fiery suns. I have the app because I bought a few books there before they managed to alienate me so thoroughly. Never again.

(Yes, I have strong opinions on ebook readers. )
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:31 PM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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Originally Posted by GreasyJack View Post
Nope, it's only for people who own Kindles. I am a disgruntled Nook-owning Prime member.
Just out of curiosity, can you watch Amazon instant videos that come free with your prime membership on your Nook? I read somewhere that you could, but wanted to check with someone who really owned it.

To the OP, yes, I've downloaded the free PC app and read Kindle books before. Are you enjoying the book you bought?
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  #19  
Old 05-14-2012, 01:29 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
Are you enjoying the book you bought?
Yes, Conroy is kind of a guilty pleasure. He's not a great writer (although he has improved over his career) but I like the kind of alternate history thrillers he writes.
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2012, 01:34 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Another question. Are the kindle books I've purchased a file that's been downloaded into my computer? Or did my purchase just give me access to a file that's stored somewhere else?

To put it another way, if I decided to disconnect my internet access completely, would I still be able to read my kindle books on my PC? I know I can read them when I'm not actively online but I have a cable connection and I think I'm never really completely offline with that. (As you can see, I'm not really up on these tech issues.)
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2012, 09:40 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
You should also be able to read Kindle books on pretty much any smartphone.
Works great on my HTC Incredible (Android) phone.
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  #22  
Old 05-14-2012, 10:17 AM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Another question. Are the kindle books I've purchased a file that's been downloaded into my computer? Or did my purchase just give me access to a file that's stored somewhere else?

To put it another way, if I decided to disconnect my internet access completely, would I still be able to read my kindle books on my PC? I know I can read them when I'm not actively online but I have a cable connection and I think I'm never really completely offline with that. (As you can see, I'm not really up on these tech issues.)
Yes, books that you read on your pc (or your iPhone) are actually downloaded and can be read offline. On a PC they'll go into a 'My Kindle Content' folder under your Documents directory.

You can even take that file and copy it directly to your Kindle instead of downloading it again over the Kindle's network. If you get a Kindle, that is.
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  #23  
Old 05-14-2012, 11:21 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Originally Posted by chrisk View Post
Yes, books that you read on your pc (or your iPhone) are actually downloaded and can be read offline. On a PC they'll go into a 'My Kindle Content' folder under your Documents directory.
The downloading of the file also lets people read Kindle books while unable to connect to the Internet for whatever reason - no WiFi/wireless network access, on a plane, etc. - so this is great for vacations, commuting, waiting rooms, wherever you might want to read a book but may not be able to access the Internet. I read a Kindle book on my iPad on my last plane trip, and saw lots of people with Kindles reading (as well as some people with iPads using some kind of e-book reader).
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  #24  
Old 05-14-2012, 12:29 PM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
I'm curious what you think of these and which you think are the best. I also have Stanza, which I heard doesn't work with IOS 5, but is working fine on my device(which I did update).

I currently only have Kindle, Stanza, and Ibooks.

I use Kindle the most.
Kindle - probably the best of the bunch. Good easy to use interface, nice customizations, (and I like the font, so being stuck with it isn't a problem to me.) Nice navigation choices in particular.

ereader.com - not as slick as Kindle, but pretty good, and has some options that Kindle doesn't, like 'paging' up and down instead of left and right.

ebooks.com reader - fewer options in the interface, but serviceable. Only really works with titles from the ebooks.com website

Bluefire - fairly good interface design, but you can't override the margins built into the book file itself, which are generally not designed for the iphone screen. That doesn't leave much screen real estate for words.

iSilo - starting to get to the bottom of the barrel here. Interface doesn't work too well on iphone, it's mostly a straight copy of what made more sense with a palmpilot or pocket PC. You can't page beyond what's set up as a 'page' in the book, (which is normally the entire book or a lengthy chapter,) just scroll through it, and hopping to a point within the page requires going to an options screen. Probably I'll end up re-converting everything important from this format to Kindle.

Kobo - truly sucky. I don't have anything from the Kobo store itself; got this because I thought it might solve the margins problem in Bluefire, but compared to this, Bluefire is a very well designed and stable reader.

I'm going to give Diesel a try, and probably Stanza too. Not sure if I'll ever use iBooks unless there's something I want that's only available there.
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  #25  
Old 05-14-2012, 04:24 PM
JSexton JSexton is offline
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Originally Posted by chrisk View Post
I think there's a limit to how many times you can register devices (PCs, phones, kindles etc) to your Amazon account, but I've never had trouble with that, reading books on my Kindle, my phone, and 3 different PCs.
There is no limit to how many physical devices you can link to your Amazon account. I have 4 PCs, a Kindle Fire, and 4 iphones linked to mine.

The only limit is that, for each ebook title, no more than 5 devices can have that particular title downloaded to be read at any given time.
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