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How to read eBooks on your computer or tablet

               

Like other types of documents, eBooks do not open themselves, you can only read them if you have the right software installed on your computer.


If you are just beginning with eBooks and do not have an eReader, try the free Kindle for PC program from Amazon. It is the easiest to download and use, as long as you have an Amazon account. The Kindle App from the Windows Store, which was only for books purchased from Amazon, is no longer available.

Download .mobi files and 'save' the file containing the book, before you try to open it. Once opened, a copy will be stored in a folder called 'My Kindle Content' and you can open it in future from the Kindle for PC program. Please be aware that Amazon regularly update this and it may stop working unless you have the latest version.

If you are using Windows 8 or 10, do not allow TWINUI to try and open the file.

If you are using the Chrome, Edge or Firefox browsers and have trouble saving files, see this page.

If you are using an Android device see below.

If you are using an iPad see this page.


If you do not want to use Amazon, there are some other options, but all require more effort to get them to work.

You can install extensions from the Chrome web store or the Windows store which work within your browser. Some of these require internet access and some come with adverts or pester you to buy an upgraded version.

If you Google "eReader software for Windows", an overwhelming selection appears to be available. I have tried a number of them and none is as good as Amazon's Kindle or Apple's Book apps.

The only other program I can recommend is Calibre. This is primarily a library organiser, editor and converter, but it also contains a basic eBook reader that works well and is genuinely free.

When you have installed some software, before you buy anything, download one of my free books from the shop to see how it works. If you have installed a Kindle App, choose .mobi files - everyone else choose .epub files.


If you intend to read on an Android device please be aware that some lack functionality or are temperamental. You will probably need to discover where to store books on your machine; this is not always as easy as it could be.

To use the ePub version of the book go to Google's Play Store and download the free Play Books App. After you click the link to the book, select "Copy to Play Books", this will 'upload' it to Play Books. You then need to 'download' it from there onto your machine in order to read it when you are not connected to the internet.

To use the mobi version of the book go to Google's Play Store and download the free Kindle App. After you click the link to the book it will be stored in your 'Download' folder. You then need to move it to the right place using a computer or a file management App. The right folder will be in Internal Storage and called something like 'Android/data/com.amazon.kindle' or 'Android > data > com.amazon.kindle > files'. This may vary slightly, depending on your device.

An alternative method is to send the book to your Kindle's email address as an attachment. It will then become available in your Kindle library, but will be classified as a 'document', rather than a 'book'. You can also use the 'Send to Kindle' App, available free from Amazon.

All this is a bit long-winded compared to a dedicated eReader, but I have tested my books with several Android tablets and phones and it works for me. If you are in any doubt, or have an old machine, please experiment with a free book first, before you buy anything.


If you are thinking of buying an eReader, there is some advice here.

If you are having trouble moving books to your eReader there is help here.

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