Q. I hope you can help me. My best friend highly recommends a book that’s only available as a Kindle book. I don’t have a Kindle or even a smartphone. I just use my computer for everything. I thought I couldn’t get the book she recommended but then she told me that I could read Kindle books on my computer.
Could you explain to me whether that’s true or not? If so, how can I read a Kindle book on my computer? (I’m hoping it is true because I really want to read that book!)
A. Great news! Your friend is correct: you can read a Kindle book on a computer. You don’t need a Kindle ereader, smartphone or tablet to read a Kindle book. Whatever you’re using to read this article you can use to read a Kindle book.
Reading a Kindle book on your computer is easy. You can start reading your Kindle book in just a short amount of time, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy your book.
2 Ways to Read Your Kindle Books on Your Computer
You have two ways to read a Kindle book on a computer. One way gives you more features making if closer to the experience of reading it on a Kindle. The other way is quick and easy, just opening up a website and reading your book.
First, you can download software from Amazon to access your Kindle library and download and read Kindle books on your computer. Second, you can also use the Kindle Cloud Reader for reading Kindle books by just opening a web page.
Both ways of reading Kindle books are free to use (though you have to buy the Kindle books) and allow you to read your books even when you’re offline. With both ways of reading you must log into your Amazon account to register your computer.
[note]To begin your Kindle library, go to Amazon and search for the book you want after you have registered your computer. [/note]
You can download software to your PC or Mac to read Kindle books on your computer.
Go to Amazon’s Support Page for Kindle for PC and click on Download & Install the Latest Version of Kindle for PC. Follow the instructions on Amazon’s website for downloading and setting up Kindle for PC.
Go to Amazon’s Support Page for Kindle for Mac and click on Download & Install the Latest Version of Kindle for Mac. Follow the instructions on Amazon’s website for downloading and setting up Kindle for Mac.
Reading a Kindle book using software
To read a book using Kindle software, click on the Kindle icon to open the software. The first time you open the software you will have to log into your Amazon account to register your computer and access your Kindle library.
You will see your Kindle library complete with full color book covers. You can search for the book you want and then click on the cloud icon to download the book to your computer.
[tip]You must be connected to the Internet to download a Kindle book to your computer but you can read the book even when you’re offline.[/tip]
You can control how your Kindle book appears on your screen by clicking on the Aa button at the top of the screen. You have a choice of:
- font size,
- words per line,
- brightness and
- color of the page (white, black or sepia)
You can display the page in single or double column formats. You can also search within the book, navigate around the book, create highlights and read your highlights using the software.
Highlight a word to look up its definition, add notes, find out more information via Google or Wikipedia and more.
You can maximize the size of the window to fill up your screen or adjust it to cover just part of your screen. Your reading progress will appear at the bottom of the screen, showing you how much of the book you’ve read.
Kindle Cloud Reader
Kindle Cloud Reader is a website where you can read your Kindle books. The advantage of Kindle Cloud Reader is that you don’t have to download any software so you can access your Kindle books without using software or an app. This makes reading Kindle books on your computer faster and easier plus comes in handy when you’re using a computer at work, school or any computer that isn’t your own. You can also use Kindle Cloud Reader on your mobile device without having to download a Kindle app.
Go to the Kindle Cloud Reader website and log into your Amazon account.
With the Cloud Reader you’re given the option to either read your Kindle books online or download them to your device to read offline. If you’ll be using your computer to read Kindle books on an airplane or another place where you don’t have Wi-Fi available, you should choose “Enable”. If you don’t want the book to be downloaded to the computer you’re using then choose “Not Now”.
You can find out more information about using the Kindle Cloud Reader from the Amazon Help page.
As with Kindle software for your computer, the Cloud Reader allows you to choose:
- font size
- single or double columns
- color of the page (white, black or sepia)
— by clicking on the Aa icon at the top of the page.
You can also highlight a word to see the definition and take notes but you don’t have as many options as you do with Kindle software.
[tip]You can use the Kindle Cloud Reader on mobile devices instead of using the Kindle app. [/tip]
With Whispersync you won’t lose your place when you start reading on one device and continue reading on another one. If you read a Kindle book on your computer, your place is saved so you can pick up where you left off reading on another computer, a Kindle or a mobile device.
Whispersync also works between Kindle books and Audible audiobooks so you can switch back and forth between the two formats without losing your place in the book.
To use Whispersync, click on the icon of circle arrows at the top of your screen.
Find out more about Whispersync from Whispersync for Voice: The Marriage of Kindle and Audible.
You can access and read your entire Kindle library on your computer. You can choose from using Kindle software or Cloud Reader to read your Kindle books. If you’re using your own computer and want the added features, you may prefer to use Kindle software. If you’re using a computer belonging to someone else, you can use the Kindle Cloud reader to read your Kindle books.
Enjoy your Kindle book!
Have you ever read a Kindle book on a computer? Did you know that you can use your computer to read a Kindle book? Let us know in the Comments section below!
The Happy Place
If you’re looking for an inspirational book to start or add to your Kindle library, check out The Happy Place by fellow blogger and Wonder of Tech reader Lori Gosselin. If the winter blues have gotten ahold of you or you want encouragement to make positive changes in your life, this book may be just solution you’re looking for.
The book is a mere 88 pages, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in the quality of both its writing and the message it delivers. On sale for $0.99 at Amazon, The Happy Place is an inexpensive way to get started trying a Kindle book.