Sunday, February 28, 2010

You don't need a Kindle to read an Ebook

So you can't afford one of those fancy, portable Ebook reading devices? Don't worry. You can still get in on the Ebook craze.

Ebooks are cheap (sometimes free), they're portable (you can put them onto a USB stick and carry them on your keychain), and all you need to read them is your computer. You can download them into the format of your choice.

Many people (me, too) believed for a long time that Ebooks could only be downloaded onto a Kindle or a Reader or a Nook or any of those devices. And I'm not knocking those - I think they're great. But they're also pricey, at least right now. In fact, at this point, I think I could either afford the device or the books, and I'm choosing the books.

The truth is when you buy an Ebook on a site like, you can choose your format. Smashwords, for instance, will even guide you if you're not sure what you're looking for. If you just want to download a PDF file, save it to your desktop and read it off your computer - or print it off chapter by chapter and take it work - no problem. There's even a version for those little Palm devices that so many of us are addicted to. And on most sites, you only have to buy once. So if you do opt for a Kindle mid-chapter, you can download another format for free.

Give it a try. There are lots of digital bookstores out there; you might find a new, affordable addiction. Now, ahem, at Smashwords, I've heard good things about that Death on Deadline book for a mere $4.99, but there are actually thousands of titles to choose from. More are added every day.

Happy Reading!


  1. I do have the Kindle app for my iPhone and LOVE it! The Stanza app, another e-reader, also works directly with Smashwords and is every bit as good as Kinle.

  2. Hey, Scott!

    When I first heard of Kindles (and their competitors) I was absolutely sure I would hate them. I was a hold-the-book, love-that-paper girl through and through. Then my sister-in-law received a Kindle as a gift, and I had a chance to actually use one. Ooooooh - very cool. Loved it. I was converted.

    That's why I'm happy that the additional downloads of all these Ebooks are free; I know I'll end up eventually getting an e-reader of some kind. I didn't even know there was a Kindle app for the iPhone; thanks for the tip!