No eReading device? No problem!

There are lots of eReaders available now … the Barnes & Noble Nook; Amazon’s various Kindles; the Sony Reader; Apple’s iPad, mini-iPad and iPhone; and Kobo’s Mini … to name a few. None are cheap and some are downright expensive. Most eReaders read the .ePUB format; the Kindle reads .mobi and .kf8.

I have friends who love their eReaders but I don’t share their enthusiasm. Give me a paperback book I can read in bed with one hand, or an application on my PC that I can stare at without looking down (I have a disk problem with my neck:), and I’m happy. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives to eReading devices.

These pages explain those alternatives — the applications for reading ebooks on your PC or laptop.  I cover apps from several different sources and I suggest you download them all. All of them (except Mozilla Firefox) require that you have an account set up with them. If you aren’t already signed into an account when you begin the download and installation process, you’ll be prompted to register one at some point. To make the process go more smoothly, I suggest you create your account and sign into it first — before you download their application — so that your software will be automatically registered for you. An account just takes a name and email address, and sometimes you can make up a user name rather than give your real one, if that bothers you.

Note that most of these companies that you create an account with have an alternative method for reading ebooks, called a Cloud, which allows you to read without downloading and installing their software. The biggest difference between reading from the cloud and reading with the downloaded software app is that in most cases you aren’t able to set up a library and organize your books. This may change in the future; no way to tell. But while reading from the cloud, you can often click to send the book to the PC application if you’ve installed it. Books read from the cloud require an internet connection throughout the reading. Books downloaded to (stored on) your PC require the connection only during the download.

1. Adobe makes an application called Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), which reads any ePUB, including Nook books. I have it installed on all my computers. In fact, it’s my default ePUB reader, which means that if I double-click on an ePUB book, it automatically opens in ADE. To see how to install Adobe Digital Editions, click here.

2. Amazon has a “Kindle for PC” app, a software you download and install so that you can read Kindle ebooks on your computer. To see how to install the Kindle for PC app, click here.

3. Barnes and Noble has a “Nook for PC” application, which you download and install in order to read Nook books. To see how to install the Nook for PC app, click here.

4. Mozilla Firefox, a browser similar to Internet Explorer, has an ePUB reader add-on that you can install. I love reading with this add-on. To see how to install Mozilla Firefox and the ePUB add-on, click here.

5. Google Chrome has several ereader add-ons available. I don’t give specific instructions for any one in particular, but if you click here to go to Chrome’s list of available applications, you can read about them, look at the reviews, and install whichever one you choose (one of them works with Kobo so you can purchase from Kobo and read on Chrome) directly from there.

All of these applications are free to you; you just have to download the software and install. So click on the links above for detailed instructions and Happy Reading!

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