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How to Read an ebook Without a Kindle or Nook

If you love finding great deals on books but don’t have a Kindle or a Nook, then you’re in luck: there are a few ways you can access thousands of $.99 ebooks without having to buy an e-reader.

The best part is that Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Google have made it relatively easy for book lovers to completely bypass buying their devices (because not everyone wants to spend $70 and up on a device they’re not sure they would even use).

Read ebooks in Your Browser

ebook kindle nook

Although some may be averse to reading books on the computer, this is a great option for reading ebooks.

Google’s Internet browser, Chrome, offers apps that you can download for free and access directly from the browser. (Other browsers may also support ebook reading).

Google Play Books and the Nook Reading App are two apps available on Chrome. These apps access e-books and allow you to read them directly in the browser. Readers only need an account with Barnes and Noble or Google to read books using the browser apps. An ereader is not required.

For both apps, simply search the Chrome Web Store for the app and install it. Again, once you’ve downloaded a book, read it in Chrome.

Readers can also access the Kindle Cloud Reader on their browser; it’s a website that syncs with your Amazon account and showcases your ebook library. Because it is a website it works on every browser. You can start using it by visiting https://read.amazon.com/. Readers can “download” Kindle ebooks they’ve purchased and start reading instantly.

The apps and the website are best for those who have multiple computers or laptops or who need access to books in various locations (like at work and at home).

Read ebooks on your Computer

If you prefer using standalone programs on your computer, instead of relying on your Internet browser, both Kindle and Nook offer free software that you can download to read books on your computer.

Once you have downloaded and installed the software on your computer you can start to browse ebooks you have purchased and begin reading — all without having an e-reader!

This is best for those who use one main computer.

Read ebooks on Your Smartphone or Tablet

Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Google offer apps for iPhones and Android devices. All of these apps access your account and allow for reading on the go. Again, the only thing required is that you buy the ebooks.

The apps are:

Once they’re purchased, you can “send” the ebooks to your devices from your account or you can access the app and download it to your phone.

This is best for those who are constantly traveling or on the go or who use their smartphone as their main source of Internet access.

For those of you who want to see what ebooks are all about, the options listed above are great opportunities to find out more without breaking the bank.

Have you used any of these methods to read ebooks? I’d love to hear your experiences reading ebooks!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Bookishlilly

    I’m one of those who hates reading an ebook on my computer and I would never try to read it on my phone. I have both the Kindle and Nook apps on my iPad and read them there. I also have the Bluefire Reader app and read all my NetGalley books there as well. Love reading books on the iPad…
    Truly Bookish

  • Bailey

    Speaking of ebooks, have you seen that Harry Potter is finally avalible?

  • BookLover

    I’m not an early adopter of technology, but I did finally download both the Kindle and the Nook apps to my 3-year-old iPod Touch last year. I couldn’t get the Nook app to work, but the Kindle app works like a dream: it’s almost too easy to download titles from Amazon — I have to watch how much I’m spending! Although I prefer “real” books to ebooks and sometimes get eyestrain from reading on the tiny iPod screen, as an avid reader I do love the feeling of having “books in my pocket” ( I never worry about having to stand in line any more — in fact I almost hope there will be a wait so I can snatch some reading time!). [The Nook app might’ve just had a glitch or something that has since been worked out, but with the Kindle app working so well I haven’t gone back to that one.]

  • I’m still not entirely keen on reading books from the computer screen but I’ll be sure to save this link and download the apps when a really awesome book pops up on netgalley.

  • john galt

    I’ll never be a slave to Kindle or Nook. I bought quite a few of the ebooks I like from Ebay. I’ll simply open them and read them on the computer if necessary but a reader app would be terrific. No, don’t mention the Nook App. yes, you can download it to your PC, but you can’t read books UNLESS you buy them from B&N. So what is the point of the app. Does anyone make a reader app that allows me to use the ebooks I have on my computer and Nextbook already?