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Do I Need A Kindle For eBooks?

Friday, April 17th, 2015 by | Filed Under: eReaders, Uncategorized

I got an interesting question about eBooks from a reader named Rosie. Rosie wanted to know, “I see books that are free to download, my problem is I only have my computer and it is a desktop, so can i download and read them on it or do I need a Kindle or such reading device?”

Rosie doesn’t say where she wants to download the eBook from, but in general you can download and read an eBook on a PC.  What program you would use to read the book would depend on the format of the book. Some eBooks are in PDF format, for that you would need to make sure you have a PDF reader like Adobe Reader installed on your computer.

If the book is from Amazon, you’ll need to make sure you have the Kindle for PC app installed. If you’re using Windows 8, you can find it in the Windows Store. Just tap the store icon.


Search for Kindle and click on the result. 


The app is free. Just tap Install. It will install in just a few seconds and you you can instantly open the file.


If you’re using Windows 7, the process takes a bit longer. Go to Amazon and search for Kindle For PC. The program is also available for Mac. It’s free, but you will have to go though the process of making a purchase, even though it’s a $0 purchase.


When you complete the purchase, the downloader will open. You’ll save the file to your downloads folder.


Go to your downloads folder. You can find it by typing “downloads” in the search box of the Windows 7 Start Menu and then clicking on the result.


Then double-click on Kindle for PC file to install.


A window will open. Choose Run.


Then choose Install


Then log onto your Amazon account. It won’t cost to have this account, but you must have one to read Amazon books.


The Windows 8 app and the Kindle for PC have slightly different interfaces. If you prefer the interface of the Windows 7 app, you can follow the Windows 7 instructions and download from Amazon instead.

If you’d like to check out some free Nook books from Barnes and Noble, the process is pretty much the same. Either go to the Windows store and type in Nook or head over to Barnes and Noble’s website and download the Nook for PC app.

PC apps are also available for the kobo reader and Calibre. 

~ Cynthia

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3 Responses to “Do I Need A Kindle For eBooks?”

  1. Karen Gunvalson says:

    I love the overdrive app. Both for reading and listening.

  2. Norman York says:

    I think Rosie may have been referring to the many free book sites online. Some of them have their own reader and you can read them directly at the site. Others like “Project Gutenberg” have books to download and you can choose what format to down load them in. In that case any reader app (Nook, Kindle. or any other reader app)would work. You would just need to know what format your reader app uses and then download the book in that format.

  3. Betty Stephens says:

    There is also a program called Calibre which will read almost all kinds of eBooks and will also convert them for the type of e reader you may have although it will not read DRM unless you have bought them. I have used this program on my computer for years now with no problems and it is free.

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