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Free Online eBook Readers

Why would I want one?

If you have not yet bought a Kindle or alternative eBook reader, or want to view an eBook in a larger page presentation than some of the smaller hand-held devices can offer, then a free eBook reader that you can use on your computer is just the answer. This gives you access to cheap eBook versions of many published books. This way you can read many books for the price of a cup of coffee. Another consideration, due to their growing popularity, is that many books are only being offered as eBooks. (A great advantage of an eBook is that you can search for any phrase, which is particularly useful with non-fiction.)
There are many online eBook readers to chose from, but you want to be sure to pick one that offers you a clear display in order to minimize eye fatigue. This article discusses a few of the best. The screen captures are intended to give you and idea of their layouts.
No particular recommendation is given, although I would say the Kindle version is particularly good and has the power of Amazon behind it. (You may, after all, buy a Kindle one day, and then your purchases will be good for that as well.) All the online readers mentioned in this article are easy to read and, at the time of writing, are all available as free downloads. You can, of course, download several and then try them out for yourself. Perhaps you might find the operation of one more likable than another. The screen dumps shown below show the opening of my novel SANDMAN as an example of default text appearance.

Amazon Kindle Online Reader

The hand-held Kindle eBook reader is probably the best known eBook reader, and it does give a very clear black-and-white representation of a page. It does cost, however. Fortunately, there is a free download of a Kindle viewer that emulates it and makes reading an eBook on your computer a pleasurable experience.
Download this viewer from Amazon.co.uk here, or download it from Amazon.com here.
This is what it looks like (with the window shrunk vertically for a smaller screen capture)...

I think the online Kindle reader is a really good way to buy and organize your eBook reading.

Mobipocket Online eBook Reader

The Mobipocket online eBook reader can be downloaded from here. This is what it looks like...

 

Adobe Digital Editions

The Adobe Digital Editions online eBook reader can be downloaded from here. This is what it looks like...

 

Kindle Cloud eBook Reader

Amazon have brought out an online reader that works directly within browsers - although you must have a browser which supports it. Read more about this here. However, I don't see why you would want to read within a browser rather than have a dedicated application of your choosing for the purpose.

Try it out!

Not that I'm biased of course but, for the price of a coffee, and in appreciation of this information, you could try downloading my psychological thriller SANDMAN in its Kindle format here to give it a try! Or, no matter what eBook format you choose (including Kindle), you can download it from Smashwords.com here.

Conclusion

If you imagined eBooks were out of your reach because you don't have an expensive and portable eBook reader, then I hope this article proves that is not the case. As you can see, the text is very readable, and eBook readers usually offer customizing options (like font size) to allow you to set them up to your preferences. And so far as the real, separate Amazon Kindle is concerned, although I don't have one personally, I know people who do and who are now excited and swear by them. Of course, you wouldn't want to take them to the beach and get that nasty sand into them, but in other environments you'd be surprised at how clear the display is and how long you can go on a single battery charge.
Personally I am still convinced there is nothing like a paper book, but a lot of people are being won over in this digital age. And another fantastic advantage for authors is that they can publish a book themselves at practically zero cost, and get it to their public in next to no time — far less than the 1-2 years the average publisher takes to produce a conventional book: if an author can find one who is even interested in risking that investment, of course. So we must all give eBooks a try: simply to extend our net and to catch some new books you may otherwise never get the opportunity to read.


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