As already mentioned one can read ebooks on personal computers, tablets, smartphones, apple imacs, iphones and ipods. In order to do that you need first to download an application called ebook reader. To have a better understanding of ebooks basics read the first article of these series " Why ebooks | What are ebooks"!
Let us get started with ebooks basics:
At this point things become a little more complicated since many questions arise:
- Which are the best ebook readers around and what are their limitations?
- Where can I find ebooks; Which are the top ebook stores on the internet?
- Can I download free ebooks ; Does my choice of ebook reader application poses limitations?
- Can i start reading ebooks without having an ebook reader device (PCs, Macs, Ipods, Tablets, Smartphones);
The most famous and used ebook readers are proprietary applications offered by the top internet ebook stores. Therefore I will try to answer the questions above by examining the Top ebook stores around giving you useful information to decide which ebook reader application or device to use.
Where to Find ebooks | Top ebook stores around
Amazon Kindle Ebook Store
Amazon Kindle ebook store is one of the most popular ebook stores around with 2.4 million titles available most of which (1.8 million) you can download free.
The Kindle ebook reader app is available for all devices discussed ( PCs, Macs, Ipods, Tablets, Smartphones) but does not support yet the open source standard for creating ebooks called EPub. There are various formats for creating ebooks but we will not get into that now. Kindle not supporting EPub means that kindle does not support books purchased from other ebook stores and kindle books can not be read from other ebook readers.
Dont let that hold you back from shopping from Amazon Ebook store though since you will find it very difficult to find an ebook title that is not available there while the store boasts for its low pricing policy. Amazon promotes its worlds best selling ebook reader devices, the kindle ebook readers, available in different prices and functionality ( see advertised slideshow and click to visit store).
Barnes & Noble Nook Ebook Store
The Nook ebook store boasts to have over two million titles available many of which are offered free of charge.
The Nook ebook reader app is availablle for all devices ( PCs, Macs, Ipods, Tablets, Smartphones ) and supports the open standard for ebooks ( EPub). Note though that the DRM copyright encryption used for books purchased from Nook ebook store does not allow other ebook readers to download books from Nook.This means that downloading Nook ebook reader on your devices gives you the freedom to shop from many internet ebook stores but won't allow you to download Nook ebooks protected by DRM to other ebook readers like kindle or kobo.
See the full range of Nook ebook readers.
Kobo Ebook store
Kobo ebook store may not have the popularity of the Amazon and Barnes & Noble but is growing fast in popularity. Kobo boasts of 2.5 million titles 1 million of which you can download free.
The Kobo ebook reader app is available for all devices discussed ( PCs, Macs, Ipods, Tablets, Smartphones) and supports the open source standard for ebooks called EPub. Kobo is known for its open source philosophy and has as its moto " read any ebook, anytime, anyplace and on any eReader or other device" - That of course would exclude the kindle ebook reader( because kindle does not want cooperation with other ebook readers or electronic bookstores) but all other ebook readers can download freely from kobo.
Kobo has a variety of ebook reader devices offered in diiferent range of prices.
Ibooks ( ebooks reader application for apple users) is the default ( preloaded) application for reading ebooks on apple devices.
Users can access the ibookstore from within the application to buy or get free titles available. The ibooks reader supports both ePub and pdf ebooks which after uploaded to itunes are made available on all apple devices connected.
You can use the search box in the right column to search ebooks to buy from apple ibookstore.
The Ibook reader is available for all imacs, ipod 4G and ipads. For those alredy familiar with apple technology reading an ebook on apple products makes it even more enjoyable due to the higher resolution retina screen and the Multi-Touch gestures interface.
Project Gutenberg Free ebook
Project Gutenberg is not considered an ebook store since all its ebook titles are given for free. You can register for free and start downloading over 42000 free ebooks either in open source epub format or even in kindle format. Note that many books have been priviously published by bona fide (authentic) publishers while the project is supported by thousands of volunteers. Its worth noting that Project Gutenberg existed even before the Kindl, Nook or ibook formats offering free ebooks to read on any device.
Finally, finishing on Ebooks basics let me give you some links to cloud ebook readers. These ebook readers are not installed on your pc on devices but rather on the internet. Signing up with these cloud readers gives you access to your ebook library from any pc or device from anywhere there is internet access. Amazing Ahhh. And all this for free. So what holds you back from diving into the huge ebook libraries of internet most of which are offered for free. Click on the links below to go to the different cloud ebook readers available:
Kindle cloud ebook reader ( straight forward subscription)
Nook cloud ebook reader ( Press read it know to have a look on how the NooK web reader looks and if you decide to subscribe press sign in where you choose new user)
Kobo cloud ebook reader ( straight forword subscription)
Apple users can use the icloud services for access to their ibok lybrary ( Subscribe to itunes first)
That's all for the time being concerning ebooks basics. Please leave your comments and questions and dont forget to share with others (Like, Tweet, Google+) what you have learned.