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How to read eBooks on your computer or tablet


If you are just beginning with eBooks and do not have an eReader, try the free Kindle for PC program from Amazon. It is the easiest to download and use, as long as you have an Amazon account. The Kindle App from the Windows Store, which was only for books purchased from Amazon, is no longer available.

Download .mobi files and 'save' the file containing the book, before you try to open it. Once opened, a copy will be stored in a folder called 'My Kindle Content' and you can open it in future from the Kindle for PC program.

Alternatively, you can use .epub files with the Edge browser, which now has a built-in eReader. This is quite good, once you have found all the hidden controls. However, the file still needs to be saved somewhere first. If you are using Windows 8 or 10, do not allow TWINUI to try and open the file.

If you are using an Android device see this note.

eBooks do not open themselves, you can only read them if you have the right software installed on your computer; so

1. Choose any suitable eBook reader program. (Available free from Amazon, Apple, Adobe, Sony, etc. - just Google it - there is a program available for almost every machine, in either format.) Then download and install it to your computer/laptop/tablet/netbook.

2. Download one of my free books from the shop. If you have installed Kindle for PC, Mac or iPad, choose .mobi files - everyone else choose .epub files.
     Your browser may ask you 'save or open?'. You MUST choose 'save', preferably, 'save as' so you can choose where you want it saved. If you are not offered the choice, your browser will have saved the file in your default 'download' folder.

3. Read, enjoy and, if you are not happy, try another eBook reader program. They are all slightly different, with more or less options and ease of use.

4. Try some free eBooks from other sites and see how poorly made they are compared to mine.

5. Come back here and buy as many proper eBooks as you can afford.

If you intend to read on an Android device please be aware that some lack functionality or are temperamental. You will probably need to discover where to store books on your machine; this is not always as easy as it could be.

To use the ePub version of the book go to Google's Play Store and download the free Play Books App. After you click the link to the book, select "Copy to Play Books", this will 'upload' it to Play Books. You then need to 'download' it from there onto your machine in order to read it when you are not connected to the internet.

To use the mobi version of the book go to Google's Play Store and download the free Kindle App. After you click the link to the book it will be stored in your 'Download' folder. You then need to move it to the right place using a computer or a file management App. The right folder will be in Internal Storage and called something like 'Android/data/com.amazon.kindle' or 'Android > data > com.amazon.kindle > files'. This may vary slightly, depending on your device.

An alternative method is to send the book to your Kindle email address from your normal email as an attachment. It will then become available in your Kindle library, but may be converted to the latest format. Use this only as a last resort, there is a possibility it may arrive slightly garbled.

All this is a bit long-winded compared to a dedicated eReader or an iPad, but I have tested my books with several Android tablets and phones and it works for me. If you are in any doubt, or have an old machine, please experiment with a free book first, before you buy anything.

If you are thinking of buying an eReader, there is some advice here.

If you are having trouble moving books to your eReader there is help here.


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