Winter is coming, my bookshelf’s getting fat…my virtual bookshelf, that is. Ready to cozy in with the kiddos for some great winter reading? You don’t have to worry about risking your life heading to the library during a snowstorm, you can download a book onto your computer or electronic reader using your Kindle. Your computer? Yes, that’s right. Many don’t realize that you don’t have to own the actual device. But it’s true. You don’t.
The Kindle Question – Do You Really Need One?
Okay. A while ago I published an ebook that could be read on the Kindle (I would name it here, but this article is about free books, and I haven’t figure out how offer that book for free now that it’s listed). I sent out an email/Facebook blast when it went live, and a bunch of people expressed interest in reading it, BUT they couldn’t because they didn’t have a Kindle. What they didn’t realize was that you don’t need to own a Kindle to read Kindle books.
I have many friends who swear it’s worth the investment to purchase the handheld device anyway because they adore their Kindle experiences, but that’s a whole different topic. So, moving on, you can get a free Kindle Reading app for reading free Kindle books by going to the Kindle App website and selecting whether you want to download it for your iPhone, Windows PC, Mac, BlackBerry, iPad, Android, or Windows Phone 7.
How to Get Free Books For Your Kindle
I have 82 books on my iPad Kindle App at this very moment. Around 75 of them were free. How did I do that? By checking my email. I subscribed to receive Ereader News Today, an email that lists bargain Kindle books and FREE Kindle books (guess which ones I go for?). I love how I can easily browse through the email, checking out topics that interest me since each book is clearly labeled. The daily offerings include book genres such as sci-fi, children’s, young adult, religion, romance, Christian romance, financial management and horror (not to be confused with financial management – those really are two separate categories).
Sometimes I go days without seeing any topics that interest me, then other days I grab three or four titles off the page for free download. You click the link in the email, and it opens another window on Amazon. Select what device you wish to download to, and “purchase” your free book. ***TIP–Always double-check to make sure the price is set at $0.00 (it warns you of this in the email, but it’s easy to overlook). Most of the time the prices are accurate, but I’ll admit to clicking too fast at times and accidentally paying a fee.
Bonus Benefits of the Kindle App
As if free books and portability weren’t enough, the Kindle app offers even more great stuff. It’s the perfect teaching tool. You can highlight and take notes to your heart’s delight. You can also use your Kindle books on up to six devices at one time. For example, last month I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which I decided would be the perfect way to open up discussion on World War II with my 12-year-old son. I had already purchased the book so all I had to do was sign into my account and add his device to it then I download the onto his device even though it was still on mine.
When you or your child want to highlight something or take notes, all you have to do is tap the word or section and select “note” or “highlight.” The notes and highlights sync devices and merge into a single page you can access online when you log into your account on your Amazon Kindle page. You can also get the definition and pronunciation of words by double-clicking the words in the text. It’s perfect for homeschoolers and others who love to dissect and savor text.
Lighting and Fonts on the Kindle
People frequently wonder about the lighting. You can choose a black background with white text, a white background with black text, or a sepia background with black text. After choosing one of these, you can adjust the brightness with a slider bar. On all apps, including the one on the computer, you can choose the size of the font.
We figure that using the Kindle App on our devices goes a long way in saving energy while reading in bed at night. The kids are more apt to read in bed, and overhead or bedside lights don’t keep sleeping companions awake. As far as I’m concerned, anything that encourages reading is a good thing, and the Kindle sure goes a long way in making reading enticing for our family members.