How to Read an eBook - Different Methods and Devices
I Love to Read Books
For those of you who do not know me, I'm an avid reader. I devour books at least 15 a month. My interests run from spirituality to science fiction and everything else I can lay my hands on. Needless to say there was a time when it was difficult for me to store all the books that I regularly bought and read.
As a result I would end up gifting away dozens of books each year, all the while trying to figure out what to do with the books I didn't want to let go of. Then came the most timely invention of the eBook! I could store all the books I ever wanted to read in the space of a single book!
I was in bookworm paradise. I even started dabbling in writing. Since the process of publishing an ebook was so simple, I managed to publish short story collections on the Kindle Store. That's when the trouble began.
Finding eBook Readers
I realized that while friends and family would love to read my ebooks, most of them had no idea how to go about it. I started sending step by step information to Aunts and Uncles on how they could access my ebooks.
I thought the problem was restricted to the older generation, however it soon became evident that a number of my friends and peers also had no clue about reading ebooks.
When I approached people about reviewing my books they had no idea how to go about it since the couldn't even read them in the first place. That's how I felt the need to write this hub.
Do you read ebooks?
I personally own a Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader. I use it to make purchases in the Amazon Kindle store for books I want to read. I am also enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program that allows me to read unlimited books for free.
Kindle Unlimited has a small monthly membership charge. I currently think it's ₹199 per month. It allows you to borrow ten books at a time from the Kindle Unlimited store. Once you have read a book you can return it and borrow another in it's place.
Sort of like a digital ebook library. The authors on Kindle Unlimited are usually Indie Authors who self publish. Although you will also find books from Chetan Bhagat, Devdutt Pattanaik, Shashi Tharoor, Ruskin Bond, Deepak Chopra, Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, R.K. Narayan, and more.
If you're not already tempted please consider that you can also borrow some ebooks of international authors like J.K. Rowling. Yes the full Harry Potter series is available on KU.
For the price of a single book you can read ten books at a time in Kindle Unlimited. Yes I agree not all the latest best sellers are available here, but there are a number of new authors whose work you will be able to discover.
You don't need to own a physical Kindle Reader to access ebooks from the Kindle Store. Just create an Amazon Account and download the Kindle App to your phone.
The Kindle App for the PC simply allows you to download the ebook reading software to your computer. There is also a Kindle App for Android, Kindle App for iOS, and Kindle App for Windows Phones. No matter what device you wish to read on, you simply go to the store of your phone and download the Kindle App for FREE.
You only need to pay for the books that you want to read. Plus if you add the Kindle Unlimited membership, you will not have to pay for any books in the KU library. Also you can start with a single month's subscription to Kindle Unlimited to check out the books available. If after the month is up, you find that the books you read are not available on KU, you simply don't renew the membership.
In my case I keep the membership alive as it allows me to access books of Indie Authors whose books I may not want to buy outright, but I don't mind reading for free. I have discovered a number of new authors globally using Kindle Unlimited. This gives me a chance to find many books to review for my blog. So I find it very useful.
Different Types of eBooks and Readers
There are a number of formats in which ebooks can be found including .mobi, .lit, .epub, .pdf, .azw, etc. Amazon Kindle uses .mobi and .azw files. Nook and Google Play books tends to use .epub.
When you buy Kindle books from the Amazon store for you Kindle ebook reader you will naturally be provided with a compatible file. The same goes for Nook and Kobo etc. However if you are being provided ebooks by the author directly, you may need to specify the file type you need.
Indie Authors (independent book publishers) like me are always looking for people who wouldn't mind leaving a review for their books in exchange for a free copy of the ebook. Oh did I mention I run a Book Review Blog? This means that I often have other authors sending me tons of books in different formats.
Naturally I can't go around buying different eBook Readers to read each type of ebook. That's why I use a single software that can handle just about any type of file. It's called Calibre.
Calibre Book Management
Read All Kinds of ebooks on Your Computer
Calibre is an ebook reader that you can download to your computer. It works equally well on different Operating Systems. As you can see from the screen shot I got off their website they have different files to install the software on different systems. Pick the file compatible with your Operation System.
You simply have to download the installation file and set it up. There is a wizard and it does everything for you as long as you keep clicking the next button. (It's a trusted software used by millions of ebook readers across the world. Don't worry it has no viruses.) Then open the ebook file you got in the Calibre book management system. It will open out a small window with the book in it.
It's as simple as that.
Now each time you download an ebook and double click on it Calibre will automatically open the ebook for you to read. You can organize the books in different lists on Calibre as well.
Finding Free eBooks
The best part about ebooks is that authors easily share them for free during promotions. All you need to do is download them during the promotion period.
This means that you can literally be swimming in more books that you could ever read. How do you find these free books when they are offered?
There are a number of websites that have free newsletters that send you links to books that are free daily. There are also groups on Facebook where authors will post links to their books while running promotions. All you need to do to find these are search.
I subscribe to newsletters from Book Runes, Insta Freebie, Book Funnel, Read Cheaply and a tone more. There are specific newsletters for specific genres like contemporary romance, sci-fi, paranormal, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy and more. Pick the ones that you enjoy and subscribe to them.
On Facebook I find the groups that the authors run themselves a great place to hang out. The M.Y.T.H. 101 is a great group of authors and readers interested in mythology related books. Then there is Kindle Unlimited and Book Junkies which give you a whole bunch of promotional free books. Just browse around to find groups that you enjoy.
On my blog, Book Reviews @ Athena, I review a bunch of books from different genres. Currently I have been discovering a lot of talented Young Adult authors. These are books from all genres such as contemporary, paranormal, etc., featuring youngsters as their main characters.
You can subscribe to the blog to get a new book to read every alternate day. Most of the books are either free during the promotional period I write the blog post or may be available on the Kindle Unlimited store.
There are three ways to read ebooks
1. On an ebook Reader
2. On your phone with a Kindle App
3. On your laptop or computer using Calibre.
Once you set up the system to read ebooks, you can feed your need to read by subscribing to newsletters in the genre you enjoy.
Which gadget would you find most comfortable reading ebooks on?
The author has been published in traditional print media. Her stories have been included in compilation of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Good Housekeeping India, Diplomat, Salute, and others.
The author also writes content for websites and runs blogs for book reviews, party food and games, and her spiritual musings as a Reiki teacher. She pens fictional stories under the name Candy Laine. Her ebooks can be purchased from the Amazon Kindle store.