How to read Kindle books—without a Kindle

No, you don't need an e-reader to do it.

No, you don’t need an e-reader to do it.

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With most people stuck inside for the time being, there’s never been a better time to When the initial COVID lockdowns first hit, we got back in touch with our love of reading. Finally caught up on Disney+ and Apple TV+, iwe took a crack at our TBR (to be read) list, tackling hits like The Martian, Conversations With Friends, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore in quarantine. We also discovered how to read from Amazon Kindle’s library, even if you don’t have a Kindle.

If you’re interested in Amazon’s e-reader, our favorite Kindle is the Kindle Paperwhite. However, you don’t actually need a Kindle device to read Kindle books! The Kindle app for iOS and Android allows you to read these e-books on the devices you already own. The best part? It’s completely free.

How to read Kindle books without a Kindle

Even though I’m a proud owner of a Kindle, I still have the Kindle app downloaded onto my phone. That way I can read wherever I left off if my Kindle runs out of battery or if I don’t have it with me. If you want to join the ranks of the Kindle-less Kindle book readers, here’s how to do so.

  1. Download the Amazon Kindle app for your device. You can download it for your phone, tablet, and even your desktop computer. For a similar experience to the Kindle, I recommend reading on a tablet, which will allow for bigger fonts, pages, and portability. The Apple iPad Air happens to be the best tablet we’ve ever tested, if you’re in the market for one.

  2. Once you’re all situated, simply log in using the email associated with your Amazon account. This is the only way to assure that your Kindle books appear on the app.

  3. While you can’t purchase books directly on the Kindle app, you can find the book of your choice from the Kindle Store and it will automatically download to the app after you select the “Buy Now With 1-Click” button.

  4. Open the Kindle app and get to reading. You can also easily alter the font size, type, and background color to create less strain on your eyes for when you’re reading on a smaller screen for an extended period of time.

How to save money on Kindle books

You can get ebooks for cheap through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Goldbox deals.

You can get ebooks for cheap through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Goldbox deals.

While Kindle books tend to already be cheaper than paper books, there are a few ways you can save even more on your digital library. Here are my favorite places to get discounts and free books.

Kindle Unlimited

If you’re an avid reader, a Kindle Unlimited subscription is your best bet for saving a ton on books. For just $9.99 a month you can get access to over a million different books, making it an affordable way to tackle your reading list. Plus, new users can try it for a month for free.

Aside from a robust library, you’ll also get access to popular magazines and thousands of audiobooks through Audible. Among other things, it’s a great way to read through a long series affordably.

Kindle GoldBox deals

Every weekend, typically on Sunday, Amazon runs a Deal of the Day on Kindle books. Popular titles can go for as little as two to five dollars, which is a total steal. From books already on your TBR list to new finds, it’s easy to build a full library at an affordable price.

Your local library

The cheapest way to read Kindle books? Your library card. It’s a not-so-hidden secret that you can borrow ebooks from your local library, which completely blew my mind when I found out and has saved me a ton of money.

Public libraries typically have a limited number of ebooks available, so you’ll probably be waiting a while for popular titles. But it feels like a special treat when you finally get the email alert that you’re off hold—or when you lose patience and buy it yourself.

What Kindle books to read

We have a few recommendations for you to dive into.

We have a few recommendations for you to dive into.

To get you ready to hit the books, here are some recommendations based on our favorites and the top charts of the Kindle Store to get you started on your TBR list.

  1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: In this gentle, empathetic story, a woman finds a library whose books describe alternate versions of her own life. As she uses the stories to rewrite her own past, she finds she’s put the library and herself at risk. (Purchase on Kindle)

  2. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover: After five years in prison, a young mother returns to her hometown hoping to reconnect with her four-year-old daughter in this story of grief and redemption from one of TikTok’s favorite authors. (Purchase on Kindle)

  3. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson: This trailblazing work outlines the history of race within the social structure of the United States. It was hailed by Oprah as “required reading for all of humanity.” (Purchase on Kindle)

  4. Educated by Tara Westover: The powerful true story of a woman raised by a survivalist and her quest to attend school and become educated. It’s fascinating, incredibly well-written, and hard to put down. (Purchase on Kindle)

  5. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin: This decade-spanning story follows two friends’ journey through the world of game development as it brings them success, tragedy, and more. While set against the world of 90s game development, it’s more concerned with its characters than with nostalgia for the period. (Purchase on Kindle)

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

This article originally appeared on Reviewed: How to read Kindle books without a Kindle

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