Quite often I get mail from folks who are new to digital books and they’re not entirely sure how to get started if they aren’t necessarily ready to buy a digital book reader. The key is – You don’t need a digital book reader to read digital books, though, IMO, a digital book reader is a great thing and if you can afford one, they’re really awesome.
1. Reader Apps. Kindle has a free app for download. You can go to Amazon and download an app for your computer (Mac or PC) or your phone so you can buy books from the kindle store and read them on your devices, even without owning a Kindle. And here’s their FAQ page about using the app.
2. Here’s a piece about Adobe/PDF reading without an ereader from the New York Times
3. You can download a free Nook app but not for Mac.
4. Kobo also has a free downloadable app to read their books on your tablet, phone, Mac/PC
5. As does Sony
6. And Apple via iBooks does too
These apps allow you the ease of buying the books from their online stores (SO EASY) and then reading them on your computer. I have the Kindle app on my iPad, as does my husband. I mainly read on my kindle paperwhite but he does the majority of his ebook reading on his iPad. The synch with the kindle cloud means he can go in and read books on his kindle or his iPad really easily and when I buy books at amazon it asks me if I want to send it to whatever device, the iPad, my paperwhite, his kindle, etc.