New to digital reading? Here’s a quick rundown of ways to read ebooks, no matter which device you choose. Up to date device-to-eBook compatibility information is available on Wikipedia.
Most of Amazon’s Kindle eReaders are compatible with books in Amazon’s proprietary .azw and .kf8 formats as well as those in the free open-source Mobipocket format (.mobi).
To read your .azw-, .kf8-, or .mobi-formatted ebook:
Download directly to your Kindle via Amazon’s Whispernet, transfer the downloaded file to your Kindle via USB cable, e-mail the file to yourself at [user]@kindle.com, or download the file to your desktop and open with the free Kindle Reader on a variety of non-Kindle devices.
These devices use ePub format (.ePub), an open-source industry standard for mobile devices. ePub books work with most any eReader device and tablet.
To read your .ePub ebook:
Kindle Fire – Download directly via Amazon’s Whispernet, transfer the downloaded file via micro USB cable, or e-mail the file to yourself at [user]@kindle.com.
Kobo – Choose one of the methods outlined here: “Kobo: How do I add a book?“.
Nook – Connect your Nook eReader to your MAC or PC using a USB cable. Your Nook will appear on your desktop (in the same way a flash drive does). Drag your .epub book files into the My Documents folder.
Sony Reader – Install and launch the latest version of the Sony Reader Library software. Connect your Sony Reader to your Mac or PC using a USB cable. Open the Sony eBook Library. Navigate to Library > Books. Drag the .epub books to the Reader.
iBooks – .epub-formatted books may be added to your iTunes library by choosing File > Add to Library, or by dragging the .ePub file to the Books library on your computer then syncing them to your device.
Mac or PC – Download your .epub file directly to your device or to your desktop. On a Mac or PC, open with an eReader app such as the free Stanza reader by Lexcycle or with a browser extension such as EPUBReader for Firefox.
iPad and other iOS-based devices as well as Android-based tablets are compatible with the .ePub format (above). In addition, iPads and other iOS devices can be used with the Apple proprietary .ibooks file format and iBooks.
To read your .ibooks-or .epub-formatted ebook:
Download your .ibooks file directly to your iOS device or to your desktop. Add them to your iTunes library by choosing File > Add to Library, or by dragging the .ePub file to the Books library on your computer then syncing them to your device.
If your device is a smartphone running on iOS or Android, see the instructions above for “iPad, other Tablets, and iPod”.
Adobe Portable Document File (.pdf) is a good, free, multi-platform choice for reading eBooks on your laptop, desktop, eReader, tablet, or even on paper. Download the latest Adobe Reader software here.
To read your .pdf ebook:
Download the .pdf file and open with your favorite .pdf reader such as Adobe Reader. In addition, .pdf files may be manually synced to iBooks.
At Seedpod, we believe that stories are part of our cultural legacy as readers and writers. Stories are of life, just as life is story. Our authors write because they must but also so that you may read anytime, anywhere you please.
Device information current as of May, 2012.