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How to download e-books to your PC

These days, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about the latest e-reader. Whether it’s the Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook or Apple’s iPad, e-readers are everywhere and millions of people are happily abandoning print titles for the cheaper and more convenient e-book format.

But what if you don’t want to bother with yet another device? You’re already overwhelmed with computers, iPods and smartphones and the last thing you need is hunt for another charger just as the latest John Grisham novel is about to get interesting.

If you have a notebook or netbook PC, then you already have everything you need to download and enjoy e-books on-the-go. Plus, without a proprietary device you have a number of different choices and you’re not tied down to any one publisher or supplier.

Here’s how to get started:

The two most popular choices for downloading electronic books are Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Although they both have their own custom devices (Amazon’s Kindle and B&N’s Nook,) they both make their software available for the PC free of charge.

For Amazon, go to Kindle for the PC. For Barnes & Noble, go to Nook for the PC.

Follow the instructions to download the reader application. (You will need Windows XP or later versions.) Choose Run to complete the installation.

Once downloaded, both applications will ask you for a username and password. If you don’t have one, then you can set one up. You will need to provide a credit card for future purchases.

Once your account is set up, you are ready to go. You can browse the Amazon bookstore (670,000 titles) or the Barnes & Noble online store (over 1 million titles) and use most of the features from the handheld devices to enjoy a better reading experience on your PC.

Both systems allow you to organize your library in multiple ways, as well as set up alerts and get automatic downloads of newspapers and periodicals. If you do decide to get a Kindle at a later date, the Kindle software can automatically sync between your device and your PC, even remembering the last page you read and transferring bookmarks, highlights or other annotations.

The best part about having access to both bookstores is that you never need to worry about formats and whether your e-books are compatible with various other devices. Your PC will cover all the bases and give you access to the biggest online library in the world! 

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