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How to Read Books on an Android Phone

An eBook is an electronic version of a book. The words, formatting, figures, pictures ¯ all that stuff is simply stored digitally so that you can read it on something called an eBook reader. Your Android phone may have come with eBook reader software, in which case you’re ready to start reading. If not, the software can be obtained from the Google Play Store. Two of the more popular eBook readers are Google Play Books and the Amazon Kindle app.

  • The advantage of an eBook reader is that you can carry an entire library of books with you without developing back problems.

  • Rather than buy a new book at the airport, consider getting an eBook instead, though you can still read a paper book during takeoff and landing.

  • Lots of eBooks are free, such as quite a few of the classics. Current and popular titles cost money, though the cost is often cheaper than the book’s real-world equivalent.

  • Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are also available for eBook readers.

  • Not every title is available as an eBook.

Reading Google Books on an Android phone

The Play Books app allows you to read eBooks purchased at the Google Play Store. The app organizes the books into a library and displays the books for reading on your phone.

If your phone doesn’t already have the Play Books app, you can find it at the Play Store. Or you can just get a book at the Play Books Store, in which case the phone begs you to automatically install the Play Books app.

The reading experience happens like this:

  1. Open the Play Books app.

    If you’re prompted to turn on synchronization, touch the Turn On Sync button.

    You see your eBook library, which lists any titles you’ve obtained for your Google Play Books account. Or when you’re returning to the Play Books app after a break, you see the current page of the eBook you were last reading.

  2. Touch a book to open it.

  3. Start reading.

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Synchronization allows you to keep copies of your Google Play Books on all your Android devices as well as on the books.google.com website.

Using the Amazon Kindle app on an Android

The good folks at Amazon recognize that you probably don’t want to buy a Kindle eBook reader gizmo, because you already have a nifty portable do-everything device in your Android phone. Therefore, the Kindle app serves as your eBook reader software and also provides access to the vast library of existing Kindle titles at Amazon.

Upon starting the Amazon Kindle app, you see the Registration screen. Log in using your e-mail address and Amazon password.

If you already have an Amazon Kindle account, after touching the Register button, your phone synchronizes with your existing Kindle library.

Choose a book from the Kindle bookshelf and start reading. The eBook-reading operation works on the Kindle similarly to the Google Books app, though on the Kindle you can highlight text, bookmark pages, look up word in a dictionary, and do other keen stuff that Google will no doubt add to a future update of its Books app.

  • Books for the Kindle app are purchased at the Kindle store using your existing Amazon account. In the Kindle app, press the Menu soft button and choose Kindle Store.

  • Yes, you need an Amazon.com account to purchase eBooks (or even download freebies), visit Amazon to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

  • To ensure that you get your entire Kindle library on your phone, turn on the Wi-Fi connection, press the Menu soft button, and choose the Archived Items command.

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