Electronic books have changed the public's reading habits, and millions worldwide now read books, magazines, and other content on handheld readers like Amazon's Kindle. A lot of work went into making Kindle as book-like as possible while still preserving the advantages of an electronic device, such as a customizable interface, variable type size, notes, data storage, and more. Kindle for PC is freeware that lets you access your Kindle titles without a Kindle device. Its Whispersync feature automatically syncs your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and settings between a wide range of compatible devices.
Installing and setting up Kindle for PC is a snap if you already own a Kindle or have an Amazon.com account: just enter your ID and password, and Kindle for PC opens with your account in place. Clicking Archived Items accesses your saved titles. Kindle for PC works much like the handheld device, with a basic but quite user-friendly interface, simple controls, and PC-specific features, such as an outlined graphic that pops up with helpful instructions for using the mouse to do what you do with your fingers on the handheld device. We clicked Shop in the Kindle Store to add some titles; you can buy e-books, but there are literally millions of free titles available to download through Amazon.com directly to your Kindle or, as we discovered, to Kindle for PC, from sites like the Open Library, Internet Archive, and Gutenberg Project. We didn't need to look past the first page to select "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A few clicks, and the e-book was in our Archive. We opened it and immediately began to read a facsimile of the first story, "A Scandal in Bohemia." Navigation was easy with the scroll wheel or by clicking either of the Back and Forward arrows that appeared to the left and right of the text when we hovered our mouse there. Clicking the Font icon on the toolbar let us quickly and easily change font size, words per line, color mode, and brightness, which is welcome since e-books vary in text quality, layout, and contrast. Kindle's bookmarks never fall out, unlike magazine coupons and other improvised paper bookmarks.
Amazon.com is pushing Kindle as nothing less than the future of reading, and it's got a good start on that ambitious goal. Kindle for PC brings your home PC, laptop, and other non-Kindle devices into the loop, and without losing your place.