Depending on how serious you take your eReadership, you might have noticed this story over at TechCrunch pointing out that Kindle users are borrowing almost 300,000 books a month from the Kindle Lending Library, a service available to Amazon Prime subscribers that lets users check out one book a month with no due date.
But even if you don’t have a Kindle to call your own, there are still plenty of iPhone apps to get in on the fun so you don’t feel out of the loop when your friends are gossiping about how they’re reading “The Hunger Games” series for free and getting two-day shipping on all of their other orders at the same time.
Certainly, the original, free Kindle app for the iPhone is the starting point if you want to read e-books but don’t have an actual Kindle device. While you can’t recreate the weirdly eyestrain-free quality of eInk on your iPhone, you’ll find all of the other standard features ready for use. As a bonus, you can email PDFs and other documents to the address you have set up with the app and they will automatically be available to read in the Kindle app on your iPhone.
Once you’ve got an app to read Kindle books with on your iPhone, it might be worth browsing the free Best Sellers for Kindle app. You’ll see a top ten list for both free and paid books in the Kindle store sorted by country. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go back into your Kindle app to download the books as you can’t pick them up directly from the Best Sellers app itself.
If you find yourself out shopping and find a book that you want to buy, the Kindlescanner app (free) is a great way to get it in e-book form immediately. Kindlescanner lets you scan the barcode of a book and then provides the link to buy it on your Kindle app just like that. Sure, you might feel bad when you see that lonely Barnes & Noble employee approaching only to shrug him off with a wave of your iPhone, but it’ll be worth it when you’re not lugging around an extra ten pounds of books from the store.
And once you’ve brought your new e-books home to read, try out the iBulb - LED Flashlight app. While this app works best if you have an actual Kindle device that you can read a book on while using your iPhone with the iBulb app, it’s a good start to getting your reading done in the dark, something you can’t do very easily on an actual Kindle.
If none of this Kindle business appeals to you, you can always subvert the system and check out Free Books – 23,469 classics to go. You’ll miss out on the hot new releases but you’ll have enough classic literature to read for the rest of your life. Shakespeare, Victorian novels and the writings of philosophers far and wide can be yours in one handy app. And there’s not a Dan Brown novel in sight! Kindle or not, that’s something we can all be a little glad about.