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How to buy books on Kindle

A Kindle is the perfect gift for any voracious reader in your life, but how easy is it to navigate? Here's how to buy and add ebooks on Amazon's e-reader.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
Hand taking e-book from book shelf - stock photo
Image: Westend61 via Getty Images

My Kindle e-reader has supercharged my love of reading. Books are already portable, but ebooks are next-level portable: All your books are handy in one single, compact device. 

Also: How to trade in your old devices for Amazon gift cards

But how do you get the most out of your Kindle? Let's start with how to buy books on the device.

Other ways to get the most out of your Kindle:

How to buy books on Kindle

1. Link your Kindle device to your Amazon account

When you buy a new Kindle, you have the option to have it already linked to your Amazon account when it's delivered. If you didn't choose this option at checkout, then log in to your Amazon account on your Kindle device or create an account.

2. Go to the Kindle store

The Kindle's homepage will show Your Library, which contains the books you've bought or borrowed, and the store with books to purchase. 

A Kindle with its screen showing the Kindle store
Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNET

3. Select a book to buy

The Kindle store lets you browse by genre and popularity, or it can find recommendations for you. 

Once you see an interesting book in the Kindle's digital library, you can see a summary, the number of pages, and other information about the book. You can also scroll down to read reviews and learn more about what others are saying about the book.

A finger selecting a book in the onscreen Kindle store
Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNET

4. Buy the book

Once you've chosen a book, press the Buy for [$ price] on your Kindle to purchase it. This process will charge your Amazon account for the Kindle version of the book, so whatever payment method you use on Amazon will be applied to the purchase.

A Kindle screen showing the Tap on Buy button
Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNET

After the payment is processed, the book will begin downloading on your Kindle and will become available in your Kindle library (the Kindle's homepage) in a few seconds.

The Read Now button on the Kindle screen

The button changed from Buy for $8.99 to Read Now after purchasing the ebook.

Image: Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Also: The best e-readers: Kindle, Kobo, and more


Can I sample a book?

If you're not sure you're ready to buy a Kindle book, you can try a sample of it. Think of it as like reading some pages in a bookstore before committing to buy a book -- except you can do it from wherever you are with your Kindle or other device with the Kindle app.

A Kindle book sample tends to be either about 10% of the book or the first chapter or two. After you're done reading the sample, you can buy the book on your Kindle to download the rest of it.

Can I buy a book for my Kindle from my iPhone?

If you want to buy Kindle books from your smartphone, you'll have to do so via a web browser on your iPhone or Android device and not on the Amazon app. Though you can have the Kindle and Amazon apps on your iPhone, buying books using those apps on an iPhone is unfortunately not supported. 

To purchase Kindle books on your iPhone or Android device, follow these steps:

  1. Go to a web browser (such as Safari, Google Chrome, or Firefox) on your mobile device.
  2. Go to the Amazon website (Amazon.com) and log in.
  3. Find the Kindle book you want to buy.
  4. Select the Kindle format below the book title.
  5. Buy and check out.
  6. The ebook will be downloaded to the Kindle e-readers logged in to this Amazon account.

Where can I buy the cheapest Kindle books?

One of the benefits of buying the Kindle format of a book is that it's already cheaper than the hardcover version. But there are ways to find even better deals when you're looking to buy ebooks. Amazon always features deals on its site, and you can find daily Kindle dealsmonthly deals, and Kindle Exclusive deals.

Can you buy books in different languages on Kindle?

If it's in the Kindle virtual library, then it's available for purchase. There are plenty of translated books available in the Kindle store, and some books are available in multiple languages.

Simply search for the book you're interested in, in the language you want it, and see if it's available for purchase for Kindle devices.

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