I love my Kindle book reader but I also, finally, took the plunge to discover the Amazon Online Reader.  If you haven’t used this online service from Amazon yet, you should “upgrade your eligible books” to include the Online Reader version — especially if you’re doing hard research — because you can search the entire book and set a bookmark and you own the book for the rest of your life online:


Here’s the announcement that finally prodded me to click to “View your list of books.”

When I arrived on this page, I was able to scroll through my books and several of them looked like a good investment against future research.

Upgrading a book to Online Reader status varied for me between $6.00USD and $33.00USD — now I have these books in hardcopy form, Online Reader accessible form and I can read them on my Kindle, too! 

I hope one day Amazon will offer the Universal Purchase program where
you pay one price for a book and then get access to it in any way and in
every possible format.

One powerful feature of the Amazon Online Reader is its fast search capability.  I did a search in my Nazi book for “twins” and, less than a second later, I had this page of hotlinked returns for the book loaded in my browser:

The Amazon Online Reader toolbar gives you jump access to pages, copying, printing and even highlighting text.

After you highlight a passage, you can make Notes and create Tags in the margin.

The toolbar also holds other hardcopy books you purchased so you can impulse upgrade them all for Online Reader access.

I can’t get enough of the Amazon Online Reader, and it is a great thrill to watch Amazon slowly take over the world with the Kindle, ebooks and music and streaming media content. 

The biggest internet wars are yet to come, and most of the biggest battles, I believe, will be waged between Amazon and Google as the upland delivery stream fights against the rising tide of the downstream results provider.

22 Comments

  1. I hope they extend to the UK – and I hope they extend it to music and eventually video. That way all the books, CD’s and DVD’s that I have have bought people for Christmas and birthdays over the years I can get access to!

  2. Ah, now that is BRILLIANT thinking, Nicola! Love it! Can you buy everything on Amazon or are some things restricted? Can you buy groceries and from Target? I don’t understand why you can’t get the Online Reader books. It’s just strange!

  3. Hi David,
    I’ve experienced the service through the “click here to look inside” functionality that is available on a lot of books. it’s a lot like Google Books.
    I’ve only ever bought books and a VHS of a movie that i couldn’t find a DVD of, from Amazon. I know that they don’t ship many things, like electronic goods overseas.

  4. We have Amazon.co.uk as opposed to Amazon.com – I have used the latter when looking for books not available in the UK but are available in the USA.
    We cannot buy Groceries or merchandise from Target – take a look at the .co.uk version to see what is available.
    I would venture to suggest server space and copyright issues will be two of the problems to address before we get it over here – and hopefully they will iron all the bugs out of it before we get it!

  5. Yes, Dananjay, that’s just what it is: “Look inside this book” but you get the entire book and not just pieces of it. It’s pretty slick. I’m surprised Amazon doesn’t have an India HQ so they can ship you all the good stuff we get in the USA. Amazon has become my supermarket, drug store, book store, movie house, Wii store and basically everything else I ever need.

  6. Yes, Nicola, having a .co.uk Amazon branded store makes great sense — why not one for India, I wonder? I guess “North American publication rights” mean just that and if you want a worldwide deal it is going to cost you a lot more money. How silly! We should have some sort of international Copyright that is enforced and not just hinted at — it would make Amazon much more powerful and it would allow the full use of these books all over the world.
    I’m hearing rumors of a Kindle 2.0 on the horizon — that would be neat and I hope it won’t be limited to the USA.
    http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2008/08/here_comes_kind.html

  7. Funnily enough I thought about the kindle while I was on holiday – I was wondering how it would cope with the drenching one of my holiday reads got when some idiot dive bombed in the pool and – it drenched us and the book – which then took a couple of hours to dry out in the sun. How waterproof are they, how do they cope with sand and how child proof are they?
    I thought about them again when I caught bronchitis and ran out of reading matter.

  8. NIcola —
    The Kindle likely would not like water. SMILE. I do find them hardy, though, as long as you use the protective cover when traveling to prevent screen punctures.
    Kindles are great companions when you’re not feeling well or when you just want to relax and do some good reading fast and without having to tote around a bunch of books.