I have been a big fan of the Kindle in the past.  I have also been disappointed in some of the developmental decisions Amazon made in supporting the Kindle.  I haven’t upgraded my Kindle hardware for several years because I was not impressed with the evolution of the product.  Now, with the release of an HTML 5 Kindle Cloud Reader for your web browser, I’m back on the Kindle bandwagon!  I recently purchased the Kindle version of Ron Hansen‘s excellent novel, Mariette in Ecstasy, and in seconds I was reading it on the web!

Buying Mariette brought me to this screen with a button that said, “Read now in Kindle Cloud Reader.”  I clicked!  I read.  I conquered.

The book immediately loaded in my web browser:  Google Chrome for Mac.  I can resize the font and page width at will.  I can set bookmarks.  I am a sync away from reloading my wishes.  As I read, I can make notes.

All my purchased Kindle books are available for download or reading live online.  My Kindle library automatically loads from “The Cloud” when I visit read.amazon.com.

Here is Mariette — as a “downloaded” Kindle book plucked from The Cloud.  As you read a book, it is downloaded from The Cloud to your computer.

The Kindle Cloud Reader is a “Chrome App” on my Mac — and it appears in my Apps list whenever I open an empty Tab:

It feels great to rediscover my Kindle books because I have so many of them.  Kindle has now become a publishing and reading powerhouse and not just a hardware device.  That’s a good thing!

I enjoyed reading my Kindle books on my iOS devices, but being able to read my books, and interact with the words of my authors in a conventional web browser, is such a rich delight that I now actually now feel as if I finally have all my books available forever.  I didn’t have that sense using the Kindle book reader alone all those lonesome years, because that handheld experience always felt proprietary, fleeting and limited.