Amazon just announced a new Reading App that doesn’t require an app at all: Kindle for the Web, Beta. On Amazon pages for selected books, there is a new button labeled Read first chapter FREE. When you click the button, you can read the sample chapter or get the code to embed it on a web page.
Important! Kindle for the Web has been replaced by Kindle Cloud Reader since this post was written.
I embedded the sample chapter of John Green’s, The Fault in Our Stars, on this page, so you can see how it looks. The possibilities are interesting for Kindle authors who have websites, for educators, or for anyone who wants to feature a particular book on their site.
Unfortunately, the new button is not available for many books yet, and it seems to appear only when you do a search in the Books category, not the Kindle Store/Books category. For example, you can find the button on Amazon’s Book page for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but it’s missing if you get to the book by searching the Kindle store. Nevertheless, I think this is going to be a very welcome feature for anyone who wants to sample a Kindle book without downloading to their Reader app or device, and for people who want to see what reading a Kindle book is like without doing anything proactive.