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You don’t need to rely on the internet to catch up on your e-reading, because there are many ways to take content offline these days.
Let’s see how you can save your reading material for offline use from your browser. We’ll use Chrome as an example here, but these solutions work just as well for any other browser unless they involve a Chrome extension of course.
1. Kindle Cloud Reader
Amazon has made it easy to access Kindle ebooks from a variety of devices and operating systems. But you don’t really need a desktop app to read your Kindle ebooks.
You can use Kindle for Chrome by navigating to read.amazon.com and logging into your Amazon account. What you see next is the Kindle Cloud Reader, but it appears hidden by a prompt that lets you save books to read when you’re offline.
If you want to download any of your ebooks for offline reading on Chrome, click on the Enable Offline button. (Otherwise, click on the Not Now button.) If Chrome prompts you for permission to save data to your disk, go ahead and grant it.
The Kindle for Chrome reader comes with a straightforward interface where you can browse your entire Kindle collection. Sample chapters aren’t included in the cloud reader library.
If you right-click on any ebook, you’ll see two options: Open Book and Download & Pin Book. Click on the second one to make that ebook available offline. The option appears grayed out if you haven’t enabled the offline reading feature.
Visit: Kindle Cloud Reader (Free)
If you use the popular read-it-later service Pocket, you can install one of its desktop or mobile apps to take your reading list offline. While you might see references to Pocket’s Chrome app online, the app—and all other Chrome apps—are now obsolete.
With the desktop (and mobile) apps, you don’t have to worry about saving content for offline use. They automatically make all content in your account accessible without an internet connection.
Keep in mind that the Pocket apps might take a while to sync with your account. If you go offline before the sync, the latest content might not be available through the apps. It’s a good idea to ensure that your Pocket list is up to date before disconnecting from the internet.
Along with the desktop app, you might want to install the Pocket Chrome extension or the bookmarklet to save webpages to your account in a single click.
Install: Pocket (Free, premium account available)
This one’s only for Chrome users. The EpubPress extension turns articles from your favorite websites and blogs into EPUBs.
Once you install EpubPress and click on its toolbar button, it displays a list of the articles available in the active tabs. Select the articles you’d like to add to your custom ebook and click on the Download button.
EpubPress then works its magic in the background, eliminating ads and banners, and drops the final product onto your desktop. The result is a clean, well-formatted EPUB ebook that you can read on any of your devices.
Install: EpubPress (Free)
4. Google Play Books
Visit Google Play Books to access and build your personal ebook library, which is also known as the My Books section. Books that you have downloaded from the Play Store appear here as thumbnails. You can also upload books to this section from your computer using the Upload files toolbar button.
To read Google Play Books offline, first ensure that you’re connected to the internet, and access your ebook library.
There, right-click on the thumbnail of the ebook you want to save, and select the Download EPUB or Download PDF menu item as required. (For ebooks you’ve uploaded yourself, you’ll see the Download option only for the same format in which you added the book.)
The catch here is that the downloaded file actually appears in the ACSM format since it’s protected by DRM. You can’t open it as a regular EPUB or PDF, but you can still read it once you install Adobe Digital Editions or ADE on your desktop. Chromebook users, if your device supports the installation of Android apps, you can get a copy of ADE for Android.
Visit: Google Play Books (Free)
5. Print Friendly & PDF
Does your RSS feed or online reading list appear daunting to get through? Break it down into digestible chunks by converting select articles into PDFs with PrintFriendly & PDF. There’s not much to it. After you install the Chrome extension, navigate to a webpage or an article that you want to save as a PDF and click on the extension’s toolbar button.
In the dialog box that opens up, you get an optimized version of the webpage. Feel free to tweak it further—you can scale or remove images, scale the text, and delete various sections of the page. (The links in the PDF stay clickable!)
Once you’re satisfied with the changes, click on the PDF button in the top toolbar and then on the Download Your PDF button that appears.
Want to print or email the webpage instead of exporting it as a PDF? You have those options too—look for them in the toolbar.
Also, instead of installing the Chrome extension, you can use PrintFriendly & PDF as a bookmarklet. This is especially handy if you use a browser that the extension doesn’t support.
Install: Print Friendly & PDF (Free)
No Signal for Reading? No Problem
Do you hoard articles to read, but never get around to reading them? Blame your active internet connection—it ensures that there’s always something eye-catching right around the corner. If you really want to make inroads into your reading list, read offline!
Since we’re on the topic of reading online material without the internet, check out how to save a complete webpage for offline reading. You can also download an entire website for reading offline. If you use Apple devices, consider using Safari’s Reading List for reading content offline.