How to add, buy and read a book from Google Play Books

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Google Play Books can make any Android device a great eReader, but how do you use it?

Android Central University — Google Play BooksSure, Kindles and Nooks have (relatively) long been forces to reckon with in the digital book arena, but Google Play Books allows you to enjoy your favorite page turners on so many more Android devices.

But how to get started? How do you buy and add books to your library? How do you even go about reading the darn books on the device? It’s not anything too crazy, we promise. Read on to find out the answers to these and other burning questions you may have.

Getting going/buying a book

Step 1: Getting Google Play Books on your device

Before you can do anything else, you have to make sure you have Google Play Books on your device. Chances are, it’s already installed on it (it’s on mine as “Play Books”). If it’s not preinstalled, go ahead anddownload it here.

Step 2: Shop books

When you first start up Google Play Books, you’ll see something like this on your screen. Go ahead and hit “Shop books” to get the ball rolling.

Step 3: Selecting a book

Once you find a book you’d like to read (for our purposes here, we’ll go with a time-bending classic, “The Time Machine”), hold down on the title or on the three horizontal dots in the upper right-hand corner you’ll see for each title. When you do so, you will have the option to buy the book. In the case of “The Time Machine” (and many other books), the book is actually free. Hit “Buy.”

Step 4: Begin putting in payment info

Even if a book is free, Google will ask for a payment method to “confirm your country of residence.” Press “Continue.”

Step 5: Pick your poison

Pick which payment method you’d like to use. Your options may vary, but you should at least have the options of using a credit or debit card or PayPal. Proceed to follow the onscreen directions.

If you choose to use a credit card, it will go through Google Wallet.

Step 6: Confirm

When you enter your payment information, you’ll come to a confirmation page. Hit “Buy.”

You may see something like this after you finish your purchase. If you do not want to be able to purchase Google Play content without a password for 30 minutes after buying the book, go ahead and follow the “Change settings” link. Otherwise, go ahead and select “OK.”

Buy/add more books

Step 1: Get to the hamburger menu from the start screen

Now that you’ve had some experience with Google Play Books, your home screen will be a little different. You may actually have a book or two displaying there now!

If you see the three parallel lines (or “hamburger menu”) in the upper left-hand corner next to “Read Now,” select that or swipe to the right from the left side of the screen to get some recommendations from Google.

Step 2: Select “Shop”

The above screen is what you should see next. Go ahead and select “Shop.”

Step 3

You may see more free books offered in Google Play Books. If you’re interested, you can select the book and “Add to library.” It’ll take you to a confirmation screen that may look familiar. Select “Buy” and it’ll download, but not charge you.

If you would like to buy something that does actually cost money, select the book and select “Buy.” It’ll take you to the confirmation screen. If you select “Buy” again, you will be charged and the book will download.

If there’s a specific book you’d like to buy, you can use the magnifying glass found in the upper right-hand corner in the screens pictured above or from the main menu of Google Play Books. Type in the title of the book and go from there.

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