> All the book places ..amazon ...barnes & noble ... etc have their own version of an e-reader. I happen to like amazon because the book choices are jut never ending. You will need wi-fi.
Maybe for Kindle, but I have an old Barnes & Noble Nook (Simple Touch model). It has wifi capabilities, but I keep wifi turned off for security reasons and transfer books from my desktop to the Nook though a USB cable (with miniature plug on the Nook) or on a microSD.
I haven't checked the Kindle site lately, but recall that in the past Amazon made many classics available for free in Kindle format. I downloaded hundreds of them at the time (in case they later changed their policy). Once on my desktop, I could use one of various free programs to convert them to a form that my ebook reader can handle.
(Actually I can now read them in the Kindle format itself because I've done something called "rooting" the Nook -- 35916.1, Dictionary.com forum thread about that -- which allows me to break loose from the proprietary software and run other programs. This is totally legal, but it invalidates the Nook warranty, long expired anyway on the Simple Touch.)