At first, when I came across this free e-book source, I was suspicious that this website will be our regular free e-book scam full of links that lead to anything, but the e-books. However, after some quality time spent on Open Culture, I was impressed by the textbook section.
To access it, press “Textbooks” on the right top corner. Though, the list of free textbooks is not very extensive, the variety of subjects is pretty nice: Linguistics, Physics, Mathematics, Political Science, Music, History, Biology, Economics & Finance, Engineering, Earth Science etc.
The textbooks are offered in various formats. The reason for this is that the books are hosted on different servers. This is a well selected collection of links that lead to text-books’ locations. For example, A Textbook of the History of Painting by John Charles Van Dyke is actually located on Project Gutenberg site. Hence, there is an option for downloading it in MOBI format for your Kindle. Introduction to Physical Oceanography by Dr. Robert Stewart is hosted by Texas A&M University and it is in PDF format. Calculus by Gilbert Strang is offered by MIT in PDF format.
Also, Open Culture collects the list of the usual classics and links for free audiobooks.
Open Source’s list of textbook perhaps is one of the better lists I’ve seen so far. Hopefully, you kindlized students out there will find this source useful. Happy studying!
Lately, I can’t help myself but notice a new emerging movement of free e-books haters. Mind you, I’m not talking about the pirated free e-books haters. That emotional response to copyright infringement is congruent. I mean a group of people, who dislikes the fact that:
1) free e-books exist;
2) free e-books are popular among readers.
Where do I see these people? Well, they tend to hang out around Kindle-related websites leaving vehement anti-free e-books comments here and there. You probably know what I’m talking about.
To my astonishment, I discovered a common trait among the free e-book haters (how about I just call them FEH): they tend to be authors themselves. So, why would the wise writers be so against the fact that their fellow writer decided to offer his/hers work for free?
It appears that FEH perceive readers as ungrateful, evil crocodiles who only want to consume free stuff and never pay for the literary labor. Well, that’s just silly! A thankful reader, who enjoyed a freebie will always go looking for more books by the author he/she enjoyed.
So, I have a theory. You see, FEH usually are recently sprouted authors with one e-published work, with some useless subject matter, say How to Choose Your Paper Mate Pen Wisely: a Very Thorough Guide (sponsored by Paper Mate). So, if they put their sole literary child out there for free, then how would they make their first billion? And that’s how we get “Free e-books spoil people! Let’s close all the public libraries!” (© imaginary FEH).
Of course, this theory relies on a completely hypothetical situation, which is most likely absurdly inaccurate. However, the point is that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) influenced publishing towards making it more accessible. As a result, the modern literary world not only expanded, but also became more commercialized. There are many emerging authors, who write not for the love of writing, but for the chance to “win” a lottery in publishing business. And the concept of free books is just standing in their way.
I hope I’m wrong about it. Although, if I’m somewhere close to the truth – dear FEH, your chances to make a fortune on a useless guide will come true only in case if a million of e-book shoppers will stumble and fall on “buy this guide” button. Or, it might be one unfortunate shopper – stumbling and falling a million times. Perhaps, you might need to reconsider changing a profession from a pure business person to a business person, who writes well. And very possibly, the hostility toward free e-books will somewhat diminish in its proportions.
- one (e-)book(/guide) author
Open Library is an amazing non-profit project (partially funded by California State Library). It is trying to catalog book (and e-book) titles and their locations, thus creating a gigantic library. As Open Library owners describe, “One web page for every book ever published”. The idea is to be able to find any book’s location – be it in a store, library, or in electronic version. Open Library is an open project. Anyone can (and is encouraged to) participate: adding book titles, editing the existing catalogue, fixing typos. Also, their software and documentation are also open. There is no registration required for downloading free e-books. However, you need to register on Open Library if you want to participate in the project.
I have to warn you: finding where to download a free e-book is not really intuitive in Open Library. To find a free e-book, you need to type the book title/author’s name in the search bar (there is also an advanced search option, where you can also look for a book by ISBN, subject, place, person, or publisher); check “Only show e-books”. On the results’ page the list of books will have one of three icons – borrow, DAISY, or read. All the available e-books have the “read” icon beside the book title. Press “read”. It should open the book in read-online mode. Press the icon “i” on the top right corner, next to the “play” option. It will open a menu with available e-book formats: PDF, Plain Text, DAISY, ePub, and finally, my favorite, “Send to Kindle” option. Ta-da!
As you might have noticed, other than “read”, there are two more icons appearing in the Open Library search results: “borrow” and “DAISY”. “Borrow” finds the book in the closest to your current location library (it searches by zip-code); and DAISY is a format for vision-impaired readers. According to Open Library, DAISY offers “the benefits of regular audiobooks, with navigation within the book, to chapters or specific pages.” You can find out more about DAISY on their official website. As far as I understand, DAISY format is not that easily accessible. One needs to get a key issued by the Library of Congress NLS program.
Quite frankly, I think I’m very impressed with Open Library’s book catalogue idea and its execution.
How often do you read free e-books on your Kindle? Always? Most of the time? Sometimes? Rarely? Does the fact that the book is free, make your reading process more enjoyable? Yes? No? Maybe?
As I’m looking for different sources for free e-books libraries, I come to conclusion that every single source for free e-books has some disadvantages. Aside from Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks.net (most of its books originate from Gutenberg), all of the free e-book libraries are highly commercialized. It really depends, which way a website owner decides to go – either infest a book catalogue’s pages with ads; create membership fees to highly disadvantage free membership’s choices; or even insert advertisement pages in the “free” e-books.
Of course, it’s understandable. There is absolutely no profit for these websites’ owners to invest their time in producing high quality free e-books. So, the free e-books theme is just a way for many to bring users to the website. And advertisements are their actual products. I see so many fake free e-book sites without real content – it’s starting to get on my nerves. It appears that all the domain names with “free e-books” are taken for these exact purposes. To find one site, be it with ads, but containing actual e-books, I go through ten fake ones.
I mean, really, ginormous kudos to Gutenberg for doing what they are doing. And if you are feeling generous, I do encourage you to make a donation to Gutenberg Project to keep them alive. It is tax-deductable.
Another issue with free e-books is that, of course, they are poorly edited. Even Amazon freebies’ content suffers in the quality: as some people noticed that most of Amazon Free Kindle books have editing errors (such as missing passages). Also, my beloved Gutenberg’s e-books are not all perfectly formatted.
Do you notice when a book is poorly edited? Does it bother you much?
This source for free e-books, articles and academic papers will probably be appreciated by very particular type of readers. Sejarah Melayu Library’s resources focus on Malay Archipelago (also called Indonesian Archipelago) and surrounding areas. All e-books, articles and academic papers are available for your Kindle for free and in .PDF format.
Basically the library has seven sections:
General section contains miscellaneous materials on Malay Archipelago that (I am guessing) do not really fit into other categories.
Histories and Other References focuses on history and geography.
Travelogue is self-explanatory: travelers’ notes about Malay Archipelago.
Language section contains dictionaries & free grammar e-books.
Fiction consists of novels, fables, poetry and other literary materials that have connections to Malay Archipelago.
Papers and Articles section has journal articles and academic papers available for downloading.
News and Dispatches has historical newspapers, gazettes, chronicles, and reports.
The layout and navigation for Sejarah Melayu Library is straightforward. Notice that you need to press the tiny plus signs in the menu, instead of the titles. There is no registration required to use these materials. All documents I checked out were in good quality PDF.
I think, this is a precious source for the scholars doing a research on Malay Archipelago; intrigued travelers planning to visit the area; and those hungry for information polymaths.
In addition to Sejarah Melayu Library’s resources, Amazon offers somewhat outdated, but free Kindle Books on this topic:
The Malay Archipelago, the Land of the Orang-utan and the Bird of Paradise; a Narrative of Travel, With Studies of Man and Nature Volume I by Alfred Russel Wallace (Volume II is also available for free); Through the Malay Archipelago by Emily Richings; and Blown to Bits The Lonely Man of Rakata, the Malay Archipelago by R. M. (Robert Michael) Ballantyne.
If you’ve been in relationship with your Kindle for a while now, then there is nothing new for you in this post. If you are new to the whole e-books searching process, then I will be proud to present you the best source for free e-books available on the internet.
Basically, the biggest chunk of free Kindle e-books is resting on the backs of two elephants: the aforementioned Amazon’s free e-book collection and Gutenberg project.
Gutenberg is the most gorgeous e-book project I have seen so far. It is almost twice as large as Amazon Classics. There is no registration needed for downloading e-books. There are no flashing and eye-irritating advertisements (compared to other free e-book libraries). Gutenberg e-books are available in Kindle-friendly .MOBI format; and usually, there is an option, whether you want to download a book with or without images.
Aside from the enormous collection of classics, Gutenberg has an impressive collection of books in foreign languages – Spanish, Greek, Latin, Russian, German, French, Japanese etc. Maybe I will finally fulfill my dream to read Don Quijote in the original.
It has the majority of well-known old texts, so if you are a History student – you will always be able to find some works of such authors like Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch etc.
The universal problem with the quality of free e-books does not escape Gutenberg. Most books are converted in MOBI format automatically, so there is no guarantee that the e-book will look perfectly on your Kindle.
Forgotten Books was recommended to me by a reader, Glynn, who, I’m guessing, is affiliated with this company. Forgotten Books is an independent publishing company focused on reviving old print.
To tell the truth, I do not really like what Forgotten Books is doing with their free e-books feature. And the reason being – their free e-books are in low quality .PDF format. To attain a copy of a high-quality .PDF, a person has to pay a membership fee. I have hard time understanding, why Forgotten Books are trying to charge for better quality .PDFs for the books that are free from copyright and generally available online for no cost.
Although, they do have this e-book of the day for free feature – if you sign up for their subscription, you can download their book of the day in good quality .PDF for your Kindle for free. Today’s book of the day is actually the reason, why I changed my mind and decided to write about this source. Today’s book of the day is Folk Tales From the Russian by Verra Xenophontovna Kalamatiano de Blumenthal (first published in 1903). The Tsarevna Frog, Father Frost, Baba Yaga and other awesome fellows! This book is also available on Google Books (in .EPub and .PDF) and on Surlalunefairytales (online only) for free. Also, it is available on Amazon for $1.75. Russian Folklore tales are wickedly good. I sincerely encourage you looking into them.
So, I signed up for the subscription and downloaded Folk Tales From the Russian from Forgotten Books. I have to say that putting a line through the e-book is very uncool of you, Forgotten Books. Google Books’ version of this book is way better quality.
Perhaps, Forgotten Books’ other books of the day will be as cool as today’s. And I hope they will improve their not-so-reasonable-for-now free e-book offers.
What is the first thing a new Kindle owner does? Right! The dance of joy. Okay, but the next thing?
As for me, it was the diving into the ocean of Amazon’s free classics I always wanted to read, but did not have the patience to. Now – guess what, when I’m stuck on an airplane, frankly, I have no escape. Also, getting free classics from Amazon, with their 1-Click feature, is the most convenient way for me to upload the books on Kindle.
Great Expectations – one day I’ll read it, maybe, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I haven’t read it yet. Click.
Well, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is my sacred text I always have on my bedside. Click.
The Picture of Dorian Gray – to have it in my pocket always available for re-reading. Upload.
The Sayings Of Confucius – to impress one professor I know. Click.
The Prince – for the same purposes as the book mentioned above. Click.
However, remember that with free cheese there is always a catch. According to Amazon’s reviewers, some of these books are sloppily edited (missing certain passages and such), which completely ruins the experience if you are trying to savor one of your most favorite books. On the other hand, if you want to get familiar with some works for the general education purposes and you are not planning on conducting an in-depth analysis of this or that character, then perhaps the imperfect, but free editions will suffice for you.
Also, Amazon has a page with limited time offers for certain e-books. Some e-books are listed for a nominal price, some are cheaper than usually, and some are free.
Feedbooks is a book store, selling books and e-books with an unpredictable price deviation in comparison the Kindle Books on Amazon. Some books are cheaper and some books are more expensive than Amazon’s selection. So, before buying a book from Amazon, perhaps, you would want to check it out on Feedbooks first. You might save a dollar, or two. Or not.
However, e-books are being sold all over the internet. Finding places where to buy e-books is not that challenging any more. So, from this point of view, Feedbooks’ selection of priced books is not much of an interest for me. I’m on the quest of finding free e-book libraries for your Kindle. And if you click on “Public Domain” section, Feedbooks provides a limited, but still worthy of checking out selection of free e-books. The registration for downloading the free e-books is optional.
Once you found that special book for your solitary enjoyment, do not press “download” immediately. It will automatically download the e-book in EPuB format. Click on the book’s title and then you will have a choice of downloading the book in PDF or “Kindle” format, which is actually .MOBI.
As I already said, by all means, it is not a large free e-book library. However, you can still find Fitzgerald’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which is not available on Amazon for free (the prices vary from $0.95 to $11.99). Also, there is Cory Doctorow’s I, Robot available for free (not available in Kindle Books on Amazon). And those, who complained about free Kindle Edition of E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View (missing passages and such), give it a try to this version on Feedbooks, maybe it is better.
I am slightly disappointed with www.free-ebooks.net for trying to rip off fellows Kindle-ers, but it might be useful for someone, so I will hide my judging stare away.
I have many problems with this site. The first one is the domain name – “free ebooks” is kind of a way overboard name for a site with such limited availability of the actual free e-books.
Another issue with this site is that .MOBI format is available only for an upgraded membership. They have e-books in .PDF format for no charge, but here is the catch – you can download only 5 books per month for free.
One more minor annoyance: they require users to register for downloading e-books.
Also, the site’s content is poorly edited – some book titles have typos, sometimes authors’ names are missing and so on.
So, yes, the site is limiting from all ends. However, the selection and variety of the books is quite large. The library is not restricted by the usual classics, to the availability of which we are so used to. I enjoyed the quantity of “100 Recipes of Something-Something” type of cook books: 111 Egg Recipes, 300 Chicken Recipes, 300 Recipes for the Grill and so on. I also liked the selection in the Tutorials section. There are books like: Build Your Own Home Theatre, An Introduction to Pipe Band Drumming, or even How to Create a Garden Pond.
Hence, if you are looking for a very specific book, this is a good back-up source.
Here is another emerging resource with free books – bookrix.com. This is not the largest e-book library in the world; it has a little bit less than 13,000 books available for your pleasure. The site has a good and clean design and it is not overwhelmed by ads.
The downside of this library is that it is less Kindle-friendly as we are used to. BookRix offers books in EPub format and that means conversion for the Kindle crowd. Hello, Calibre.
There is an optional registration for the book lovers, which is actually a good thing – BookRix has a pretty solid roster of active users. I like when e-book libraries have user involvement, because that usually means there are book reviews. And book reviews help me in deciding which new and unusual book to pick.
So if you were thinking to read good old Edgar Poe’s The Raven for free, then welcome to BookrRix ($0.99 on Amazon). Also, BookRix has Joseph Conrad’s Mirror of the Sea available for free ($0.95 on Amazon).
BookRix is an emerging-author-friendly site. So, if you are hiding your first book creation under the pillow, not sure if the world is ready to buy it, but kind of, hesitantly, but surely, want the world to read it for free, then Bookrix has a good audience for you. Try it out! Maybe your baby will get harrypotter-popular!
And, of course, if you are not a snobby classics-only avid reader, then perhaps you will discover a young author you will fall in love (of literary admiration, that is).
Perhaps, you will find not so widely known free e-book library www.bookyards.com a valuable source in your search. They proclaim themselves as a “library to the world”, but against the grand proclamation, it has a modest collection of approximately 17, 000 downloadable e-books. It does not require any forms of registration for downloading e-books. And all the e-books are available in supported by Kindle .PDF format.
You can enjoy Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck for free (compare to Amazon‘s $12.99); or Hemingway’s The Sun Always Rises ($11.99 on Amazon); F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby ($10.99 on Amazon). However, I have to admit, Bookyards’ fiction section is quite limited.
This free e-book library is mostly education oriented. So, a student, or a researcher, or just a curious erudite might find this resource a very useful one. If you were looking for an electronic version of C. Bresciani Turroni’s Economic Policy For The Thinking Man, or perhaps the Marquis de Nadaillac’s Manners And Monuments Of Prehistoric Peoples, or Charles Marquis Smith’s Electric and Magnetic Measurements (all of which are unavailable in Kindle edition on Amazon) – then Bookyards will become your favorite source for e-books.
The organization of the site is pretty easy to navigate; all the available e-books are a couple clicks away from downloading. Also, Bookyards displays the list of the most popular downloaded e-books on the front page. To my giggly astonishment, one of the most downloaded books is not Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (kudos to Project Gutenberg’s Top 100), but it is Sharipov’s Classical Electrodynamics! See? What an extremely different contingent of e-book users frequents Bookyards.
I hope you will find this library useful in your free e-book search.
As I was reading Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog (which I quite enjoyed, by the way), I could not help myself but notice that the author emblematizes intelligence and erudition in one particular author, Leo Tolstoy. I found it a little amusing and curious – in order to demonstrate the concierge’s intellectuality, Barbery keeps mentioning Tolstoy as her favorite author. The hilarious part, of course, is that she names her cat Leo and that is supposedly what highly intelligent people do. Tolstoy, in fact, becomes the reason why the concierge befriends one of the wealthy and highly educated residents, Mr. Ozu. He is also a fan of Tolstoy, and also gives his cats Tolstoy-related names – Kitty and Levin, from Anna Karenina (which by the way, is free in Kindle edition). And do not question his intelligence! Of course, he is a bookworm – he read Tolstoy!
It is not the first time, when I see Tolstoy’s name being dropped here and there as a symbol of individual’s high education. I do not want to dwell upon the thought, whether I agree or disagree with such choice of symbol for erudition. However, Tolstoy’s novels do look intimidating just by looking at the size of the paperback, and even worse – hardcover books. I remember, when I was reading War and Peace, I think, I developed an unusual group of muscles – right around my wrists, just by holding the heavy tome of War and Peace. Also, snuggling with such book in bed is not as comfortable due to the weight of the volumes. And I’m not even going to begin discussing the pains of carrying such book around and reading it in public transportation or in the office, while you wait for the appointment. I mean, it’s not only that you look hilarious behind a gigantic book – almost like Harry Potter behind an encyclopedia of magic spells. It’s just simply impossible to carry such enormous weight around.
The beauty with Kindle is the readily available collections of Tolstoy’s novels for sale. And, also one would not feel intimidated by the ginormous size of Tolstoy’s books. If you considered reading Tolstoy, went to the bookstore, flipped through the pages and ran away scared of the amount of pages, then seriously consider giving Tolstoy another chance – try reading his works in Kindle. Yes, you can still see how many pages there are. However, the beauty with e-books is that they conceal the intimidating part – the physicality of big volumes. You start reading, get into the plot, and you would not even notice until you are through with the novel. War and Peace around is priceless.
Amazon and publisher Grove/Atlantic from today will be giving away a free copy of the new novel “Spirit House” by Christopher G Moore to Amazon Kindle customers, beginning today Kindle owners can go to the Kindle page for “Spirit House” and download a free copy of the e-book via Whispernet.
The electronic version will be available from today (August 1), in advance of the book’s release in print on 28th August, which will cost $10.40.
Morgan Entrekin, the president and publisher of Grove/Atlantic, said that the deal with Amazon “is a great way to expand Moore’s audience even further.”
So head on over and get your free copy, here is the book description;
In the nearly twenty years he has lived in Bangkok, Christopher G. Moore has written nine novels starring Vincent Calvino, a disbarred American lawyer working as a PI in the dark and steamy Thai capital. Internationally acclaimed, the prizewinning novels have been translated into ten languages. Now Spirit House, the first novel in the series, is finally available in North America.
A farang is dead and the Bangkok police have a confession the next morning from a young paint-thinner addict. He claims he killed Ben Hoadly, an expat Brit, but Calvino has his doubts when he sees heavy bruises on the kid’s face. In no time Calvino is working both sides, out to find the killer for Hoadly’s wealthy father, and eager to clear the addict’s name for a beautiful friend who runs a charity in the slums. With the help of his best friend, Pratt, a Shakespeare quoting Thai police colonel, and his loyal assistant, Ratana, Calvino plunges into the dangerous world of addicts, dealers, fortune tellers, inexpensive hit men, oversexed foreigners, and professional bar girls. Spirit House is a thrilling introduction to Vincent Calvino and Christopher G. Moore’s Bangkok.
UPDATE: Link to the Kindle edition of “Spirit House”
Source: New York Times
Just a quick update following on from the previous post.
Tor.com has made 24 e-book available to download, you can now download some of them directly from Amazon.com and get them delivered to your Kindle through Whispernet.
The book available from the list of 24 are;
1. Mistborn: The Final Empire
2. Old Man’s War
4. The Outstretched Shadow: The Obsidian Trilogy: Book One
5. Crystal Rain
6. Lord Of The Isles
7. Through Wolf’s Eyes
8. Reiffen’s Choice
9. Sun Of Suns
You can get them by following this link.
Source: Amazon Kindle official blog
UPDATE: Thanks to reader Tracey Rowley who informed me that Amazon had put up a new link for all the free Tor.com content, right now there are 15 e-books available–there were 20 before–which you can download to your Kindle via Whispernet:
Back in May we got wind of a new social fanzine site especially for science-fiction and fantasy readers, Tor.com was due for launch we were told imminently, but as with these things the launch actually didn’t happen for a couple of month – over the weekend Tor.com was launched.
If you read the earlier post you know that had you signed up for the newsletter, Tor was giving away a free e-book every week in their weekly newsletter. Now that the site has launched, Tor will make available all 24 titles that were given away in the newsletter–only till the 27th of July, so head on over to the site and download them–in their Freebies Bonanza, there is a selection of artwork for download as-well, some would make an excellent desktop wallpaper.
Here is the list of all the available e-books;
If your a fan of science-fiction and fantasy books then you might want to bookmark Tor.com, and sign up for access to more advanced community features, whilst the site is still in officially in beta there is a lot there for you to look at and read. There are already some lively discussions going on in the community forum with Tor and Macmillan employees and the blog on the front page is filled with interesting news and stories.
Samhain Publishing is having a promotion with two of their e-books, for this week only you can download Nate by Beth Williams over Whispernet onto your Kindle absolutely free.
Samhain Publishing is pleased to announce our very first Amazon Kindle ebook giveaway! The title is Nate from Beth Williamson. The free download period begins on Monday, July 14th through Sunday, July 20th. This title is the first in the Devils on Horseback series from Williamson and we’re thrilled to share this exciting series with readers. As an FYI, Williamson recently signed with Kensington in April 2008.
Our next Kindle giveaway will be in August. That title is Giving Chase from Lauren Dane. I will send out a notice with all the details once they are finalized.
Here is the book description from Amazon.com
Amidst the post-war chaos that rains down around them, a controlling man and a desperate woman must choose between life and love.
Book one of the Devils on Horseback series.
Nate Marchand grew up as the only son of the town drunk. As a Confederate soldier, he found that order in the chaos was the only thing that kept him sane. Numbers, information, keeping everything in its proper place became second nature. The chaos of the war and its aftermath sent him into a rigid state that he couldn’t seem to overcome.
He and his friends, nicknamed Devils on Horseback, leave behind the aftermath of war to start fresh in the west. Their new business venture flounders and desperation drives them to take whatever work they can. The Devils are hired to remove the Taggert family from land claimed by Samuel O’Shea, the largest landowner in Grayton, Texas.
When he meets Elisa Taggert, his entire world shifts beneath him. Attracted, bewildered, and off-kilter, Nate ignores his conscience in favor of his wallet.
The simple task of removing a woman, a boy, and an old man, along with a small herd of cattle, resembles a Medieval siege. Nate wrestles with what he knows is right with what he must do. Will his love for Elisa overcome his need for survival?
Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, violence.
Sounds thrilling, look out for Giving Chase by Lauren Dane next week.
Download Nate: Devils on Horseback Book 1 (Kindle Edition) by Beth Williams
Source: nice mommy evil editor