I love ebooks. I like the idea of having a literal library in my pocket. I’ve been collecting them for years, and I found a great new free ebook site, while trying to figure out how to best view ebooks on my iPhone, which prompted me to share this one and a few others I use.
If you want great eBook content, check out these sites. And once I find a method to actually read ebooks, without the struggles and pain of the half-baked ideas I’ve seen online so far, I’ll let you know. (If I could name the one thing that the iPhone really lacks on the entertainment-in-your-pocket category, it would be a way to read books.)
Wowio.com – a wonderful freebie ebook site that requires a valid (non-yahoo, non-msn, etc) email account to receive access to an impressive selection of ebooks, ecomics, and other materials. The format is PDF and the downloads are limited to five per day. I have ten now, and they are all beautifully crafted. Illustrations, fonts and layout are what give books “character” in my opinion. I miss the texture of the paper and the smell of books, when using the ebooks, but I’ll trade that in for portability if I can keep the other “character” elements in my books. (Found the link originally on The Reader)
Ohio State University Press – Want to find free academic works online? Try this resource (the find courtesy of www.writers-edge.info) for some unusual topics. Pro: Downloads are in PDF format, so you can add them to your own hard drive and have them forever. Con: The PDFs are broken up by chapter, so there will be multiple downloads to get a single title.)
Adobe Digital Editions – There are a few freebies here, they are truly beautiful ebooks, but they also require a special software to read — more than simple a simple PDF reader. Personally, I think they border on luxury… but I balk when I have to download and install more software. In a perfect world, there would be a single “reader” — preferably a browser or some universal, already-installed program that doesn’t require an additional software with a large-footprint. Until then, we all limp along.
Internet Public Library – A great resource for free online content and downloadable ebooks from across the web. It’s a great place to lose yourself and suddenly find that your deadlines are not met, the sun has gone down, the kids are hungry and you have an amazing new set of bookmarks under the “ebooks” category and a much more “beefed up” personal ebook collection on your hard drive. And, if you are out with your iPhone, many of these resources are in HTML format — so you really CAN read on your iPhone without uploading/downloading or searching for hacks. You can read on your phone now. It also offers a teen and children’s section to go along with the business, science, fiction, etc., divisions. Enjoy!