By Marilynne Rudick
I bet you didn’t know that March is Read an eBook month. Its purpose is to publicize and promote eBook reading.
You can celebrate eBook month by downloading free eBooks!
Thousands of Free Classic eBooks
The good news: there are thousands of free eBooks compatible with the Kindle, Nook, Kobo and other eReaders. The bad news: if you are looking for best sellers–or anything published in the last 100 or so years– the pickings are slim. Most free eBooks are those in the public domain; their copyright has expired. Under current copyright law, an author–or the author’s estate–controls the rights to the work for 70 years after the author’s death. That means most free eBooks are classics–Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, not John Grisham or J.K. Rowling.
Think of it this way: they are called classics because they’ve withstood the test of time. Now there’s no excuse to not read the complete Crime and Punishment instead 0f the Cliff’s Notes version you used to skate through high school.
Where to Find Free eBooks
- The nonprofit Project Gutenberg has digitized 40,000 books. Best of all, books are available in a variety of formats to accommodate just about any eBook reader, computer or mobile device. Books are free, but donations are encouraged to make newly out-of-copyright books available. You can search the website to find books by title, author or subject. Browse its list of most popular books or newest releases.
- Barnes & Nobles boasts the availability of more than 1 million free eBooks, available in PDF and ePub format. (EPub is compatible with most eReaders, mobile devices and computers. It is not Kindle compatible.
- Free Kindle Books and Tips Blog (Michael Gallagher) makes it easy to find just-released free eBooks. The blog lists the daily free book offerings from Amazon and other sources. Listings include readers’ ratings. Many of the free eBooks are older books by well-known authors or new authors. Subscribe to receive the blog via e-mail.
- eBookNewser, a daily blog covering the eBook industry, includes a free eBook page with offerings by Amazon, Project Gutenburg, University of Chicago Press, and others.
Read eBooks on Any Digital Device
You don’t have to have a Kindle, Nook, or other eBook reader to download and read eBooks. Project Gutenberg books and those in ePub format can be read on any digital device. So download an eBook this week and save a tree!
Coming soon: a post about library eBooks.
About the Author: Marilynne Rudick writes about web tools and technologies in her WebOver50 blog. She believes the web is wasted on the young, and her blog explains web apps– social networking, blogging, YouTube, and the treasure trove of new web tools—for people like herself: an over50 history major.