A lot of you have been asking about e-books, so I am re-posting this article from the August 2010 Newsletter:
So your patrons bought the Kindles and the Nooks and the iPhones and the iPod Touches, and now they want to know where they can get e-books that don’t cost $10 a pop. It’s a complicated landscape out there in terms of libraries providing popular e-books – a lot of infrastructure costs with OverDrive, copyright issues over multiple downloads for Amazon Kindle and the like, and oldish materials on our TexShare NetLibrary accounts that you can’t download anyway (I am only referring to the ebook subscription here, not the e-Audiobook subscription). How to guide your patrons to hours of free and compelling reading? Here are some suggestions:
• www.feedbooks.com, there are thousands of public domain books and original books from new authors that you can read on any mobile device.
• www.gutenberg.org – 33,000 public domain books that can be downloaded in multiple formats.
• www.tryharlequin.com/ – 16 try-for-free romance titles.
• suvudu.com/category/library – a small collection of sci-fi and fantasy titles from Random House.
• www.munseys.com/ – free pulp, classics, and more.
• www.panmacmillan.com/extracts/displayPage.asp?PageTitle=Extracts%20Home 414 extracts – tastes of books to let you know if you want to keep reading.
• ebookstore.sony.com – Sony and Google have paired up to provide this site that has a mix of free and purchaseable titles. I search for bargain-priced, then related subject, then by ranking in the left-hand area, then I sorted by price, and free comes up first.
A note on formats: eReaders support many formats. All support txt and pdf documents files as well as basic image files like gifs and jpgs. Other than these basic formats, compatibility varies. For Kindle, you can download free books in mobi format. For Nook, download books in epub format. With my iPhone (and iPod Touch and iPad), I can use the free app, Stanza that has access to all these sites listed above when you click on “get books”.
Looking for a breakdown of different e-readers? Check out http://ereaderguide.info/.