ManyBooks.net is another site to get free books. They’re mostly public domain, but have some modern works (notably Cory Doctorow and Jeffrey Carver).
I downloaded a couple, ten, twenty… all right, a hundred and fifty. Then I gave them a donation.
I love this thing, except there’s no real file system. This is the biggest feature requested in the user feedback forums. I wrote with a suggestion that they base it on the Dewey Decimal System, and have the use of bookmarks within the system to cross-file everything just like a card catalog. That would be cool.
I’ve been offered a Kindle for Christmas. Or I could get an eeePC, which costs about the same. I don’t exactly need either one. My two problems with the Kindle are that I live in a place with no Whispernet service, so I’d have to get everything downloaded to my PC, and I’ve noticed a lot of books I want to read aren’t available on the Kindle.
Neither one would be a deal breaker by itself, but both together seem they would limit its usefulness. I especially like the idea of being able to download a book instantly any time and get access to Wikipedia anywhere. (I hear id does a lousy job with the SDMB, unfortunately.) What do you think, twickster?
Another free site. All public domain as far as I can tell.
I love my Kindle, even though I don’t have the Whispernet service at my house. The file sizes are so small, you can quickly and easily download and store them on your PC. I’ve also put music and Audible files on an SD card. (The Kindle will only play the MP3s randomly, though.)
I was given it as a gift. I might not have gone for it myself, but we had several long trips this summer and fall (including Indonesia for 3 weeks) so it was a timely gift. I could shop for and download books in the US airports, in addition to the ones I’d already loaded.
It might have been nice to wait until Kindle 2.0, but I still love the thing.
I know zero about the eeePC, so can’t comment on that.
Whispernet is cool – those two downloads last night? I was lying in bed. How cool is that? OTOH – if you’re at home, what’s the big deal about downloading via the computer? When remote downloads would be cool is when you’re on the road, and in those cases, as Alpine mentions, you can access the cell signals.
Not everything I want is on Kindle, either – and I think there are certain things I would buy hard copies of, even if they were – books I’d want to read, and reread, and skip around in – books where I would be actively using the index – books with charts or illustrations I want to look at carefully (the size of the charts in the book I’m currently reading make them pretty fucking useless, and I don’t think you can zoom).
I did try accessing the Dope and it didn’t work very well – I’m not a huge Wiki person, so I haven’t tried that yet. The built-in dictionary is nice.
I don’t think I’d spend the money myself – ever, ever – but now that I’ve got one, I’m finding it way cool. It’s not really a total replacement for books, and I don’t think it ever can be. But it’s so damn fun.
Today I used mine on the subway for the first time and IMO this is the number one greatest feature of the Kindle: the one-handed read.
On a crowded train, standing up and hanging onto the (ew) pole, I can easily hold the Kindle with either hand, and flip pages with my thumb. No more am I forced to read the same page of my magazine over and over until the train stops jolting long enough for me to turn the page.