I love nothing better than reading a good book. But e-Books are also a great way to relax and absorb some literary goodness – by reading or listening (and watching as video in some variations). There are some great e-Book sites around – there are commercial sites where you pay an annual subscription – and on some sites from as little as $10 a year gives you access to hundreds of thousands of e-Books. Other sites have access to e-books in the public domain – and are free to download.
Try the World eBook Fair where you will find thousands of e-Books – for free! e-Books can be downloaded as PDFs, or they may be available in a particular format that requires a specific “reader” software. e-Books also include “audio-books” – they are generally MP3 files and can be played on your iPod/MP3 player – or through your computer’s media player. Alternatively you could burn the files as an Mp3 or audio Cd – for personal use of course.
Here are some more e-Book links:
Free ebooks has a handy directory of sources for e-books and texts.
Libriviox is a fantastic site to visit – here stories, read and recorded by online members, are posted on the Librivox site as MP3 files for free download. The stories are read from books that are now within the public domain. A simple way of explaining what is meant by the public domain is that work not protected by copyright, or where the copyright for it has expired.
BUT remember of course some of the “public domain” materials you download may be subject to different interpretations of its “public domain” status, depending what country you live in – rather than where the original file resides. So a file downloaded from the Librivox site, hosted in the good ol US of A, may in fact still be IN copyright in Australia – depending on what Australia’s copyright laws require. If you REALLY want to know about copyright law in Australia, you can have a long hard look through the Australian Copyright Council’s website. I don’t think you are going to have a sleepless night over it – there is little chance of the copyright police busting down your front door, in a midnight raid of your home PC’s hard drive, in search of some Billy Shakespeare sonnets or a tale or two from Mark Twain – downloaded from Librivox.
Now all you need to do is strap on your iPod or mp3 player and go for a long walk, or a nice sit out in the garden, or as you commute to work – and have a story read to you. We listen to radio and music as we drive – could we concentrate as well on an audio book – I cant do it – I have to be relaxed and focussed but whatever your setting – enjoy the experience. Happy e-booking.