So… you’ve just bought a new eReader. Regardless of whether you bought a Nook, Kindle, iPad, Sony eReader, Kobo, or other device, the big issue now is how to find content for it.
As part of the Northeast Texas Digital Library Consortium, the Library now offers downloadable eBooks via OverDrive. This means we can offer you many popular books for your device, but since we're part of a consortium, you might have to wait for a title to become available. What do you do in the meantime?
Don’t worry — there are thousands, if not millions, of free eBooks available for you online. True, you probably won’t find the latest bestsellers (although you might, occasionally), but nevertheless, you will find enough material at these sites to keep you going for a while.
- Archive.org Text Archives
The Internet Archive is a virtual library of audio, video, software, Website archives and text materials of historical and cultural significance. The Text Archives contains over two million items in a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books.
While not every book is currently available in all eReader formats, you will find more than enough to keep you entertained and enlightened.
- Project Gutenberg
This is the one that started it all. Project Gutenberg was the first producer of free eBooks on the Internet. They offer over 33,000 free eBooks to read on your PC, Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, Android or other portable device.
Project Gutenberg is also the partner of LibriVox, which offers free downloadable audiobooks read and recorded by volunteers.
All Project Gutenberg titles are out-of-copyright in the United States, so you will not find much in the way of current titles, but what they do offer is of the highest quality.
- Google Books
Google Books offers over three million titles for download to a variety of devices, although they offer a mixture of free and retail eBooks. You can browse through their selection of free titles by clicking on “More” in the BEST OF THE FREE section. (Note: Google Books does not currently support the Kindle.)
Additionally, check Websites of online eBook retailers for special offers. They usually have many free Titles available (including current authors), free sample chapters and other limited-time offers. Some of these retailers include:
Occasionally you may find a free eBook or other eText online that is in a format not supported by your device. Or perhaps you’ve written something that you would like to share with others to put on their eReaders. This is where conversion programs come in handy.
If you have only one conversion tool (and there are dozens to choose from), one of the best and most popular is Calibre.
Calibre will not only convert your eBooks into dozens of other formats, it will also act as a “library manager” and keep your eBooks organized. You can use it to sync your eBooks with whichever device you have — Calibre will automatically choose the best format for your device, and will even convert the eBook if it is not already in that format. Calibre also has a built-in newsreader that will allow you to fetch news from Websites and RSS feeds and convert them to a format you can take with you on your eReader.
And best of all, Calibre is Open Source and completely free! You can get Calibre online at: http://www.calibre-ebook.com