Free Books in My Phone


I got the Aldiko e-book reader for my Android phone the other day – for free over the net. It came with two apparently random free books in epub format: H.G. Wells’s The Invisible Man and Sun Tzu’s Art of War. And whenever I like I can get more books for free over the net from within the e-reader: either old ones whose copyright has expired, or newly written ones with a Creative Commons licence. Austen, Doyle, Lovecraft, Twain, you name it! I can also buy copyrighted e-books and put them on my phone. The cost works out to about the same as if I mail-order a used paperback from the UK, the difference being that I don’t have to wait and I will have nothing to put on my shelf (which is pretty full already). My next book purchase will probably be an e-book.

Meanwhile, a top-tier literary agent representing a huge number of huge names has made an agreement with Amazon to deliver his author stable’s output directly to the on-line book store for e-reader access without the involvement of any publisher. New times! Will we see the high-street print-on-demand booth soon? Or will the paperback novel soon be obsolete?

The cheapest way to get hold of a copyrighted book, though, is still to borrow it from a friend or the library. My local doesn’t have much that interests me, but they offer an excellent inter-library loan service. I order over the net, they notify me by SMS when they receive the book, and then I pay €1 to borrow it down at the library. (Local loans carry no such fee.)

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  1. That’s true, e-book is a better option f.e. in travel. But every day I prefer the traditional book :)

  2. #2 Janne
    July 26, 2010

    FBreader is good too – in fact, I have both installed as I still can’t decide which one I like better.

    If you’re into science fiction, Charlie Stross’ “Accellerando” is available (in FBReader, and I guess in Aldiko – FBReader has better search) and is a really good read.

  3. #3 Martin R
    July 26, 2010

    Yeah, Stross was one of the authors I checked out first since he’s known to market his stuff by releasing it for free. Accelerando would be on my phone now hadn’t I read it a few years back on paper. Instead I have Mark Twain’s Roughing It.

  4. #4 ranggaw0636
    July 26, 2010

    ebook is a good way to safe space, but paper book is more convenient to read

  5. #5 Martin R
    July 27, 2010

    I’m not sure that I agree there. Just think of the fact that you can word-search in the e-book and it fits in your pocket if you’re using your phone. I have a feeling that I’ll be reading more and more e-books.

  6. #6 Abdulraqeeb Al-shamiri
    February 8, 2013

    I am a assistant professor in Ibb university in Yemen and I want to get some books in psychology and childhood

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