1. #1 Canadian Curmudgeon
    August 9, 2010

    For free books, I use to download. Then, I use Calibre ( to translate the .txt files into .mobi which are readable on Kindle.

    Calibre also has an internal e-reader that has much of the functionality of a kindle.

  2. #2 Kierra
    August 9, 2010

    If you go straight to the Project Gutenberg site ( they already have most of the books available as mobi files (though they are listed as “experimental”), so you don’t need the extra conversion step.

  3. #3 MRW
    August 9, 2010

    Typo in Canadian Curmudgeon’s post – it’s As Kierra notes, you don’t even need to go through the conversion step for most books.

    Relatedly, Amazon has a list of sites with Kindle-compatible free ebooks.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    August 9, 2010

    Sorry, I suppose I should have made this more clear: I am not saying that you must buy a 200 part to read free books! As far as I know, all the books that are free or nearly free on the Kindle are available on line. I don’t know how you read those books with portable reader, but most of them are easily read using any of a number of technologies on your regular computer, including simply reading them as text files. It depends in part on what format you download them int.

    Gutenberg is absolutely one of the best places to find such books, but there are others.

    MRW, thanks, I had not seen that list, but I have seen those sites.

    One of the difficulties in using the Kindle is knowing which version of the free books to download. There are often many, and some have tables of contents and some do not.

    A table of contents is rather useful when you download the entire works of a single prolific author in one volume, for example.

  5. #5 Irene Delse
    August 9, 2010

    A good source of free ebooks in Kindle and other portable formats, complete with TOC and author info/bibliography is Feedbooks:

    For instance, on the list above, they have the books by Joseph Conrad, Charles Darwin, H.G. Wells & Arthur Conan Doyle.

  6. #6 IanW
    August 10, 2010

    “…mostly older and thus free-ish books…”

    Free-ish? Is there any truthiness to your claim? If we plotted it on a chart would it be an out-liar?! And are these really books or are they simply bookish?!

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    August 10, 2010

    OK, wise guy. What I mean is books that cost a dollar, but are otherwise available free, but seem to have some value added (like they are set up for the Kindle better than if they were randomly stuck on there, or don’t have stupid badly scanned text in the beginning as many do, etc.). Like those 99 cent iTouch apps. Freeish.

  8. #8 jaf
    September 1, 2010

    Did you put the entomology book in there just for me? 😀

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    September 1, 2010