I really love using Kindle Desktop for reading ebooks on my netbook. The great thing is there are so many free books, and I don’t just mean old ones, that I think everyone should use it even if they never plan to buy a book, just to take advantage of the freebies.
Free books: As of right now I only have 3 books in my library that I paid for.
- The Myth of Multitasking which I actually bought last year during the brief time I owned an iPhone
- Drive by Daniel Pink – this was on my to-read list forever and I’m currently reading it
- Cognitive Surplus – which I pre-ordered, I’m a huge Clay Shirky fan
Everything else you see here is free.
Amazon has a “Free books collection” which includes Popular Classics and my favorite Limited-time Promotional Offers. I check these about once a week, some of the titles you see there are no longer available for free. There is a lot of fiction in there and I occasionally grab one in case I want something to read later, but mostly I’m after the non-fiction. The reports from the MacAurthor Foundation were the first things I grabbed and Buffy later blogged them.
- Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project
- Young People, Ethics, and the New Digital Media: A Synthesis from the Good Play Project
- Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century
- New Digital Media and Learning as an Emerging Area and “Worked Examples” as One Way Forward
- The Civic Potential of Video Games
Its worth using the Kindle app for these alone, they are available as PDFs for free online, but highlighting and finding important passages later with Kindle is so much easier.
Highlights and notes: Amazon keeps your Kindle highlights online at kindle.amazon.com, just log in with your username and password and there they are.
You can leave them there or copy and paste them into Google Docs. I like this option because if I do that for all my ebooks from other sources too, I can search all of my notes at once.
Samples: You can send a sample of books to your device. I do this for titles I want to read. My rule is once I finish my current book and read the sample I can purchase the title but not before. So far this is keeping me from getting crazy with the buying. Because I can see the samples right there, I don’t worry that I’ll forget I want to read it.
Space: Let’s face it, I have a lot of books. Every time I move I have to stress this to the moving company, they ask how many bedrooms you have and about appliances but they don’t ask about books. Books are heavy and take up a lot of space. For nonfiction books that I know I’ll highlight and want to refer to later, this space saving option is great.
I’ll never stop buying paper books, I prefer them for fiction and some nonfiction like travel essays. But for how I use many nonfiction title ebooks actually work much better for me.