eBooks are for Cheapskates

GreenPorch Winter of eReadingAdmitting it is only half the solution. Okay, you’re a cheapskate. But where can you find free, quality reads? The Green Porch is here for you.

As our society crumbles around us and public libraries become Alpha Omega zombie apocalypse survival training centers rather than the bastions of cultural information they once were, readers will have to find alternative sources for free reading. Until the singularity seizes the internet from human hands that source can be eBooks.

There has never been a better time for penny-pinching readers to rollick in scads of free 0’s and 1’s worth of their favorite books. With no further ado, here are the Porch’s best sites for free eBooks (click on the names to visit the sites):

1.) ManyBooks.net  This site simply rocks. If you aren’t sure what you want to read and you want to be able to read it in just about any format. This should be your first stop. The search interface is easy to use and breaks down into genre categories and then further into language allowing you to narrow down your hunt effectively. Then they have nice sized covers and descriptions allowing you to skim the several hundred books that will still show up in any given genre for ones that pop out at you. This place is a candy store for junkie readers. Downloading is a breeze and doesn’t require you to subscribe or sign up or anything.

2.) Feedbooks.com  This is another great one. Search feature is nice, and as an added bonus it separates out “classic” public domain novels and free original works (like from schmucks like me). This helps narrow the search even more. Be forewarned, anytime you search for “most popular” within free original works porn will make up the first 25% or so. The limiting factor for this site is that the downloads (while very simple to do) are all in .epub format. So if you have a Kindle you are out of luck. This site also has scads of books you can pay for (could be a temptation for those weaker-willed cheapskates).

3.) Google Books  Nothing sexy about this site, but it has what is technically referred to as a “buttload” of books. (*Warning: don’t confuse Google Books with their new Google eBook store. They are two different things!) This site is really best used for nonfiction readers. It has access to the classics as well, but is not as user friendly. And you don’t download the eBook (well, you can with a few more steps), but simply open it in the Google reader. You can install the Google reader on your phone or tablet but not on a Kindle or Nook (well you can technically on a Nook or Sony, but it does take a little work. Go here for a video on how to do it.)

4.) Amazon/Kindle store  If you own a Kindle reading device this is still the easiest place for you to go for free content. Amazon has worked hard to make and keep it that way. Yes, you have sold your soul to the devil, but luckily for you the devil has quite a lot of free eBooks to choose from. The site does take a little time to figure out. So when you get to amazon make sure you select “Kindle” in the drop down list for departments. Once in the Kindle store you should click on the tab for “Kindle eBooks” right beneath the search drop down menu. Then on the right hand side you will see a “Bestsellers” list. Click on the “Kindle Store : Kindle Books” link that is in blue. Now you can search for the top paid and free books in any genre side by side. Again, often times the very top free eBooks are porn, but skim through and you will find some good deals for books that are temporarily on sale.

5.) The Gutenberg Project  This is an old classic. But that is also the problem. It’s old. It is navigable if you are willing to tinker around with it for a while, and it has lots of free eBooks available. But the browsing is not the easiest.[divider]

Now that you are equipped to fill up your device with free eBooks, you can afford to go and pay for mine! (Fistful of Reefer, The Austin Job) But more importantly, enjoy the show!

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