Unchained: Finding Free eBooks for Pleasure and Learning


Well, it’s Enriching Scholarship week again! Today had the amazing keynote session, then I also attended the Third Century session (more on those later), and I had my first session on finding free ebooks.

From: Unchained: Finding free ebooks

BLURB FOR SESSION:
“With the increasing availability and use of ebook readers and mobile devices with apps for ebooks, it makes sense to incorporate them into the educational process where possible and feasible. With the high cost of education in general, and textbooks in particular, it can be attractive to students to offer options to facilitate use of free resources. This session will showcase sources of free educational ebook content and tools for integrating them with standard ebook reader devices.”

I want to get the information out from today’s session for everyone who attended, because (since I was getting over that evil bronchitis) I didn’t have any handouts. This will be the ‘handout,’ and hopefully acceptable to all.

All the links discussed were included in a Pinterest board, with a reaction from one audience member, “But I don’t take my Pinterest class until tomorrow!” Pinterest organizes boards in reverse chronological order, and does not allow custom sorts or organization. For my board, that means the most important content is mostly at the bottom, sort of like email conversations where you need to read from the bottom up.

Brief overview of what to expect to find:
– ebook search engines
– ebook forums
– free ebook review blogs & subscription services
– how to add downloaded ebooks to your device
– search tips for finding ebooks in Amazon & Google
– free ebooks from other countries and languages
– MORE!

Unchained: Finding Free Books
“Resources for finding free ebooks. Please note, sites and site ownership may change. While I have tried to not include sites providing illegal copies, I cannot guaranteed the legality of any of the books you choose to download.”
http://pinterest.com/rosefirerising/unchained-finding-free-books/
All links: http://pinterest.com/rosefirerising/unchained-finding-free-books/pins/

But there is so much there! What is the BEST?

Here are two blogposts I did early on in my explorations, which include several of my favorites that I still use.

Unchained: Where I Get My Free Ebooks: http://mhistoire.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/unchained-where-i-get-my-free-ebooks/

Cool Toys Pic of the day – 5 ebook search engines: http://cooltoysu.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/cool-toys-pic-of-the-day-5-ebook-search-engines/

We also had some phenomenal insights from Kathleen Folger about the phenomenal range of ebooks available from the University Libraries! Now, while these are not the usual “free ebooks” available to the general public, these are books available to the University of Michigan community members. Here are a few resources from the UM Libraries about these.

MLibrary: Guides: Electronic Books (e-Books): http://guides.lib.umich.edu/ebooks

MLibrary: AAEL: How do I find ebooks? http://www.lib.umich.edu/art-architecture-engineering-library/how-do-i-find-ebooks

MPublishing: Books: http://www.publishing.umich.edu/publications/books/

Now, for the winners!

Best general reader alerting service:
A tie between Pixel of Ink and Books on the Knob. Slight edge to Pixel for their email subscription service. Significant edge to Knob for having more than Kindle!

Best source for accessible formats:
The Internet Archive: Ebook & Texts Archive

IA beats out Munsey’s with 4,498,390 items even though Munsey’s supports more formats.

Internet Archive:
HTML, PDF (color), PDF (B/W), EPUB, Kindle, Daisy, ASCII, DjVu

Munsey’s formats:
DAISY, eBookwise, EPUB, Isilo, Kindle, MOBI, MS-Reader, PDF, Plucker, Rocket, Sony, Zipped

Best free audio books source:
LibriVox

Best non-English language ebooks discovery tools:
Carnegie-Mellon’s Universal Digital Library

UDL beats out the anonymously produced “Free Literature” collection of sources with a full service search engine for over a million books in many languages.

Best free ebook search:
InkMesh

Best ebook management tool:
Calibre

Most influential:
Project Gutenberg

Best overall!

Drumroll, please.

Cute baby plays drums

The Internet Archive

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