The Curriki blog has a nice post highlighting 10 sources for free textbooks online. In addition to Curriki’s own site, they link to bookboon, flatworld knowledge, ck 12, open culture, Project Gutenberg, and others.
I can tell that fall is in the air, nearly every article on my list this week has to do with eTextbooks. Other good ones are there too, check them out. Happy reading.
Last Friday, the Boston Public Library added 15,000 Project Gutenberg books to it’s virtual library, supported by OverDrive. This new project between OverDrive and Project Gutenberg is currently in beta and allows libraries to provide access to these public domain titles at no charge. The titles are DRM free EPub books and users will not run into holds, checkouts, or authentication.
The full press release from OverDrive is available and current OverDrive customers who are interested in adding the Gutenberg titles to their own virtual library should contact OverDrive’s partner services group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m thrilled to inform you that No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries will be released in late August. This edited book, published by ALA Editions, discusses a variety of eBook topics for school, public, and academic libraries. Since I have a bit of clout with the publisher, I’m able to release the TOC and introduction for your review and consideration. It is below. Of course, it will be available in a variety of eBook formats, and print too. Continue reading
The World eBook Fair, sponsored by Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive , World Public Library, and a multitude of others is in full swing, now until August 4th. This is the 5th annual fair, with over 3.5 million free PDF eBooks available for download. Access is free for one month, after which users are encouraged to join the World Public Library for the small fee of $8.95 per year. About 750,000 titles are available for PDF download from the World Public Library.
Michael Pastore of Zorba Press has released a revised edition of his benefits of eBooks title. The new title – 50 Benefits of Ebooks – is available now in .pdf form and soon in EPUB and paperback for the very small price of $2.00.
I like benefit #13 – Ebooks Are Cheaper to Buy
In this entry, Michael predicts “Ebook prices will plummet! Or I will eat this ebook” I hope so Michael. But if they don’t, what condiment will you put on those bits and bytes? gulp. Continue reading
The World eBook Fair runs from July 4th to August 4th, 2009. The goal of the fair is to provide FREE public access to 2 million eBooks for one month. Sponsors include Project Gutenberg, World Public Library, Ask.com, Internet Archive, and more. After the fair, readers may continue to access about 1/2 million ebooks for a small monthly fee, a subscription to the World Public Library.
From the wired.com blog
Sony Adds Half a Million Public Domain Google Books to Reader
By Charlie Sorrel March 19, 2009 | 5:36:39 AMCategories: Books
Sony has inked (e-inked?) a deal with Google to bring half a million public domain books to its Reader e-book device, but surprise! Being a Sony service it looks to be awkward to use and no better than just grabbing the texts from Project Gutenberg.
Google has been scanning and textifying public domain texts in its attempt to organize the world’s information, and now they’ll be available for Sony’s e-book reader. This initiative, while certainly laudable as a way to get free books properly formatted for the device, really shows up the Sony Reader and its lack of a wireless internet connection.
First, you need to go to the Sony eBook Store and grab the PC software. Then you can search from the comfort of your own computer the half million books Sony has grabbed from Google. Then you need to sideload the content onto your Reader.
Worse, try going to the eBook site to find the Google link. You’ll have to scroll around. Sony’s web designers have decided to make the word “Google” appear only in jpeg form, so no quick page-search to find it.
Oh, Sony. It’s a nice try, but we think you already lost this one. The Kindle is currently the iPod of e-book readers, and while it doesn’t do everything, what it does do it does right. Plus, you can download any of Project Gutenberg’s free books, or even Google’s, directly, even on the beach. If you really want to read Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, that is.
Product page [Sony]
In the 2008 Project Gutenberg Year in Review, it is reported that during 2008 they surpassed 32,000 original Project Gutenberg eBooks. “This now means that the original Project Gutenberg editions now list as many book titles as your average U.S. public library,” says Mike Cook. Additional statistics on the project can be found in the Year in Review.