One of the most loved features of the iPad is that you can use it to read ebooks. However, some people are skeptical of reading from an iPad, or an iPhone, saying it is not the same as reading from a print book. There is one very good, and very practical reason to employ this feature of these devices. There are tons of books that you can download for free. The two major players in the paid ebook world for apple devices are the native iBooks, and Amazon’s Kindle app. Both of these have a large quantity of books for free. These are both applications that download apps directly on your iDevice. Also there is Project Gutenberg which is the online authority for free books from the public domain. You can download books from Project Gutenberg’s website and import them to iTunes and put them on your iDevice.
Project Gutenberg is an online database of Classic literature. They are a non-for-profit organization whose effort is to digitize and archive books and cultural texts. Anyone can access their files and download them in a variety of formats. (HTML, EPUB Kindle, Plucker QiOO and Plain txt UTF-8.)
iBooks is the hardest of these three to search. There is no way to browse the list of books in iBooks library, free or not, outside of the App Store. However, if you search for books that you want they may or may not be free. The app store does have a top free category that is browsable but that is really only useful when you don’t know what it is you want to read.
Amazon has two categories of free books Popular classics, and limited time offers (only some of these are free). These are easily searchable on Amazon’s website. (http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=2245146011) To download one onto your iDevice, download the Kindle app, and run it. In the top right corner there is a link to the kindle store. Press this and it will take you to safari, and you will be one amazon’s mobile site. Scroll down to Free Popular Classics. You then “purchase” whatever book you want on your Amazon account (you will not be charged anything since the book is free) and Amazon will then add the book to your account and it will download in the Amazon app the next time you open the Kindle App.
The simplest way to download these books from to an iDevice is to download the EPUB format. Open the file in finder, and then drag and drop it to itunes. The book will then be in your books library and will be on your device the next time you sync.
There are tons of sites on the web that have free ebooks for here is a link to a good list of sites for free books. Some of the sites are very specialized for education, engineering, business, etc.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.