I can haz Kindle?

Okay, so I’ve installed all the beginner-appropriate apps on my new Android 2.2.

I’ve got my gmail and yahoo mail apps set up, got Google Reader, Goggles, even Twitter, god help me. My contacts are integrated with Google. I can communicate with the outside world through more options than I know what to do with.

Now, I’d like to ask you awesome folks for some suggestions as I enter the world of content.

I installed the Kindle for Android app, and dabbled my toes in enough to find that I can get most of the works of Alexander Dumas for free.

This is an amazing thing.

If you add up all that Amazon has in their Kindle store, and include the Internet Archive and Open Library,Β there are literally millions of free choices available.

I ask you now for your suggestions on your favorite free ebooks for me to grab to read on my phone. I promise you, I will be delighted to have your thoughts and suggestions.

34 thoughts on “I can haz Kindle?

  1. So glad that you mentioned Dumas, I have been reading free out of copyright books on my phone and now on my ipod touch for a long while, ever since my first palm pilot – what a great resource, and so easy to take to the rest room at work!

    My best discovery after Dumas has been GA Henty who was a British victorian author who wrote a huge number of historical adventure books for boys. Pure and clean stories with an uncomplicated sense of right and wrong and cracking adventures each and every one. Being for boys of the late 19th century the books are full of great language and accurate history across the entire swathe of last couple of millenia though you do have to do some mental filtering for outdated attitudes especially with regard to races particularly for stories from the further reaches of the British empire. My favourite was “Cornet of Horse”. An impressive number of books from his huge output is available from munseys which I access via the excellent Stanza app. Or here: http://www.munseys.com/detail/mode/author/henty

    If you are willing to pay for content then you cannot get better historical fiction than the sea stories of Patrick O’Brien, the first book of which was Master and Commander which was wrecked by the movie with Russell Crowe.
    Have fun with your reading!

    Many thanks for your blog which I have been enjoying for a few years now and keep looking at even though I left my Tauren druid a long time ago. You obviously put a lot of effort into it for which I am sure an awful lot of people are greatful. Your trucking stories rock!

    Best wishes



  2. I recently read the autobiography of Ben Franklin, which was pretty interesting, especially since one thing he talks about is his philosophy on arguing, where he tries to make the other person feel like he’s listening, so that he argues their points instead of just getting angry. of course, not that he ever backed down or agreed to disagree or anything. But he just believed in being civil.
    Also the autobiography of Thomas Jefferson.
    It’s not free (98 cents) but I got Benjemin Jowetts translation of “The Complete Dialogues of Plato”. Very good read.

    They also will have new books for free or for 1 cent as promotional offers. That’s how I got Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb a year or so ago, and got into her books.


  3. Jack London’s “Call of the Wild”, all the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ (don’t forget about Pellucidar), Bram Stoker’s original Dracula, and the Bible. I hope I didn’t repeat other commenters, didn’t read through them all.


  4. I’ve been a passionated reader of books for the last 40 years.
    20 years ago I started reading english books due to I was living in a foreign country. And since then, I have continued with the english language.
    I am terrible at getting rid of books after I have read it and in the later years I have curbed my reading due to lacking space of where to store the books. (somewhere between 5000-10000 books does take some storage)

    I notice that those different reading tablets started to get popular, but since I am spending around 10-12 hours a day in front of a screen I didn’t even look into them.
    But then one day I realised that I had some awards laying around that I could exchange into gift cards. And the only logical choice for me was to exchange it to Amazon gift cards. Since this was close to a months trip I hurriedly ordered a Kindle and hoping against all hope that it would arrive before I left.
    In the mean time I did install the kindle app on my PC and downloaded a few books.

    I have had my kindle for about 6 months now and have read around 60 books on it. In the beginning I just love it. After a while I have also seen the downsides with Kindle.

    Positive sides with Kindle
    Easy to buy books.
    You can synchronize your books over all your installed kindle apps
    You can normally have your book on up to 5 different kindle apps (So for example mobile, laptop, kindle, stationary PC and ipad)
    You can stop reading on page 157 on your mobile and when you open your kindle you continue on page 157 (and the other way around)
    You don’t need Wi-Fi. It is enough with mobile phone coverage (and it is free). I think in US that it is AT&T coverage that is needed)

    Negative sides with kindle.
    All the benefit of reading books over more than one device is not possible if you don’t get the book via Amazon
    They have a low number of supported formats.
    Their organizing system is crap, crap crap (try to have 1000 books in your kindle without any organisation. Then try to start organize it in “collections”)

    The main challenge is the way they are organizing their books. There are different aspect of it that I don’t like. I often use a filestructure to organize my stuff. You can also use a file structure on the Kindle, but it will not affect how it is presented on the screen. Neither does it use the filename as a name of the book. It will always use metadata. So if you have a book with a filename format of — (created from the metadata, all it will show is . This creates the challenge that if you buy for example David Weber’s Honor series (13 books I think), you have no way of knowing what is the next book you want to read without opening one by one and hope that somewere in the beginning there is an index of some kind… or look at the net. (The way I handle that, is to have each serie in their own collection and I add a txt document called -0-Serieindex- where I list the reading order of the books)

    I am now using the followint 2 programs to get things the way I want it.
    First one is Calibre (calibre-ebook.com)
    This one is my converter, my database, my main storage of books. And the one that keeps my actual kindle feeded with books (apart from Amazon)
    Perfect for converting those freee pdf books over to kindle format (much easier to read a pdf book on kindle if it is formated to kindle first)
    Second one is Kindle Collection manager (www.colegate.net/KindleCollectionManager
    This is used for pretty easy collection management.

    Cheers, Erex

    (ps. Seems like I have read too many bear walls. Well, guess that is what it is being a bear)


  5. I find that reading on the phone isn’t too bad, though don’t usually read for more than a half hour or so at a sitting. I did have to change the color schema from black text on a white page to black on sepia (or whatever it’s called, probably just beige). The phone backlight was just too much glare for me with the white background.

    The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (5 or 6 volumes)
    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (haven’t read it yet, but how could this be bad?)


  6. I don’t know how the Kindle works, but on a Nook you can type “0.00 whatever subject you want” and it’ll pull up all the free books. Be warned: some of the free books are way too littered with grammatical and typographical errors to read; but by and large it’s fun to have such a wide selection of freebies.


  7. My wife reminds me.

    Old Man’s War by Scalzi. Also Ghost Brigade, Lost Colony and Zoe’s Tale.
    Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card.


  8. Hi! (Long time reader, first time commenter). I think the first thing I grabbed off Kindle was the complete Sherlock Holmes collection, followed by the Scarlet Pimpernel. Mystery & swashbuckling = hours of fun reading =)


  9. http://m.gutenberg.org/ http://librivox.org/

    Specifically, I’ve had really good luck with some of the sci-fi short story collections. Astounding Stories right at the top.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Science_Fiction_%28Bookshelf%29 They’re pleasant mixes of “kind of dated, but interesting” to “really really cool.”

    I’m currently reading Moby Dick, which I didn’t really expect to like. Which probably says something twisted about my sense of humor… :S


  10. Totally out of topic, but in the long run, I find it unpleasant to read entire books from my phone.
    The Kindle we bought two weeks ago, on the other hand, that is amazing. Screen is large, perfect for reading, battery lasts forever.


    • I can certainly see that. Especially on titles that lack a useable table of contents.

      On the other hand, it does remember where I left off, and it could be handy for those… sudden pauses in the day. Err.


    • I’ll second the Kindle… It’s amazing. I love it! I live pretty far out in the middle of nowhere, so it’s nice to be able to download a book directly to it, without having to drive 55+ miles to get to a bookstore. The eink is easy to read, the battery lasts for days and days and days of heavy reading, and it’s comfy in your hand. Way better than reading on your phone. Maybe Cassie can get it for your next Xmas – she’ll definitely win the “buy the most books for the set price” contest, since she’ll be able to count all the free eBooks! πŸ™‚

      I second Elfindale’s comment: I’m glad you asked this question too – I’m stealing suggestions left and right!


  11. I just now downloaded the Kindle app, so I don’t have any suggestions for you. But I did want to leave a comment and say thanks for posting this topic because it allowed me to steal all these suggestions for myself. πŸ˜›


  12. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    Treasure Island and anything else by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Dracula by Bram Stoker
    The Mysterious Island and anything else by Jules Verne
    The Tell-Tale Heart and anything else by Edgar Allen Poe
    http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/fiction/publish.asp here’s a bunch of H. P. Lovecraft’s works for free

    Lots of stuff to keep a Bear busy =)


    • I might be missing the obvious, but how do I get the Lovecraft books, (or any other text for the matter) into my kindle App? All I can get out of it is the kindle store from Amazon.


  13. Don’t know if you like vampire books or not, but I recommend the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. The t.v. series ‘True Blood’ is based on them. πŸ™‚


    • Ahhh, now the Dorsai are a great recommendation… but I’ve already read them. On the other hand, it would be awesome to carry around a ‘pocket Dorsai’. πŸ™‚


  14. http://www.baen.com/library/

    The Baen Free library is very good. Baen also has very reasonable ebook prices, I’ll try buy from them when I can, to support the awesome selection they have available for free. Lately though I’ve been working my way through the wheel of time, (not free) it was just too daunting in dead tree version for me to commit to. At about 5000 pages in though, I’m sorry I waited this long.

    I know you’re a fan of John Ringo, and nearly all his books are available for free. Some are in the link above, but his wikipedia entry has more.

    Check out the nook app too… I prefer it because the platform in general is more open than kindle is. Be warned though, I was buying a real nook a couple weeks after android hooked me on the ebook format.


    • OKay, got the first four books in the Belisarius series by David Drake and Eric Flint on my phone. This makes me a happy bear. Thanks!


  15. All the Edgar Rice Burroughs Books for starters. Go to Project Guttenberg, they have 10s of thousands of out of copyright books to download for free.

    Also, get Aldiko from the Andrios Store as it’s way better than kindle if you plan to read any books on your phone. Also get Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com/) to manage your books, it’s awesome and free. πŸ™‚


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