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Old 11-30-2011, 11:56 AM   #1
lmcread
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E-reader newbie with lots of questions !

hi there.
joined this community to learn about ereaders...
I am planning to buy several.. yes .. several as gifts.. that is all they want...
I might get one for myself next year. IPADs are too expensive for me... (thats another story!)

so i will be asking lots of questions.. (hopefully not silly questions).
before going into the details of each working one... I have a very general question to start...
can someone get by WITHOUT paying for any ebooks.. just download the free books to read ??? how are the choices .. of course , i won't get the latest releases... but is it like going to the library... you can get decent books to read ?? for someone I have in mind for buying .. he might not be able to afford buying ebooks therefore maybe ereader not so good a choice for him..... so are they good sites for free ebooks ??

and can you share ebooks between devices .... ??
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:13 PM   #2
susan_cassidy
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The majority of free ebooks are public domain works, which anyone can download or share. You can get these from places like mobileread.com, gutenberg.org, feedbooks.com, manybooks.net, and also from the major book vendors. In the US, public domain is mostly (but not all) stuff published before 1923). Different countries have different public domain rules. Canada and Australia have more access than the US (shorter copyright times for older stuff).

Publishers occasionally offer fairly current free books for a limited time. I've found some that were great, and by major authors, but the majority are stuff from independent publishers, and stuff that I would not be interested in (e.g. self-help stuff, cookbooks, romances, etc.). Mostly, the major publishers give away things like the first book in the series, so you have to buy the other books to read more about that character. Pretty much to be expected - a promotional thing.

Baen Books (webscription.net) has some free books, and the fifth imperium (http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/) gives away the content of the Baen Books CDs that come with hardcovers (this is legit, and ok with Baen). Of course, this is science fiction and fantasy, and may not suit your friend.

If books are public domain, you may share them, but most other sites preclude you from doing that (you agree to that when you use their site to download, e.g. Amazon). But, if the book is offered for free, anyone can download it to their own account. No need to share.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
jbcohen
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I can't speak for any of the other electronic book stores but I do know that amazon offers a lot of free and low cost books, under $4 each. What they do is to offer a new author a contract where the author publishes their first book either free or at the low cost level then can offer, if successful, sucessive boosk at typical price levels. The lower price helps the author get noticed and get their foot in the door. For us the customers it helps us find the next john grisham and get books very cheap or free.

I simply do not know if other stores do this as well.

Another thing you will need to be concerned about is the cost of the reader itself. The low end, at the time of my typing is the entry level Kindle at $80.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
CRussel
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In addition to the other comments here, many eBooks are available from your public library. If the user is in the US, this includes Kindle books as well. Yes, there's a bit of a waiting time on titles sometimes, but it really depends on how many copies the library has available, and how many users want to read the book. If you're outside the US, Kindle books aren't directly downloadable, but there are workarounds if it becomes an issue.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:01 PM   #5
desertgrandma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmcread View Post
hi there.
joined this community to learn about ereaders...
I am planning to buy several.. yes .. several as gifts.. that is all they want...
I might get one for myself next year. IPADs are too expensive for me... (thats another story!)

so i will be asking lots of questions.. (hopefully not silly questions).
before going into the details of each working one... I have a very general question to start...
can someone get by WITHOUT paying for any ebooks.. just download the free books to read ??? how are the choices .. of course , i won't get the latest releases... but is it like going to the library... you can get decent books to read ?? for someone I have in mind for buying .. he might not be able to afford buying ebooks therefore maybe ereader not so good a choice for him..... so are they good sites for free ebooks ??

and can you share ebooks between devices .... ??
First, you would have to check your local library to see if they have a decent selection of the books you like to read in ebook format. Libraries differ in what they carry.

Next, check our own library here for thousands of beautifully formatted books by authors whose talents have withstood the test of time.

I can't speak for the rest, but with the Kindle you can share up to 6 devices AS LONG as they are on the same amazon account.

Good luck!
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