Paper Redux, Part One: Reading Online

11 05 2008

The day seems to have passed when some forecasted the death of the book and the reign of the e-book. Many pundits now claim that the book is safe, and I join those who agree. Yet no matter how enduring the printed word, electronic reading materials definitely have their place in the green girl and guy’s arsenal. In addition to their obvious tree-saving benefits, e-books and e-magazines join online news in being easier on the bank account, as well. Below are some resources for happy web reading:

  • Project Gutenberg. The original source for free e-books, now with over 25,000 titles on its own site and over 100,000 in its affiliate network.
  • Questia Online Library. More than just a student’s or teacher’s resource; scroll to the bottom left corner for “FREE BOOKS”–more than 5,000, to be exact, in a pleasing e-book format.
  • The Online Books Page. Links to over 30,000 free books on the web.
  • Access the Great Books showcases 240 of the greatest written classics found online.
  • World Wide School. A plethora of classic literature and educational books.
  • Bartleby.com. A classy and searchable collection of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and reference materials; especially good for finding a poem or poet easily.
  • Internet Sacred Text Archive. The self-described “largest freely available archive of online books about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric on the Internet.”
  • Zinio. Subscribe to your favorite magazines, but read them in a digital version. Caution: Turn on “Safe View” if you want to skip the mature magazine covers as you browse. While this isn’t generally free or cheaper than print (like my above links), I thought it was worth a mention for the green aspect. Along this line, check out Amazon’s new, wireless, e-book gadget Kindle, where you browse, order, and read books from one handheld device that supposedly mimics the book experience with an electronic paper display.

Of course, there are many ways to purchase e-books, from Amazon to ebooks.com, but I wanted to focus on the fun and free. What do you think of digital reading? Will Kindle-like devices become more popular (especially if the price comes down from $399)?

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8 responses

11 05 2008
David

This an interesting topic. On one hand its great to save paper by reading e-books, but on the other hand, and others may relate, I really hate reading extended passages on the computer screen. There is something about having the material in-hand which is more appealing. Not to mention that to read online one must either scroll and scroll or click your way through. I have to admit, it will take some time before I come to prefer digital over paper (especially when it comes to those nasty scientific journal articles).

11 05 2008
Colleen

I totally agree that reading on a computer screen gets tiresome. That’s why I think devices like Kindle have potential, though I still believe nothing will beat the aesthetic pleasures of curling up with a book and some tea. Still, if you want to browse a classic, online versions are a great resource–quick, easily accessed from home, and free.

12 05 2008
Mister Moone

…Yes, E-Reading is tiresome for the eyes…As to saving paper, yes, there are sites one can re-sell unused books to, but let’s also not forget that poetry sites exist and can help us to not overfill our libtraries with books we do not need to buy…See:

http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets.htm

Wayne

12 05 2008
Mister Moone

….also see:

http://www.songlyrics.com/

for song lyrics…

Wayne

12 05 2008
Mister Moone

and for poetry lovers…

http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets.htm

Wayne

12 05 2008
Mister Moone

…and for poetry lovers:

http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets.htm

Wayne

12 05 2008
12 05 2008

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