Kaplan Providing Free E-book Downloads through January 17

Want free test prep books for your e-reader? Head over to Kaplan to download your choice from 130 e-books from now through January 17th. They are yours to keep and will not expire! E-readers supported include Kindle, Nook, iPad, iTouch, iPhone, and Sony eReader.

E-books Making It Harder to Meet (and Judge) People?

I just read an interesting piece in the online magazine Slate in which the author is lamenting the rise of e-books for a very specific reason: he thinks it will make it harder to meet people and form impressions of them or get to know them because we can’t see what they’re reading. Check out the article. The author, Mark Oppenheimer, notes that he enjoys looking around on the subway to see what books people are reading, and that he has learned more about people he was dating by observing the books on their shelves. If everyone on the train is carrying a Kindle or a Nook, and books on apartment shelves vanish in favor of an iPad on the coffee table, he fears, we’ll lose out on one of the best conversation-starters around. What do you think? Is this an unforeseen drawback to the e-book revolution? Or is Oppenheimer worrying too much?

E-books? How about FREE-Books?!

If the phrase “digital library” makes you think only of Snell’s e-journals and online research databases, think again. This digital library will blow your mind. Project Gutenberg is a digital library that has 33,000 e-books, but here’s the catch–you can download them all for free. And trust me, they’re good books, too. Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Tale of Two Cities… You’ve heard of them. These are just the first few titles I skim over as I access the library home page. But how do they do this for free? It just makes no sense. It’s almost too good to be true. Almost. Most of these books are available on Project Gutenberg because their copyrights have expired and are now essentially public works. So yeah, there won’t be any brand new bestsellers such as The Girl Who Played With Fire, but there are many thousands of timeless novels to get lost in. Every book is available in formats accessible regardless of your technologies abilities (mostly plain text or html). You and your laptop are about to become best friends. A nearly endless supply of free books. It’s just what your summer needs. Hey, they even have Moby Dick available on Project Gutenberg… I think someone should tell damong. Check it out! Now! www.gutenberg.org

Why haven’t portables caught on yet?

See this NY Times story about the importance of hardware usability.  It’s not enough to digitize books — you need hardware that’s as cheap and long-lasting as the printed page.