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Author Topic: Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE  (Read 4205 times)

app103

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Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE
« on: June 18, 2006, 07:59:14 AM »
After a discussion in the irc channel about reading ebooks and software that can be used to do it, I thought I'd make a post about one such freely available reader and a format that some may be unfamiliar with.

MS Reader is a free download from Microsoft. It is available in a desktop version as well as a version for Pocket PC. The file format it uses is .lit.

I have both versions and I have to say I enjoy reading ebooks on my Pocket PC more than on my desktop. There is nothing quite like curling up with a good book, and the size & shape of a Pocket PC allows me to have that familiar 'book in my hand' feeling without the dust and ink fumes in the pages to irritate my eyes. It allows me also to read in the dark, in the back seat of the car on a long trip. I can also carry tons of books on one small compact flash card. Books in the .lit format are pretty small.

On the desktop, it is almost as good, and you might want to give it a try.

MS Reader will allow you to do some of the things that you'd do to a print version of a book...and more.

Books can be searched, set multiple bookmarks, make text notes and highlights...you can even doodle in your book in a variety of colors. All of this stuff can be hidden or deleted when you no longer need it.

You can adjust the size of the text to what is comfortable for you, and it has Clear Type text so it's easier on the eyes. You can even sit back with your eyes closed and let it read to you, if you want.

There are a number of titles available for free, and even the ones that are not free are much cheaper than the traditional hard copy versions. You do not have to register your copy of MS Reader with an email address or passport account unless you plan on buying DRM restricted books. It will work perfectly fine unregistered with most public domain and free titles.

Download MS Reader

Download free Encarta Dictionary and translation dictionaries

Download many free public domain works to try with it:

Abacci eBooks
University of Virgina Free Ebook Library

A Google search can find even more free titles.

And if you like it and are ready to purchase ebooks, check sites like Amazon.com for the MS Reader format next time you are shopping.


screenshot of desktop version with an excerpt from Agatha Christie's The Secret Adversary (free ebook file size: 168kb):

http://img127.imageshack.us/img127/6716/msreader1po.jpg
Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE


I like my text big...it allows me to relax my eyes while reading.


note: if you delete a book from your MS Reader library, you also delete it from your hard drive, so be careful and make backups of whatever you are deleting first!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2006, 08:04:00 AM by app103 »

mouser

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Re: Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2006, 08:05:02 AM »
great post!

Carol Haynes

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Re: Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2006, 11:15:24 AM »
I love the idea of eBooks in principle - it is especially useful for manuals and things like that - but I have been stung in the past and couldn't honestly recommend anyone buy eBooks at all.

rjbull

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Re: Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2006, 03:40:24 PM »
I have been stung in the past and couldn't honestly recommend anyone buy eBooks at all.

You'd still accept public domain works, such as Project Gutenberg offers?

app103

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Re: Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2006, 03:48:45 PM »
There are 1000's & 1000's of free ones available...you don't have to worry about getting burned.

You couldn't possibly read all the free ones in your lifetime.

And you can download plain text Project Gutenberg ones and convert them to .lit with a free Microsoft Office plugin, I think.

KenR

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Re: Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2006, 11:54:59 PM »
App,
Let me second what mouser said. I have been looking at the MS reader and books. I have never tried it and think it's a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion and information.
Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546