I got a Nokia 770 for Christmas, to replace my aging and dying Palm V. I’ll probably write more about the 770 and the Palm V later, but suffice it to say that I got the Palm V when it came out, approximately 10 years ago, and have used it ever since. My main uses for it were AvantGo and Vindigo, although in the past I did get other uses out of it as well. I plan to keep the Palm around mainly for the Vindigo features, which I haven’t seen done better anywhere else. (No book on the planet has as much information about NYC as my 8MB Palm V with Vindigo loaded on it.)
I basically got the 770 because of all the great stuff I heard on Teleread and other sites about its use as a portable e-book reader. Indeed, that has been the most pleasant experience on the device. With the Evince PDF viewer and with FBReader (an Open Source ebook reader for a lot of different formats, including HTML, Plucker, and zTxt), I am able to read a ton of stuff while I’m in my commute, and all on a beautiful 800×480 screen that fits in the palm of my hand. (Yes, finally I get to read with serif, anti-aliased fonts!)
I have been overwhelmed with how many free e-books you can find online, thanks in part to efforts by groups like Creative Commons. Here are some good ones:
- Creative Commons high-quality PDF ebooks, DRM-free.
- Very Good Quality Classical Literature in PDF form. Includes e.g. Great Expectations.
- Books under Creative Commons license at ManyBooks.net (Good for non-PDF formats)
- Cory Doctorow gives away his books for free. If you like sci-fi (I don’t).
- APress gives away some of its technical books as PDF.
- Green Tea Press offers a couple of technology books (very high quality, in my opinion) free of charge on their site.
- The Internet Public Library, which doesn’t have most of these in convenient e-book format, but a little trickery with Plucker or httrack can probably do a good job on them.
- The Online Library of Liberty carries many books from philosophy to economics, with ranging formats from PDF to HTML to just a pure website.
- Travel Guides at Explorion.net, available for free, may have you wishing you didn’t have to work 🙂
- UPenn maintains an online book catalog with hundreds of free books, all very nicely searchable.
- Of course, Project Gutenberg, which started it all. Here you can find any public domain book on the planet, basically.
- Google’s Book Search which now features PDF downloads of scanned copies of books in the public domain.
Feel free to post more in comments!