A book by any other name

Do you read ebooks? On your computer or on a handheld device? Does your library lend them? Do you pay for them or get them for free?

The world of the ebook is rapidly expanding, if not somewhat fractured with its multiplicity of formats and both free and proprietary platforms. Even if you don’t have access to your own personal handheld reader, you can still access ebooks  and read them on any computer.

There are a number of free sites which offer ebooks to read such as Project Gutenberg (there’s even an Australian version, though admittedly the interface isn’t quite as pretty) and the Internet Archive’s Ebooks and text archive. The National Library of Australia has also published a selection of ebooks of their very own, based on material held in their collection. You should also check out your local library’s catalogue as many libraries now have ebooks available for “loan,” with access to the book expiring at the end of the loan period.

Of course there are also a range of audio books available, too. Worth checking out are LibriVox (chapters are read and added by volunteers) and Open Culture’s range of audiobooks.

Update: Libraries Interact has compiled a list of libraries that offer ebooks to their readers – worth a look!

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6 thoughts on “A book by any other name

  1. Thanks NLA staff for joining in on the 30 posts in 30 days. I’m really appreciating hearing from you.

    Just wondering, are many public libraries lending out ebooks in Australia yet? I know that Brisbane/Yarra Plenty and Gold Coast libraries are giving access to Overdrive ebooks, and a few more libraries are providing access to audio books. Do you guys have some stats on who is doing what?

  2. Pingback: Ebooks for loan in Australian public libraries – who’s doing it? | Libraries Interact

  3. I recently bought myself a Kobo ereader and have been enjoying the reading experience on it. Before this I have never really enjoyed the ebook experience, as I don’t like reading books on a computer screen, and I find the iPhone screen just that little bit too small. Now, with the Kobo, Project Gutenberg is actually appealing. (And it would be very nice if our public libraries made more ebooks available for loan. I notice the list Kathryn shared is of Victorian public libraries; what are public libraries in other states doing?)

    I am stopping myself from madly downloading every classic book I have ever thought I ought to read from Project Gutenberg though. Must try and read the 100 freebies that come with the Kobo first!

    I think we are all in for interesting times as the ebook readers and ebooks purveyors and publishers jostle for position over the coming months and years.

    Oh, and may I second Kathryn’s comment – lovely to hear from y’all! 🙂

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