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Free Today to Download to Your Kindle or Kindle for PC Within Seconds: OVER A MILLION BOOKS FROM THE INTERNET ARCHIVE

First, sorry about the caps. I don’t mean to shout. I just wanted to make sure, whether you’ve had your Kindle for two years or two hours, or are just trying to make a decision about getting a Kindle or some other eReader that claims to to have access to a million books, that you don’t miss this.

Several times a week I post here about free books or bargain books that are available in the Kindle Store. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A lot gets said about the Kindle being a “closed system,” and it is certainly true that most commercially published books in the Kindle Store come with DRM restrictions. As I will discuss again in a forthcoming post, it’s important for that to change as soon as possible, but there is another sense in which the Kindle, as hardware, is a very open device, able to read texts from a wide array of sources, and those capacities are expanding dramatically as everyone from free digital book sources to authors and publishers takes whatever steps are necessary to ensure that their content is able to shake hands and play nice with the Kindle. Why wouldn’t they?

Thanks to the work of Brewster Kahle and the many volunteers and staff at the Internet Archive, now you can easily find and download well over a million free books from Archive.org to your Kindle. I’ve been meaning to share a post about this with you for a couple of weeks, but I was waiting for the Kindle for Mac App so that I could make the step-by-step instructions more straightforward. But I know that there are hundreds of thousands of new Kindle owners out there wanting to learn about new ways to get the most out of their Kindles, and if you have a three- or four-day weekend coming up, you just may be able to find the time to start putting a new Kindle through some of its more beneficial paces. So let us tarry no longer.

First, what’s the Internet Archive? You can read more about it here at Wikipedia, but basically it’s a nonprofit organization, founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle, dedicated to building and maintaining a free and openly accessible online digital library, including texts, film, music and other audio recordings, software, and an archive of the World Wide Web. If you’ve been hearing a lot about the claims of Google Books, you may be surprised to learn that Google has not come close yet to what the Internet Archive has done in making over a million titles easy to find, search, browse, and download in a variety of user-friendly formats including, most recently, the Kindle-compatible MOBI format.

Over a million? Yes, I’m not kidding. Here are the specific libraries featured at the Internet Archive, and the vast majority of these titles are available in that Kindle-compatible MOBI format:

American Libraries: 1,228,563 items
Canadian Libraries: 235,032 items
Universal Library: 70,187 items
Open Source Books: ?
Project Gutenberg: More than 25,000 items
Biodiversity Heritage Library: 39,431 items
Children’s Library: 3,324 items
Additional Collections: 57,354 items

That’s well over a million and a half, but there are always duplicates and a few titles that may not yet be available in MOBI format, so we’ll just satisfy ourselves with saying “over a million.” If you love to read, from the classics to arcane research texts to contemporary texts of all kinds, you may be amazed at how easy it is to use the Internet Archive with your Kindle — certainly much easier and more user-friendly than trying to find and transfer a specific free ebook with Google Books. (A little ironic, that Google should be so challenged when it comes to enabling user-friendly search on its own book app, no?) The usefulness of this archive is limited only by the boundaries of your own imagination and willingness to search for what you want to read. 

But for starters, here are the steps, and they may take you as long as 30 seconds or so!

For PC Users

Here are the steps if you are using a PC:

  • Click here to download the Kindle for PC App if you have not done so already.
  • Click here to go to the Texts portion of the Internet Archive.
  • Look around the main page to select the first free book you’d like to download. You might choose a frequently downloaded title such as Amusements in Mathematics or Henry James’ An international episode, or you may prefer to enter a few keywords so that you can find Carlos Baker’s Hemingway biography or a delightful old book of children’s rhymes.
  • Click on the hyperlinked title you select, and at the left of that book’s detail page you’ll see a box showing the formats in which the text is available for reading. Click on Kindle (beta).
  • The ebook that you have selected should begin downloading to your computer immediately, and if you have downloaded your Kindle for PC App as noted above the text will open in your Kindle for PC App, usually in just a few seconds.
  • Take a look at the text you’ve downloaded in your Kindle for PC App to make sure that you’ve got what you want, and if so you can connect your Kindle to your PC via your Kindle’s USB cable and  drag the title from your PC’s “My Kindle Content” folder to your Kindle’s “documents” folder.
  • Once you’ve ejected the Kindle from your PC (and disconnected the USB cable, if you like), you should find the new file on your Kindle Home screen and you can select it with your 5-way controller (or, on Kindle 1, your scrollwheel) to begin reading, annotating, or even listening to it via Kindle text-to-speech.

For Mac Users

Once Amazon launches its too-long awaited Kindle for Mac App, the steps for Mac users should be very nearly similar to the steps shown above for the PC. Until then, if you are downloading a title to your Kindle via your Mac, just follow these steps:

  • Click here to go to the Texts portion of the Internet Archive.
  • Look around the main page to select the first free book you’d like to download. You might choose a frequently downloaded title such as Amusements in Mathematics or Henry James’ An international episode, or you may prefer to enter a few keywords so that you can find Carlos Baker’s Hemingway biography or a delightful old book of children’s rhymes.
  • Click on the hyperlinked title you select, and at the left of that book’s detail page you’ll see a box showing the formats in which the text is available for reading. Click on Kindle (beta).
  • The ebook that you have selected should begin downloading to your Mac immediately.
  • Connect your Kindle to your Mac via your Kindle’s USB cable and use Finder to drag the title from your Mac (you’ll probably find it in “Downloads,” Desktop,” or “Documents”) to your Kindle’s “documents” folder.
  • Once you’ve ejected the Kindle from your Mac (and disconnected the USB cable, if you like), you should find the new file on your Kindle Home screen and you can select it with your 5-way controller (or, on Kindle 1, your scrollwheel) to begin reading, annotating, or even listening to it via Kindle text-to-speech.

Free Today in the Kindle Store (12/31): Just in Case You Missed It, Atomic Lobster Free with Bonus Material, by Tim Dorsey, from HarperCollins

Serge A. Storms is back with a bullet, torn between homicide and souvenirs, cranking up the fevered action as the pot boils over on a street called Lobster Lane. It’s reunion time in the Sunshine State, and we’re not just talking the family jamboree of the blood-soaked McGraw criminal clan, whose nastiest, meanest member, finally released from prison, is heading south bent on revenge. Serge’s drug-addled bud Coleman’s here as well, torn between getting hammered and getting more hammered, while trying to construct the biggest bong ever. Meanwhile the government is covering up a growing list of mysterious victims across Florida who may or may not be connected to a nefarious plot being hatched against national security. Something has set the Non-Confrontationalists off on a rampage. And everyone is rushing to flee Tampa on a cruise ship to hell. This special edition includes an excerpt from Tim Dorsey’s newest Serge A. Storms book, Gator A-Go-Go.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 558 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (December 29, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0030DHPCA
  • Average Customer Review: No customer reviews yet. 
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #115 in Kindle Store 

Amazon Launches Kindle Bestseller Archive

For those who like to keep their finger on the pulse of Kindle book sales, Amazon has just announced the launch of several bestseller archives including a comprehensive archive of Kindle Store bestsellers on a year-by-year, month-by-month, and week-by-week basis going back to the very first day of the Kindle era, November 19, 2007. Here are links to the three full-year bestseller lists, where you will also find pull-down menus that make it easy to focus on any week or month during the 25 months since we have had Kindle books to download.

I found it to be great fun to peruse these lists, and as is usually the case when I check out end-of-the-year lists for just about any year, I found a few titles that I really wanted to read, but somehow missed the first time around.

No doubt there will be far more interesting analyses of these archives by others, but there are a few things that jump right out at me about the 2009 Kindle Store bestseller list:

  • Over 20 of the 100 bestselling books for the entire year are public domain classics. Others can grouse about the devaluing of the book, but I frankly do not see it that way. What I do see is that the Kindle is playing a serious role in keeping significant numbers of readers in touch with great literature. 
  • Other data that is available to me strongly suggests that, although Amazon did not make a dime on the Kindle editions of the 23 public domain titles that I count among the top 100 Kindle Store “sellers” for 2009, these titles accounted for well over a million downloads to Kindle owners. 
  • Another 21 of the top 100 bestselling Kindle books for 2009 are “promotional” titles that are currently free in the Kindle Store, which among other things suggests that timing can be everything for books that have just become free. What I’m getting at there is that there has been an absolute tsunami of Kindle activity beginning at dawn on Christmas Day, such that the number of fresh downloads for a new freebie like Noel Hynd’s Midnight in Madrid could help to push it into the top 10 for the year, something that might not have been true if it had been free for a week in July.
  • I also noted that at least another 20 of the 100 bestselling titles in the Kindle Store for 2009 are books that, while not free any more, were free at some earlier point in the year and owe their precedence at least in part to that circumstance. As a result, that leaves about one-third of the top 100 Kindle titles whose 2009 sales chiefly involved actual payment transactions between Kindle owners and Amazon.

No doubt some wag will look at these numbers and conclude that the Kindle is cheapening the book, but that wag will be dead wrong, just as he would be dead wrong if he concluded from other data that libraries are cheapening the book.

Instead, here’s how it works:

  • Kindle books that are free or otherwise less expensive than the $14 to $35 that mainstream publishers try to get for trade hardcovers and paperbacks encourage people to buy Kindles, as about three million readers have done so far.
  • When someone buys a Kindle they buy, in the vast majority of cases, more books than they used to buy, at prices ranging from free to $9.99 and above.
  • There is ample room in the Kindle pricing market for significant margin and royalties for all concerned including Amazon, the author, and — where necessary — the publisher.

It really isn’t rocket science.

From the Kindle Nation Mailbag: Different Definition Presentations Among Kindle Dictionaries

If you happened to read the recent Kindle Nation post on getting the most out of your Kindle dictionary, you might also want to check out this email I received this week from Phil, whose online handle is Paxton Reader:

Stephen – a post I made recently that might be of interest regarding dictionaries:

I have lately been somewhat (and unconciously) annoyed by the dictionary feature, where I put the cursor on a word to get its general meaning. Lately, I’ve had to click the ENTER button to get the full description, as the two lines shown were mostly derivation facts, and the full description was on the next full page. Being a lazy sort, I was annoyed at having to go to that second page each time (although it is nice to have in the rare cases where I want more than the brief meaning of the word).

Then I remembered that I had recently switched my default dictionary from the Amazon default (New Oxford American) to one with more words and definitions (Merriam-Webster New Collegiate). I switched back this morning and found the reason for my annoyance. While the default Amazon choice has the definition up front, the Merriam dictionary has more derivation information at the beginning, forcing one to go to the next page to get the full meaning of a word. Now that I have switched back, I find that what I need to know is mostly on those first two lines shown – something to consider if you have multiple dictionaries.

As an example, I looked up “diaphanous” this morning. The first two lines of the two dictionaries appeared as follows:

di-aph-a-nous adj. (esp. of fabric) light delicate, and
translucent: a diaphanous dress of pale gold; early

di-aph-a-nous adj[ML diaphanous, fr. Gk diaphans, fr.
diaphanainein to show through, fr. dia- + phanein to

While both had the definition, I find that the Oxford dictionary has what I need more often in the first two lines, not requiring a jump to the second page. As I said, I’m lazy! If I were less lazy, I would remember and find other examples where the actual meaning was not anywhere within the first two lines, which seemed to happen often.

– PaxtonReader

Under a Buck Today in the Kindle Store: Kathy Bell’s Edgy 5-Star Novel, "Regression"

You can buy the paperback for $12 or $13 or click through to the Kindle edition for just 99 cents, but Kathy Bell’s recently published novel Regression is getting great reviews from early readers in the Kindle and main Amazon stores.

by Kathy Bell

Digital List Price: $0.99 
Print List Price: $13.49
Kindle Price: $0.99 & includes wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: $12.50 (93%)

Editorial Reviews


Adya Jordan, a forty-year-old mother of six, injured in a terrible car accident, awakens to find herself in her fourteen-year-old body once again. Consumed with grief over being separated from her family, she tries to live like a normal teenager. That’s when she begins to notice that things are slightly different than they were the first time around; all minor things that when put together add up to major differences. Adya is offered an opportunity to join the ranks of the most powerful people in the world, an opportunity of a lifetime, making her the envy of most. She seizes it without hesitation, as anyone else would. However soon, she discovers that something will go terribly wrong in the future. With time running out on the human race, it’s up to her to make the most powerful people in the world see the truth and change course before its too late. Kathy Bell has done a fair share of research for this book and it shows. As science comes to life inside the dialogue and plot in her novel, it became easy to suspend disbelief in the possibility of humans traveling Interdimensionally. All told, Regression was an enjoyable read with fully developed characters and enough plot twists to keep me turning the pages long after dark-thirty in the morning. –Amazon.com Review

The past, present and future meet in Kathy Bell’s debut novel, Regression. Bell, who was born in a small Ontario town on the shores of Lake Huron, is an Owen Sound teacher, and, when she is not in the classroom, a novelist.
I puzzled over this one, testing my disbelief as I always do when approaching speculative fiction. At first, I found Adya Jordan’s time regression a bit hard to take but then I sank into the story, a time shaping novel about a mysterious corporation, Three Eleven, out to change the world. Laced with dialogue that races the story on, Regression shows a clever use of plot, time changes and an inventive mind that all add up to a surprise – a wellcrafted work of futuristic fiction. –Andrew Armitage, Book Editor, Owen Sound Sun Times

Product Description

Fourteen-year-old Adya Jordan swears that before her head injury she was a forty-year-old mother of six. Is she going crazy, or did she really live through an entirely different life? 1985 is nothing like she remembers, although her first day of high school certainly is!
A typical girl with atypical genes, Adya tries to recapture her old life, hiding her growing conviction that she has done this before. The man she loves doesn’t even know she exists yet, but she is haunted by memories of their life together.
Accidentally discovering the secretive Three Eleven Corporation might know more about her situation than she does, she is certain the twenty-eight men heading up the company are responsible for the changes in her world. Adya finds her way into their ranks, journeying to the tropical island headquarters to begin her twenty-week orientation.
Every third chapter, diary entries of scientist Nicholas Weaver are written from the future, the last survivor of the human race. He never quite tells readers all the details but the journal entries allude to a global disaster where one of Adya’s children offers the last hope of survival. A maudlin but affable type, he is responsible for sending Adya back in time, doing it for the love of a woman. Over and over again for more than ten lifetimes – now that’s love.
The Three Eleven Company controls the development and distribution of Twenty-first Century technology brought with them from the future. Charged with the task of preparing the world for the impending disaster, each member of the team uses his scientific background to create a solution for a problem the planet does not know it is facing. But Adya begins to question their program.
Banished to the frozen Canadian Shield for challenging the status quo, she finds the men in the underground city of Sanctum are interested in more than just her genes as they search for the answer to her presence in the timeline.
In the end, Adya encounters a choice no mother should ever face: save her children…or everyone else.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 409 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Northern Sanctum Press; 1st edition (October 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002U829RW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #539 in Kindle Store (See Bestsellers in Kindle Store)

US Kindle Catalog Surpasses 400,000 Books

As predicted at Kindle Nation Daily, Amazon’s Kindle Store catalog has just surpassed the 400,000-title milestone, with the 400000eBookstitle count in many countries beyond US borders lagging about 20 percent behind, but the rate at which downloaded copies are flying off of Amazon’s virtual shelves all over the world is an even bigger deal.

The current catalog of 400,148 titles, as I type this on Tuesday afternoon, December 29, can be a little daunting, so I am very pleased to present, in another recent post, a remarkable new tool that will help you search and browse the entire Kindle catalog as well as other ebook catalogs by category, price, and any keyword of your choosing. 

Find Thousands of Free and Bargain Kindle Books! Here’s an eBook Search & Browse Tool That Will Make You Glad You Have a Kindle … as if You Need Another Reason

If you’re a Kindle Nation reader, you are probably already aware that the Kindle outshines all the other so-called Kindle Killers when it comes to the selection and prices that are available in the Kindle Store catalog.

But now, thanks to some great folks at Inkmesh, we are able to offer you a free tool that will help you find the absolute best ebook price for any book you wish to read. Organized with elegant simplicity, Inkmesh allows you to search for free Kindle books and compare ebook prices for the Kindle, iPhone, Nook, Sony Reader and other ereaders.

Just click here to initiate any search and see a full set of results in a fraction of a second.

But that’s not all! Once you see a result page you’ll find an extremely useful set of fine-tuning aids in the left sidebar column that will allow you to drill down on results by price point (Free, Below $1, Below $5, and Below $10), content category, or device, and even to exclude public domain titles from your listings.

These same drill-down options are available to you when you click here (or click “Explore” from within Inkmesh) to browse ebooks by subject area, and the list of browsing subject areas is, in a word, magnificent. I never

thought I would say this about a third-party App, but Inkmesh has outdone Amazon itself when it comes to providing a useful tool for searching and browsing Amazon’s website, or at least the Kindle Store, and beyond. Click on any letter of the alphabet across the top row and you’ll be amazed at the array of browse categories.

Because Inkmesh hits the sweet spot when it comes to simplicity, it will actually work well directly from your Kindle, although Amazon still needs to improve its website and Kindle platform engineering so that we can use the Kindle’s browser to move directly from a Kindle book’s page on the Amazon website to the buy button on the Kindle’s version of the Kindle Store.

It only makes sense.

So this next point is only slightly off topic, but back in June 2008 I had a conversation on the air with Jeff Bezos when he appeared on a national NPR call-in program based here in the Boston area, and I asked him why it was not yet possible for Kindle owners to use their Kindles to synch up with the rest of the Amazon store to order other products from music to maple syrup.

Windwalker: Are you trying not to overdo it commercially or is that an engineering issue.

Bezos: Yeah, it’s an engineering issue. Those are the kinds of things we’re working on. We want complete integration between Kindle the device and Amazon.com the website.

It’s kind of hard for me to imagine any such task being too challenging for the wizards at Amazon, but if that’s the case, then I feel it is my duty to humbly suggest here that Amazon should offer whatever it takes as a purchase price to bring Inkmesh under its tent. If Amazon decides that it is time to provide Kindle users with a transparent, user-friendly way to search, browse and buy anywhere on the web including all the departments in Amazon’s main online store as well as the various departments of the Kindle Store, I feel confident that the Inkmesh team could nail it.

Meanwhile, while we wait for that development, here are tha main links you’ll need to get the most out of Inkmesh: