Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone, eReader with Free eBooks, Audio Books, Online Courses & More

ipadgift

Santa left a new KindleiPad, Kindle Fire or other media player under your tree. He did his job. Now we'll do ours. We'll tell you how to fill those devices with free intelligent media -- great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn't get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials right on a computer. Here we go:

Free eBooks: You have always wanted to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our Free eBooks collection you will find 800 great works by some classic writers (Dickens, Dostoevsky, Austen, Shakespeare and Tolstoy) and contemporary writers (Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut). The collection also gives you access to the 51-volume Harvard Classics.




If you’re an iPad/iPhone user, the download process is super easy. Just click the “iPad/iPhone” links and you’re good to go. Kindle and Nook users will generally want to click the “Kindle + Other Formats links” to download ebook files, but we’d suggest watching these instructional videos (Kindle – Nook) beforehand.

Free Audio Books: What better way to spend your free time than listening to some of the greatest books ever written? This page contains a vast number of free audio books -- 700 works in total -- including texts by Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, George Orwell and more recent writers -- Italo Calvino, Vladimir Nabokov, Raymond Carver, etc. You can download these classic books straight to your gadgets, then listen as you go.

[Note: If you're looking for a contemporary book, you can download one free audio book from Audible.com. Find details on Audible's no-strings-attached deal here.]

Free Online Courses: This list brings together over 1150 free online courses from leading universities, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, Oxford and beyond.

These full-fledged courses range across all disciplines -- historyphysicsphilosophypsychology, business, and beyond. Most all of these courses are available in audio, and roughly 75% are available in video. You can't receive credits or certificates for these courses (click here for courses that do offer certificates). But the amount of personal enrichment you will derive is immeasurable.

Free Movies: With a click of a mouse, or a tap of your touch screen, you will have access to 725 great movies. The collection hosts many classics, westerns, indies, documentaries, silent films and film noir favorites. It features work by some of our great directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Andrei Tarkovsky and more) and performances by cinema legends: John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and beyond. On this one page, you will find thousands of hours of cinema bliss.

Free Language Lessons: Perhaps learning a new language is high on your list of New Year's resolutions. Well, here is a great way to do it. Take your pick of 46 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, English, Russian, Dutch, even Finnish, Yiddish and Esperanto. These lessons are all free and ready to download.

Free Textbooks: And one last item for the lifelong learners among you. We have scoured the web and pulled together a list of 200 Free Textbooks. It's a great resource particularly if you're looking to learn math, computer science or physics on your own. There might be a diamond in the rough here for you.

Thank Santa, maybe thank us, and enjoy that new device....

Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.

Download the Universe: A Discerning Curator for Science eBooks

download the universe

We all need guides for the overwhelming world of the Internet. Digital curators are essential to sifting through the vast and expanding supply of online content because they find the good stuff that’s worth checking out.

When Download the Universe launched a year ago, the digital world gained a smart and discerning curator for the growing number of science ebooks. What a boon for science lovers. Science lends itself uniquely to apps and ebook publishing. And doing what digital publishing does best, a good ebook can bring content to life like no paperback or hardcover can.

fragile earth

Take Harper Collins’ Fragile Earth ($2.99 on iTunes), which came out originally as a glossy coffee table book. Loaded with before and after photos of places on the planet scarred by deforestation and climate change, the book was visually stunning, if pedantic. But when released as an ebook, the whole experience unfolded like a beautiful, heartbreaking origami.

As Download the Universe's review of the Fragile Earth ebook  points out, the app version benefits from digital technology, laying before and after satellite images over one another, rather than side by side, making the experience of seeing them  even more profound.

color uncovered

Here’s another one: Color Uncovered (free on iTunes), produced by San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum, is a rich experience like a museum exhibit itself. Combining text with images and interactive features, the ebook explores how the eye perceives color. The reviewer, New York Times contributor Carl Zimmer, uses his review to discuss what the ebook experience shares with museum exhibits.

In the hands of Download the Universe, it appears that ebook publishing has matured into its own genre, with its own distinct advantages.

blindsight

Sometimes ebook publishers don’t make good use of available features. This review of Blindsight by journalist Chris Colin notes that the book’s app version, telling the story of a television director who suffers a brain injury, should have included neurological background information in the main story, not as a separate feature.

Download the Universe only reviews ebooks in the digital universe, not spin-offs from traditional print books. They look at Kindle products, self-published pdf manuscripts and apps, and they’ve got top-notch talent reviewing this brave new world on our behalf. The editorial board includes some names you may well recognize, like Sean Carroll (Caltech physicist), Steve Silberman (Wired), Maggie Koerth-Baker (Boing Boing), Annalee Newitz (io9), and David Dobbs (NYTimes, Nat Geo, etc.).

Related Content:

Neil deGrasse Tyson Lists 8 (Free) Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read

NASA Presents “The Earth as Art” in a Free eBook and Free iPad App

375 Free eBooks: Download to Kindle, iPad/iPhone & Nook 

Kate Rix writes about digital media and education. Read more of her work at katerixwriter.com.

Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone with Free eBooks, Movies, Audio Books, Online Courses & More

Santa left a new Kindle, iPad or other media player under your tree. He did his job. Now we'll do ours. We'll tell you how to fill those devices with free intelligent media -- great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn't get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials on the good old fashioned computer. Here we go:

Free eBooks: You have always wanted to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our Free eBooks collection you will find 375 great works by some classic writers (Dickens, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare and Tolstoy) and contemporary writers (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut). The collection also gives you access to the 51-volume Harvard Classics.

If you’re an iPad/iPhone user, the download process is super easy. Just click the “iPad/iPhone” links and you’re good to go. Kindle and Nook users will generally want to click the “Kindle + Other Formats links” to download ebook files, but we’d suggest watching these instructional videos (Kindle –Nook) beforehand.

Free Audio Books: What better way to spend your free time than listening to some of the greatest books ever written? This page contains a vast number of free audio books, including works by Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, George Orwell and more recent writers -- Italo Calvino, Vladimir Nabokov, Raymond Carver, etc. You can download these classic books straight to your gagdets, then listen as you go.

[Note: If you're looking for a contemporary book, you can download one free audio book from Audible.com. Find details on Audible's no-strings-attached deal here.]

Free Online Courses: This list brings together over 600 free online courses from leading universities, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, Oxford and beyond. These full-fledged courses range across all disciplines -- historyphysicsphilosophypsychology and beyond. Most all of these courses are available in audio, and roughly 75% are available in video. You can't receive credits or certificates for these courses (click here for courses that do offer certificates. But the amount of personal enrichment you will derive is immeasurable.

Free Movies: With a click of a mouse, or a tap of your touch screen, you will have access to 500 great movies. The collection hosts many classics, westerns, indies, documentaries, silent films and film noir favorites. It features work by some of our great directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Andrei Tarkovsky, Stanley Kubrick, Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch) and performances by cinema legends: John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and beyond. On this one page, you will find thousands of hours of cinema bliss.

Free Language Lessons: Perhaps learning a new language is high on your list of 2013 New Year's resolutions. Well, here is a great way to do it. Take your pick of 40 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, English, Russian, Dutch, even Finnish, Yiddish and Esperanto. These lessons are all free and ready to download.

Free Textbooks: And one last item for the lifelong learners among you. We have scoured the web and pulled together a list of 150 Free Textbooks. It's a great resource particularly if you're looking to learn math, computer science or physics on your own. There might be a diamond in the rough here for you.

Thank Santa, maybe thank us, and enjoy that new device....

Calibre’s Open Source Software Makes It Easy to Read Free eBooks (and Much More)

We at Open Culture have discovered a handy piece of software that will make it easier to use our collection, 600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices. Calibre is a free e-book library management software that lets users convert e-books from one format to another.

Say that you’ve downloaded Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in the open ePUB format and want to move the book onto your Kindle. Calibre can convert the text into all of the major e-reader formats, including Kindle's proprietary format. The program will then sync the text to your device and you’re good to go.

Calibre supports e-book formats used by major manufacturers (including Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Sony), but if your device isn’t listed in the program’s list, Calibre’s “generic device” option will most likely do the job.

The program also offers a default viewer for reading texts on your computer, and books can be converted from one platform to another, making it easy to move books from your phone to iPad to laptop and beyond.

Calibre fills a niche for e-book readers, providing a simple way to manage e-libraries. The program also helps manage and organize online magazines, newspapers and other reading materials. Click “Fetch News” and Calibre will scan selected online news outlets and catalog them in your collection.

You can even buy books by using Calibre’s interface to search for the best price on a selected title.

You can download Calibre here and then start mining our ever-growing collection of Free eBooks.

Kate Rix writes about digital culture and education. Find more of her work at katerixwriter.com.

Amazon Finally Gets the Kindle Right with the Paperwhite, Delivering on Price and Technology

It took five years and five models, but Amazon has finally released a new generation of the Kindle -- the Kindle Paperwhite -- that delivers the goods. The problem with the previous models boiled down to this. The screens were fairly muddy. The contrast, poor. The words didn't pop off of the page. If you ever tried reading a Kindle indoors, especially in lower light conditions, you know what I mean.

With the Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon has made a pretty big leap ahead. They've made improvements to the font contrast and screen resolution, which definitely enhance the reading experience. They've also added a touchscreen to the e-ink model. But the big stride forward is the built-in light that illuminates the screen. The screen is sidelit, not backlit (à la the iPad). The point of the light isn't to make the screen glow like a computer screen. It's to make the screen stay white, like the page of a book, under varying light conditions. If you move from brighter to dimmer lighting conditions, you nudge up the brightness so that the page continues to look white. And then you stop there.

It all works quite well, until you start reading with the Paperwhite in pretty dim light conditions. Then you'll need to dial up the light until the screen actually glows, and that's when you'll start to see some imperfections in the design. As David Pogue mentioned in his New York Times review, the Paperwhite has some hotspots (areas of uneven lighting) along the bottom of the screen, which detract minorly from the reading experience.

The last thing Amazon got right is the price. The entry model starts at $119, which means that Amazon is basically selling the e-reader at cost, and then making money on book sales. But that doesn't mean that you need to spend very much. You can always download texts from our collection of 375 Free eBooks. Or, if you're an Amazon Prime Member, you can borrow up to 180,000 books for free.

For a complete tour of the new Kindle, watch this 20 minute video.

Related Content:

Download 450 Free Audio Books

Read 160 Free Textbooks Online

Download a Free Audio Book From Audible.com

A Big List of 375 Free eBooks for Your iPad, Kindle, Nook and Other Devices

Last week, Amazon announced that it would start shipping a promising, new ebook reader in early October -- the Kindle Paperwhite. The Paperwhite looks much like the old school, e-ink Kindle that you know and maybe love. But this new model has a touchscreen and better contrasting fonts. Plus ... drum roll ... it sports a built-in light that evenly illuminates the screen, as you can see here. If Amazon can deliver on these promises, the new Kindle should be a pretty excellent deal, especially seeing that the cheapest model is priced at $119.

If you're ready to splurge for an ebook reader, then we're ready to do our part -- to hook you up with Free eBooks. If you visit our collection, 600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devicesyou'll find 600 great works. The list includes many classic masterpieces (Tolstoy's War & Peace, Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, and Kafka's The Metamorphosis), but also more modern works by such authors as Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, and even Neil Gaiman.

If you're an iPad/iPhone user, the download process is super easy. Just click the "iPad/iPhone" links and you're good to go. Kindle and Nook users will generally want to click the "Kindle + Other Formats links" to download ebook files, but we'd suggest watching these instructional videos (Kindle - Nook) beforehand to take full advantage of the collection. And, if downloading files seems like a burden, fear not. We often give you the ability to simply read texts online. Find our full collection here: 600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

PS When you return, you can always find this collection along the top navigation bar -- where it says eBooks.

Related Content:

500 Free Online Courses from Top Universities

150 Free Textbooks: A Meta Collection

450 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free

500 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

Learn 40 Languages for Free: Spanish, English, Chinese & More

 

 

The Latest, Greatest Cultural Perk of Amazon Prime: Stream Movies and TV Shows to the iPad

When Amazon launched Amazon Prime in 2005, it didn't offer that much in the way of benefits -- just free shipping on Amazon goods. Now if you pony up $79 per year, you get some good cultural perks: You can borrow over 145,000 e-books and read them on your Kindle and devices with Kindle apps. What's more, you can stream thousands of movies and TV shows through your computer, select blu-ray players and now ... drum roll please .... the iPad. Just yesterday, Amazon released its free iPad app, which means that Prime members can start streaming movies on their tablets right away. If you're not a member, you can always try out a one month Free Trial to Amazon Prime. And if that doesn't move you, you can simply dive into our collection of 500 Free Movies Online. Ars Technica has more details on the pros and cons of the app here.

More in this category... »
Quantcast