iTunes U Introduces Free eBooks: Download Shakespeare’s Complete Works

Per­haps you’re accus­tomed to down­load­ing free lec­tures and cours­es on iTunes U. Now, you have a new option. Last week, Apple began intro­duc­ing free eBooks to its media col­lec­tion. And, to kick things off, they’re giv­ing users access to 18 free text­books spon­sored by Con­nex­ions (a Rice Uni­ver­si­ty project); a series of 100 ebooks pro­duced by the Open Uni­ver­si­ty, and then, cour­tesy of Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty, the com­plete col­lec­tion of Shake­speare’s plays from the First Folio of 1623.  You can down­load all of these texts in the open ePub for­mat. And if you have an iPad (or an iPhone with a copy of iBooks), they eas­i­ly sync to the device, and make for a great read­ing expe­ri­ence. But you’re not nec­es­sar­i­ly lim­it­ed to using the iPad. I was able to read the texts in ebook read­ers cre­at­ed by Stan­za and Barnes & Noble (the mak­er of the new col­or Nook). And, using this free online ser­vice and then fol­low­ing these gen­er­al direc­tions, I eas­i­ly con­vert­ed the ePub files to Ama­zon’s .mobi for­mat and uploaded them to my Kin­dle. The bot­tom line? You can expect iTunes U to become a handy resource for free ebooks as the ser­vice matures – one best suit­ed to the iPad, but cer­tain­ly not lim­it­ed to it. And, speak­ing of the iPad, you should give this sto­ry a read. “IPad Opens World to a Dis­abled Boy.” It’s a great way to start the week…

Note: If you want a sim­ple html ver­sion of Shake­speare’s col­lect­ed works, don’t miss MIT’s invalu­able web site.

FYI. You can find more free eBooks in our ever-grow­ing col­lec­tion, 600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kin­dle & Oth­er Devices.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.