Ebook Index of Free Ebooks for the Kindle
March 9, 2013 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Brilliant. Have just posted it to Facebook. Just sitting back and waiting for the love to come raining down upon me now. Thank you.
posted by taff at 8:34 PM on March 9, 2013

This is a wonderful piece of work. Thank you so much pronoiac!
posted by arcticseal at 8:42 PM on March 9, 2013

Forgive my ignorance, but after a few minutes of Googling I couldn't figure out if I can use this on my Mac (with Kindle app)... would love to be able to load up the file.

edit to add that I'm downloading Calibre, with which I can apparently read the file (just in case someone else has a similar issue).
posted by jokeefe at 8:50 PM on March 9, 2013

I am ignorant in the ways of ebooks. Is this any use for me to try to put on to the SO's kobo? Would the (public domain, I presume) resultant items be any use, or would they have kindle DRM?
posted by pompomtom at 8:54 PM on March 9, 2013

(that all said: this looks brilliant, even if it's no use to me.)
posted by pompomtom at 8:55 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

pompomtom, I took the easy route and just saved it to my desktop; once I clicked on the file it opened up right away in the Kindle app. Thanks for posting this, aniola!
posted by jokeefe at 9:02 PM on March 9, 2013

Whoo! Fuck yeah!

I'll write more maybe once I've sobered up.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:35 PM on March 9, 2013

I feel like Homer Simpson in the Land of Chocolate!
posted by jokeefe at 9:56 PM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Gutenberg has 42,000 books. Internet Archive has about 4 million and is adding about 1000 new books every [week] day. This is why I got a Kindle DX, to mine the motherload of PDF's on IA. It's also where Gutenberg source's most of its material from.
posted by stbalbach at 10:16 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by fallingbadgers at 11:07 PM on March 9, 2013

If you've an older kindle with a web browser, you can surf gutenberg directly and downloading from the kindle links. I think internet archive works too, but it's been a while since I tried.
posted by sfred at 11:56 PM on March 9, 2013

I don't really understand why this is better than just going to the main page of Project Gutenberg, which allows you to search by author, title and what have you. Why was he emailing himself books in the first place - why not use the browser and download them straight to the Kindle? It's a painless, easy process.
posted by Segundus at 11:59 PM on March 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Hmmm. I have a Kobo Touch, which usually has no problem with any epub I throw at it. On Calibre this shows up, and after sending it to the Kobo, has the little green check that it's on the device.

When I check my Kobo's library, though, no dice. It's not there. Rebooting the Kobo didn't help.

posted by zardoz at 12:12 AM on March 10, 2013

I don't really get it- can you just download the books from inside this book or something?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:39 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by pompomtom at 12:42 AM on March 10, 2013

If you have the basic Kindle without a keyboard and without touchscreen then searching for a book title itself is a painful and annoying process. (since its like typing out words on an arcade game). And the web browser I find is terrible to use. Its just so much easier on a computer.

I have the basic Kindle so I am always emailing books to my Kindle, or buying them on Amazon by computer. This looks like it would be useful for downloading books just using the Kindle - if you have the basic one.
posted by mary8nne at 1:18 AM on March 10, 2013



All work on Macs, for various ebook formats.


Simple Comic

(for comics, obviously).
posted by Pouteria at 5:16 AM on March 10, 2013

Calibre is one of the most amazing web projects. I am constantly amazed at how versatile that program is with managing my ebooks.

Even if you're not ripping books off the net illegally, it's a program worth owning.
posted by Fizz at 6:06 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't really get it- can you just download the books from inside this book or something?

The Borges thread is trickling down!
posted by ersatz at 6:38 AM on March 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

The catalog itself is mobi format which can only be read on a kindle (or kindle emulator program). Various programs (e.g. Calibre) will convert from mobi format to epub and others.
IIRC, Kobo will only read this catalog if you first convert to epub.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:06 AM on March 10, 2013

If you have difficulties with this, you can try the original Magic Catalog instead. It's messier, and not in alphabetical order, but it's available in ePub format, which is more widely supported. You'll have to search within the catalog to find books, whereas aniola's spent some significant time fixing the catalog and getting it in proper order.
posted by blob at 7:20 AM on March 10, 2013

WTF? A completely unsorted list in random order?

Lewis Carroll: The Hunting of the Snark
James M. Barrie: Peter PanĀ©
Anonymous: The Book Of Mormon
Henry W. Longfellow: The Song Of Hiawatha
Aesop: Aesop's Fables
Frederick Douglass: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Willa Cather: O Pioneers! John Milton: Paradise Lost

This is completely useless.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:04 AM on March 10, 2013

I'm relatively new to the kindle, it's both wonderful and a curse to be carrying around a few dozen book "I want to read", but am I in the mood for hard sf, some real science, and I know I downloaded that but grr how does the search work on this thing??? Killing a half hour at Starbucks I found browsing wikipedia was better than I expected but still had annoying quirks. So having an 'ebook' that can download a locally discovered book from Project Gutenberg sound brilliant but there will be quirks. I think I'll be splurging for one of the kindles that can be online all the time.

(meta edit, should I go back and remove all the periods to make that a truly great run on sentence?)
posted by sammyo at 8:20 AM on March 10, 2013

What a great project, it's terrific someone's revisiting the Magic Catalog idea. It annoys me that the Kindle store is full of $0.99 versions of out-of-copyright books. I'd pay the buck if the seller had added any value, say in formatting, but usually all you're paying for is their ability to list it in the Amazon store.

Tangentially related, a shout out to ManyBooks, an excellent website for ebooks out of copyright. It's a smaller catalog (29,000 books) and is just an ordinary website, not magic like Pronoiac's new catalog. But it's a well curated list and the editions tend to be well formatted. You can find a free version of the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin all over the place, but if you want a really good edition, ManyBooks has it.
posted by Nelson at 9:18 AM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seconding ManyBooks. Well formatted is the key here; there almost always seems to be some janky off-brand free book involved when my Kobo crashes and I have to break out the ol' paper clip.

Calibre is one of the most amazing web projects.

The built-in content server is amazing. I don't like loading my reader with more than a few titles, so leaving that running means given wifi access I can add something new (and already vetted for format quality) with very little effort. Automatic epubs from Instapaper is another feature I didn't know I couldn't live without until I started digging deeper into Calibre's feature set.
posted by Lorin at 9:53 AM on March 10, 2013

This is wonderful.

If they could figure out a way to make the corners chewable and the pages crayon-scribblable it would be perfect.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:08 AM on March 10, 2013

Hi, everybody. I made this! I'm sober now.

This is awkwardly timed - after I posted links to of all the Wizard of Oz ebooks, I sort of thought "oh, this might be something I just do, now," and I was going to make an ebooks blog, one that might even be legible on a B&W Kindle. (Sorry about the readability.)

I built this for someone who doesn't entirely grasp the file system, which presented an obstacle. I think this interface is quicker and simpler than using Calibre, emailing files to the Kindle, or the mobile websites. I'm totally biased, though. I think that for, say, binging on all of a certain writer's work, it's hard to beat.

This version's full of links to Kindle-formatted ebooks. Give me a couple of hours, and I'll assemble an epub version. I just did a search-and-replace, and here's a version with links to epub files. That should help pompomtom and zardoz.

stbalbach - are you talking about Open Library, or another Internet Archive project?
posted by Pronoiac at 11:22 AM on March 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

WTF? A completely unsorted list in random order?

This is completely useless.

Did you actually look at the linked project? It's not completely unsorted in random order. At the beginning are books designated as popular (by number of downloads). Then it's authors in alphabetical order.

(I need more books to read like I need more holes in my head, but this is going on my Kindle anyway. Or at least it will live in my Calibre.)
posted by rtha at 1:02 PM on March 10, 2013

Even if you're not ripping books off the net illegally, it's a program worth owning.

I use Calibre to handle all of my purchased books, because I want to strip out any formatting or fonts that I don't like (Baen, what's with the san serif fonts? They are so bloody annoying), and also strip the DRM so that my book is mine to copy, backup, lend to my SO, and keep even after their servers are gone.
posted by jb at 1:14 PM on March 10, 2013

Sweet, thanks for the epub version!
posted by aniola at 1:19 PM on March 10, 2013

rtha, he was writing about the original Magic Catalog. It's sorted by the order they were added to Project Gutenberg, which ordering is just aggressively useless.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:26 PM on March 10, 2013

Ah, thanks. Apologies for the misread.
posted by rtha at 1:40 PM on March 10, 2013

Thanks for the help, but I did download (and sideload) the epub version. Not working--not showing up--at all on my Kobo. Anyone else got a Kobo?
posted by zardoz at 2:48 PM on March 10, 2013

Good stuff. Used the Magic Catalog early on, but it's very confusing and not updated well.

I'd like to leave a plug for mobileread.com's library. All public domain, in multiple formats and also with a downloadable mobi library listing.
posted by jgaiser at 3:50 PM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Holy fuck fantastic thanks
posted by b33j at 4:40 PM on March 10, 2013

jgaiser: I think the original Magic Catalog was last updated in January 2009, with around 28000 books listed. (My version has around 42000.)

About the downloadable mobileread.com listing: it's a bigger file, but I think it only has around 7500 books - though it does have reviews, blurbs, and extracts.
posted by Pronoiac at 6:02 PM on March 10, 2013

zardoz: I just googled around a little bit. Have you unplugged the USB cable yet?
posted by Pronoiac at 6:05 PM on March 10, 2013

This is really brilliant. Great, great idea.
posted by DigDoug at 6:14 PM on March 10, 2013

How is this any better than Google?

Anytime I want a public domain book it's pretty quick to find one. I was just reading an H.P. Lovecraft book from the library when I thought "there must be an open-source epub with all his works ...." voila: Free Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft for Nook and Kindle (1st google result).

Eh, I'll give it a try anyway ... thanks.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:15 PM on March 10, 2013

Yay, this will be great for my Kindle. The Magic Catalog was kind of overwhelming to browse. Thanks!
posted by dragonplayer at 9:30 AM on March 11, 2013

This is amazingly amazing. Thank you!
posted by urbanlenny at 9:42 AM on March 11, 2013

stbalbach - are you talking about Open Library, or another Internet Archive project?

Open Library is an open source version of World Cat - an electronic card catalog of every book ever published (in theory). It is a catalog (plus some other things). Internet Archive is an actual repository of books. A library. I'm talking about Internet Archive which has about 4 million books and adding about 1000 new books a day as original scans.
posted by stbalbach at 10:35 PM on March 11, 2013

I just posted an update - you can now navigate by the first two letters of authors' last names, and (in the lengthy "unspecified authors" section) the first letter of the book title. Also, I pulled in the latest books from Project Gutenberg.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:32 AM on March 14, 2013

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