Yesterday, I quoted a passage from Heart of Darkness about the Roman legions and officials in Britannia. I thought it was interesting, and mentioned at the end that it's free on the Kindle.
Today I wanted to point out the Kindle for PC (or Mac) readers. It's very nicely designed and pretty to read on - it stacks up favorably with a PDF.
Most importantly, it's easy to get a lot of out of print books for free. Here's how:
1. Go get the relevant program:
2. Install it (simple and straightforward).
3. Go do this search: Search (Kindle Store) for (author or book title). Then Sort by - Price: Low to High.
Almost all of the classics that are out of copyright will have a $0.00 version - which means it's free.
Here's a few that might probably appeal to people who like the general themes of this site to get you started:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"
Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"
Carl von Clauswitz, "On War"
Niccolo Machiavelli, "The Prince"
Sun-Tzu, "The Art of War"
Very easy to get free books. Do make sure you double-check the price is $0.00 if you wanted to only pick up a lot of titles for free, but all the linked ones are as of today. Also, your book recommendations are welcome in the comments.
If you use the Chrome web browser there's a kindle app you can use to read your books. Doesn't matter what operating system you use, windows, mac, linux...
Oh, I forgot about mentioning Seth Godin's publishing platform. They often release free and quality ebooks related to business and ass-kicking.
Thanks for the recommendations, Sebastian. I'll get those books for my Kindle!
BTW, for those who like psychology-based personal development, may I recommend this free downloadable (and huge) ressource that you can read on your PC/Mac or Kindle:
"Project Gutenberg offers over 36,000 free ebooks to download to your PC, Kindle, Android, iOS or other portable device. Choose between ePub, Kindle, HTML and simple text formats."
"Over 100,000 free ebooks are available through our Partners, Affiliates and Resources."
"LibriVox provides free audiobooks from the public domain. There are several options for listening. "
"LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books."
Agreed, so many great classics available. I have a couple of the titles mentioned in the article, and I think I'll add a couple more. And I recently read the original Dracula by Bram Stoker. It was fascinating to see how many of story elements from that book have entered popular culture.
I also recently found a lot of classic children's books, for instance Beatrix Potter and Alice in Wonderland. I've loaded those on an iPad, which works very well for my daughters.
Forgot to link it :)
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda has a free Kindle edition, and completely worth the read.
I love my Kindle! I've gotten quite a bit more reading done over the summer than I would have otherwise.
If you go to Amazon's website they have a list of the free books. Under ebooks > free collections (under Popular Features on the right) they list two different collections: free and limited-time-offers. I've picked up quite a few classics from the free collection, and some good new books from the limited-time-offers. The LTO's change fairly frequently so it's worth checking back every so often to see what you can find.
This follows on from "On Getting More Done – Top-down, or bottom up?" - the basic idea behind that post is you can get a lot more done by either taking on a lot more responsibilities, which forces you to adjust and use your time better - this is the "top down" strategy. Alternatively, you can slowly build and reclaim time from your life, moving your time from less meaningful areas into more meaningful areas.
But let's get more specific. I read a lot of books. Most smart people want to read a lot of books, but don't find the time to do it. So, how to read more?
This is where the bottom-up approach shines. You slowly move time from less meaningful areas to more meaningful areas.
"Sebastian, I just want to read more. I don't care about this tracking stuff."
I was a pretty good reader as a kid. My mom recounts me sitting in the corner reading in pre-school instead of doing whatever other pre-schoolers did. In Kindergarten, I was praised for reading more books than any other kid. Throughout the elementary school summers, I dominated the summer reading programs in all the neighboring cities.
Eventually, I started to realize that all of these books are the same. Sometime when I was 10, I started to realize every book seemed to be about some derpy kid who eventually overcame his fears and saved the world, or at least his friend group.
I had the intellectual ability to read YA and adult books at the time, but not the emotional maturity. So, I hit a standstill.
Time passes on, I get into Classics (aka: any title whose name being uttered made me sound smart). I got a Kindle and subsequently got into Indie trash, at one point reading one book per day. Then the Kindle broke and I had no clue what to do.
I went through a massive overhaul on how I thought about reading, which leads us to how I read today.