Do you know about e-books yet?

They are an easy way of getting some of the the latest books on you computer - with FREE access to thousands of the world's favourite classic titles.

e-books are a new form of book publishing.  There is (as always) more than one form being developed, but my favourite (for now) is the Microsoft Reader.

This FREE small (well, at least it's under 5MB) application installs on your PC and can be used to read e-books.  A new font technology provides an exceptionally clear view of the text.  And a version of it is available for PocketPCs and PalmPCs as well.  The Encarta Pocket Dictionary is a free download from Microsoft as an e-book that allows you to look up words in other e-books.   The reader also manages your "library" of downloaded books.  And you don't clog up your hard disk either - e-books are far smaller than the equivalent Word documents - My own downloaded library takes up just over 400KB per complete book, on average - and that's including the dictionary, and some that are illustrated...

The e-book reader must be registered online before it can be used to download copyright works.  Registration is simple, and free with Microsoft.

There's also a free Word Add-on that can be used to create and publish your own e-books.

And the best part is that many of the world's favourite books are available for FREE.   Several bodies are converting famous classics,  from Sherlock Holmes to HG Wells to Kipling to Julius Caesar to Lewis Carroll to Edgar Rice Burroughs - the University of Virginia alone has more than 1,600 e-books available for free download...

What's the catch?  None that I've found in the last six months...   Except that I've become addicted to several more genres of literature that I probably wouldn't have done if I'd had to buy the books!

For the reader - visit   the Microsoft Reader Home Page.

For free classic e-books - visit the University of Virginia e-books project.


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