Figuring out titles for blog posts is easy when the subject has such a fun name. 🙂 WOWIO is a website that offers free PDF e-book downloads that have no DRM. I found this site via Featured Maemo Apps, while looking for cool apps to load onto my loaner Nokia N800. According to Featured Maemo Apps, these PDFs are well-suited for reading on the N800 using the built-in PDF viewer, without any additional reformatting. Sweet.
Normally I kind of gloss over sites like this because I am not very interested in public domain books from sites like Project Gutenberg. There are a few classic titles that I would probably read some time after my long “to read” list is exhausted, but for the most part, I’m just not that interested in these public domain titles. However, I took a look at their collection, and there are some interesting newer titles. What caught my eye was a book by K. Eric Drexler about nanotechnology — Engines of Creation 2.0. I’ve been really interested in reading Engines of Creation, but like most books, have not gotten around to it yet. Perhaps now that it’s available via WOWIO, I’ll actually read it now…maybe. Since all of the downloads are DRM-free — they limit you to 5 downloads a day, and the books are somehow ad-supported — I’ll definitely sign up and at least download the K. Eric Drexler book. I’ll have to peruse their catalog some more.
I love reading e-books as opposed to paper books because it’s a lot more convenient to carry around many titles and read a few pages at a time during little chunks of spare time throughout the day. I hope that sites like WOWIO become popular enough to drive publishers to consider e-books as a more viable format.
P.S. Since we’re talking about DRM-free e-books, I have to mention that all of Cory Doctorow’s (he’s a contributor to the popular blog Boing Boing) books are available in various e-book formats on his site, Craphound. He is a science-fiction novelist, and his books are of the cyberpunk-y, William Gibson-esque, Neal Stephenson-ish ilk. He has made all of his books available online for free, while still selling dead-tree versions. I wish more authors would do this! I put his latest collection of short stories on my Sony Reader soon after I got it. Good stuff!
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