November 4, 2013

Free Kindle eBooks: What a Treasure-Trove!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday about daily class announcements as class content, one of the items I include every day is a free Kindle eBook. I am so lucky that there are lots - LOTS - of wonderful books relevant to my classes which are in the public domain and available in lots of different digital formats, including free Kindle eBooks.

I am really happy recommending ebooks to students in this format since Kindle books work well on so many devices - on a Kindle, obviously, but also on a handheld or tablet with a Kindle app, or on a laptop browser using the Kindle Cloud. It was the introduction of the Kindle Cloud that prompted me to start collecting Kindle ebook titles to share with my students; this is a format I am sure can be useful to every single one of my students. As for myself, I read a lot of Kindle books using the Kindle app for my iPad and my iPodTouch, but I also access Kindle books on my laptop and Chromebook using the Cloud. So, from personal experience, I have learned that someone can be an avid consumer of Kindle books without even owning a Kindle!

Although not all the public domain books I would like to share with my students have free Kindle versions, most of them do! This summer, I will do another round-up and see if I can expand my listing to include some more free books. As it is, I have almost 200 books that I can recommend, and of those I selected 105 to use for the daily announcements (one for each day of the semester), coordinating with the reading topics for the classes and making sure to include at least a couple of India-related books every week.

To support my use of the books in the daily announcements, I made a blog post for each book that I found; you can see the blog posts here: Myths & Folklore for Young & Old. That's another blog I have which may or may not turn into a book one of these days (I wasn't kidding about using blogs for everything!). Meanwhile, the blog's a handy place to list the books, including the table of contents for each one so that people can learn more about each book before they decide if they want to grab the free copy.

I also created a widget (and I'll have plenty to say in other posts about, the free tool I use to create my widgets) which allows me to feature the Kindle books in the sidebar of my class announcements blog. Here's the widget; every time the page refreshes, you'll see a new one of the Kindle books at random. Each listing in the widget contains an image and a link to the Amazon book, plus the blog post which provides more information.

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