30 January 2012 (Monday) - Downloading

Yesterday I mentioned that I was looking for free ebooks. I've found some. Quite a few actually. But, as is always the way in life, getting them isn't as straight-forward as it might be. First off one needs to sign up with the website which supplies the free ebooks. The website in question is.... well, I'm not going to be daft enough to tell the world what the website is. Not that I think it's illegal (it looks legal enough). It just strikes me that if something like this gets too well known it will get shut down. Which is usually what happens to good things (he typed cynically).
And then there's the problem that one is restricted to how many ebooks one can download. It looks to have a limit of forty downloads per day. I suppose in the fullness of time forty a day will be plenty, but for now I wanted to download loads (before the website gets shut down).
But it didn't take long to find another website that did free ebooks too. And this one didn't restrict me to forty books a day. So I got jiggy with the download.

Imagine my frustration when (with over a hundred downloaded ebooks) I found that not one of them worked on my Kindle. It doesn't recognise the .epub format that the books come in. But if you know where to look there are free converters available.

So having spent an hour downloading files I couldn't use, and finding myself with more ebooks than sense, I set the converter running. You can convert files individually, but it's as easy to download your books, set the converter going, and clear off for a shower and a cuppa whilst the computer works it's magic. And then all I had to do was download my newly obtained .mobi files to my Kindle. I still had to do the cataloguing on the Kindle itself, but I now have books by Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke that I've wanted on my Kindle for ages. Stuff by Fred Pohl and Stephen King. James Bond books and Terry Pratchett books. The Mote in God's Eye, The Death of Grass, loads of stuff.

In the past I've blogged about how free downloads are a bad thing. They probably are but in these days of austerity, principles are not cheap. And, to be honest, something for nothing is never a bad thing when I am the one getting something for nothing.... Sorry...

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