Recently I had two things happen, one good and one not so much, both of these events prompted today's blog topic. At the beginning of the month I was finally able to purchase my iPod Touch, this got me thinking about one of my friends daughters who was over during the summer and was reading a book on hers. I did a little research and found that you can download a very nice free eReader at the iTunes store called Stanza, its put out by Lexcycle. I preferred this one because you have to pay extra for the dictionary in a couple of the other ones. When you want to download a book it is very easy and very quick, just tap on the get books button and you have your choice of either traditional book stores or free books. In the free books category you can choose from quite a few different places to find books, one of the best is Project Gutenberg. My choices for my first books were Walden, Great Expectations (a childhood favorite) and a book called Wit'ch Fire by James Clemens.
I also have an original first generation Amazon Kindle, not as fancy and tricked out as my friend Bernie's new one, and I have a few friends now that have Barns and Noble's Nooks (which have color) and Sony readers. If you are thinking about getting one of these devises they are wonderful but it can be confusing to know what will work for you, Wikipedia has a great page comparing all the different models out there so you can make the best choice for you're needs. All of these ereaders will download free books, its just a matter of knowing where to find them. The Project Gutenberg library supports many different formats and will work with almost any ereader. If you have a Kindle then you can check Amazon directly for free books that work with their ereader. The Baen Free Library has a wide selection of Science Fiction available for many ereaders. Another great site for downloads is Manybooks, they have a wide variety of books to choose from and there is a little something for everyone and download to most ereaders. If any of you are trying to learn another language (I am trying to learn French) then one of the best ways to stay immersed is to read a classic in another language, I just downloaded "Le avventure d'Alice nel paese delle meraviglie", we know it as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and although it is a children's classic, because I know the story, it will help me with the French words and sentence structure. If you like romance books Harlequin offers a small selection free ebooks downloadable in PDF format on the computer or directly to Stanza on your Blackberry, iPhone or iPod. One of the other wonderful sites I found was Bartleby, you can search for almost anything in any number of different ways. This site has a lot of neat stuff so be sure to take your time here.
On to the second occurrence that was not so good but did teach me a very good lesson. I enjoy the books (both series) by Laurell K. Hamilton and she recently just released her most recent in the Anita Blake series. It was set to be in stores last Tuesday but when I went to Barns and Noble it had not been on their trucks delivery. They took my name and assured me it would be in on Wednesday. Sure enough; Wednesday morning I had my confirmation email, the book was in come and get it, so like one of Pavlov's salivating dogs off I went. Because I had a gift certificate I decided to browse a little in the music section and picked up a copy of the Mamma Mia soundtrack I had been wanting, usually I would check the prices before I buy something but what the heck, I had a gift certificate. Because things tend to stick in my brain I later thought I would compare the price of my new CD to the prices at Amazon and Deep Discount just to make sure I got a good deal, or at least an average one, so I pulled up the Barns and Noble web site and looked up the CD and was VERY surprised to see that the price on line was LOWER (by almost $5.00) than the price in the store, OK, now a little irritated I decided to see about the book, and sure enough, that was less on line as well ($3.00). I called to check with the store and they KNOW about this problem, she offered to take the items back and re-order them using BN.com, but I had already put the CD in my iPod. Just the simple act of checking the on line price of a store against the in store price can save you a chunk of cash, so remember to call the store to get a price before you head out, you may be better off staying home and shopping in your nightgown.
Have a great weekend everyone!