If you have read the Plain Talk blog post from May 11, 2011, you now know that, later this year, Amazon Kindle users will be able to borrow e-books from their local libraries. As a fledgling Kindle user, this is exciting news to me. I can't wait to download the latest hot title onto it for free! A good friend of mine already borrows e-books and e-audiobooks from her library, to enjoy on her Nook and her smartphone. But digital bestsellers, like their paper counterparts, are popular library checkouts, so she often has to place a hold because the book she wants isn't yet available.
And so we wait... The question we share is...what do we read while we wait?
There is an option open to both of us: public domain e-books. Wikipedia states that "works are in the public domain if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all, if the intellectual property rights have expired, and/or if the intellectual property rights are forfeited. Examples include the English language, the formula of Newtonian physics, the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven, and the patents on powered flight." Public domain e-books have been produced largely by volunteers for Project Gutenberg. Most were originally written before the current century, but the subjects available range from fiction to science and nature, humor to horror. There's something to interest any reader.
After a little bit of research on Amazon.com and about 2 minutes of downloading time, I now have free, unlimited access to The Call of the Wild by Jack London, Shakespeare's MacBeth, The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, and the complete works of Jane Austen, just to name a few.
My friend can log onto MyMediaMall and follow this link
to download free, always available, public domain e-books. And they don't expire or count against her checkout limits! She has downloaded The Scarlet Letter for her son's high school English assignment (it's a plus that the e-book won't rack up any late fines), and we both plan to acquire The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to augment our latest obsession: the BBC series Sherlock. Some great stories never die!