Library@Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

Where Minds meet and Ideas pop up !

300 Free eBooks: Download Great Classics for Free

This collection features free e-books, mostly classics, that you can read on your computer, smart phone, or Kindle. It includes great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. To learn how to download these ebooks to your computer/mobile device, please visit our eBook Primer.

Assorted Texts

  • Baldwin, Frederick – Dear Monsieur Picasso – PDF
  • Boon, Marcus – In Praise of Copying – PDF
  • Steward, Brand – The Whole Earth Catalog – Read Online
  • Doctorow, Cory – I, Robot – Download
  • Doctorow, Cory – With a Little Help – Download
  • Kamenetz, Anya – The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential – Download
  • Lessig, Lawrence – The Future of Ideas – PDF
  • Lethem, Jonathan – The Empty Room – Read Online
  • Rucker, Rudy – The Ware Tetralogy – D0wnload
  • Scroggy, David – The Blade Runner Sketchbook: The Art of Syd Mead and Ridley Scott – Read Online


Filed under: E-Books,

5 Ways That Paper Books Are Better Than eBooks

By Richard MacManus

Note: this isn’t an ‘either/or’ argument, my main point in these posts is that each format (paper / electronic) has its strengths and weaknesses. Having said that, it may not be too far into the future when we begin to think of this as an either/or proposition. Remember that the future of paper newspapers is now seriously in question, so it may not be long before the same happens to paper books.

1. Feel

Paper books just feel good in your hands – even the best designed eReader is a cold, lifeless steely contraption by comparison. Paper books are also seen as "more personal," which was a comment that a number of people made on the previous post. You can become attached to a copy of your favorite novel, or a well thumbed book of poetry. I own a worn copy of the novel ‘Catch-22,’ which I have read a number of times since my University days – and no eBook could ever replace the memories it evokes whenever I pick that book up.

How can eBooks match this in the future? They may never do, but perhaps we will find that the features I listed in my previous post assume greater nostalgic significance instead: highlighted text, notes that you made back in your University days, and the ability to search and find all of this very easily.

You know it's a good bookstore when...

2. Packaging

I bought a poetry book for Kindle on iPad last week, but it turned out that the eBook was missing half of the image of an obscure painting that adorned the front and back covers of the paper edition. The eBook just had the front cover art, not the back cover art. This is one small example of how paper books can have a more beautiful package than eBooks.

Best cover in my LibraryWe could similarly point to book binding and typeface, both often carefully selected by publishing companies for their paper editions. It can make a big difference to one’s reading experience.

If eBooks are to challenge this feature, it will need to be with something unique and native to the electronic format. For inspiration, we can look to what Arcade Fire did with the electronic release of its latest album. As a way to try and match the album art and booklet available on CD, Arcade Fire came up with an artistic package it called "synchronised artwork." This enabled listeners to access imagery, lyrics and links on their iPod or iPhone while listening to the album. Some might say that it still isn’t as good as a CD package, but this is the challenge for electronic mediums – to come up with alternatives that offer something equally compelling, perhaps even more so.

Skip Knox summed it up well in a comment: "We need a new generation of authors and publishers who will create new art forms around the technology. We’re still at the point analogous to the early years of movies, when all they could think to do was essentially film a stage play."

3. Sharing

I noted in the last post that receiving marked up books from a friend is something that can’t be duplicated by eBooks – yet. Also, you can’t lend a copy of an eBook to someone else. DRM (Digital Rights Management) or incompatible eBook formats prevent that. DRMHowever, I have to think that both of those features – personal notes and sharing eBooks – will get figured out by eReader manufacturers sooner or later. There is no technological reason it can’t be done, it’s more a matter of navigating the always murky DRM waters and people getting used to new kinds of ‘reading’ functionality. Just as we DM people on Twitter or send email, sending messages or notes to another person via an eBook is a feature that would be useful and eventually well used.

4. Keeping

On the topics of DRM and eBook formats, not only is this an issue for sharing – but for your own future accessibility of books. As Adrian Lafond eloquently noted, "If I "buy" an e-book, read it, put it in storage, and try to re-read it in 10 years (since I "own" it) it’s anybody’s guess whether there will exist a platform or device on which that will be possible for that particular e-book format and DRM scheme."

Gwyn Headley added, a little cynically, that eBooks are great for books "you know you will never want to read again."

To be frank, I think the same risks apply to paper books too. I have misplaced favorite books over the years or lent them to people and not had them returned. However, eBook and eReader manufacturers certainly need to address this issue before consumers are truly comfortable buying them over paper books.

5. Second-hand books

Booktree & Biography CornerA few people noted that eBooks are still too expensive and that you can’t get cheap second-hand copies. Or for that matter, expensive first edition copies.

Similar to previous points, eBooks won’t necessarily be able to match this ‘feature’ of paper books. However, the price of eBooks will likely drop over time and become more flexible. Indeed, I picked up a copy of the full works of Emerson and Thoreau this week for a few dollars – cheaper (and much lighter) than I could’ve gotten anywhere else for a paper copy. We’ll see more of this type of pricing as the eBook market ramps up.

In summary, there are pros and cons for both paper books and eBooks. The eBook market is ripe for innovation and breakthroughs in how we read, so eBooks will only improve over the coming years.

In the final analysis though, the real value of any book – whether read via paper or electronically – is in the words.



Filed under: Reading Tips, , ,

Books and Literacy in the Digital Age

Can we grow technophiles who are also bibliophiles?

By Ralph Raab

I’d like to admit something to you upfront: I love books. I don’t mean the "isn’t-the-new-Stephen-King-great" type of love. I’m talking about a real passion here: I love the way the binding cracks the first time you open a new hardcover book; the little globules of glue that cling to the corners of the binding; the feel of a small book held in one hand, or the heft of a large book as it sits on your lap. But most of all—and I admit this without the least iota of shame—I love the smell of ink and paper, whether old or new. It’s absolute olfactory heaven.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love my BlackBerry, my Xbox, and using the internet for research or to shop at all hours of the day. In fact, technology shares my life with books in equal parts. And that’s precisely why I’m so perplexed when I read articles or hear on the news that books are slowly and inexorably vanishing, that computers, handheld eReaders, and iPods will surely win out and force books out of our schools, our libraries, and ultimately, our lives.

Not so fast! Codices—or books as we know them now—have been in their current form for nearly 2,000 years, and the technology that threatens their existence has only been around for four decades—two decades if you count widespread use. But before we can discuss how the new technology can be used side-by-side with books to promote literacy, it behooves us to first understand how we got to this point as well as the demographic that is sounding the death knell for printed matter.

Millennials and the Matthew effect

As a librarian, it stands to reason that at some point in your career you’ve wondered just how you can help get young people to enjoy reading. Well, I’m here to tell you that if you’ve ever felt like a failure in that regard—don’t. The simple fact is this: Literacy starts at home. If parents surround their child with books, read to him or her from the start, and promote reading throughout the child’s development, chances are quite good that the child will grow up to be a reader. And the more he or she reads, the more he or she will read.

This is illustrated by the Matthew effect, a term coined by sociologist Robert K. Merton. It’s a phenomenon whereby the rich get richer and the poor get poorer; when applied to reading, it can be said that the more a child reads, the more he or she can read. Vocabulary skills get stronger, more intricate plots can be followed, and what once seemed a chore can soon be enjoyable. It’s just like exercise: Do it every day and you’ll feel energized; do it once a month and you’ll be in pain.

Millennials—people who were born roughly between 1980 and 1995—have been quite literally growing up alongside the technological advances in the informational realm. As such, many have grown into technophiles and bibliophobes, as well as people who feel at home doing five things at once. It’s easy to pick them out in a crowd: They can frequently be seen texting, listening to music, watching TV, instant messaging, and doing homework—all at the same time. Some would argue that the proliferation of electronic media in children’s lives would cause them to become functionally illiterate. This isn’t really true; in fact the opposite is true—our youth in recent years have become e-literate.

E-literacy and the false promise of technology

The milestones in the history of the printed word were initially spread out over several thousand years. It took civilization nearly 7,000 years to get from the invention of writing, through the inventions of the scroll and the codex, and eventually to the invention of moveable type—introduced through the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in 1455. Since that milestone, though, there haven’t been many earth-shattering developments to advance the printed word. But with the advent of the internet in 1969, information technology accelerated at an exponential rate—something that has not escaped the notice of one particular global demographic, the millennials.

A 2007 study showed that frequent television viewing during adolescence caused attention deficiencies—a fact that can only make you wonder what the added effect of all the new technology has done to the average attention span and the ability to read anything longer than a blog entry. You would think that schools would try to counter this trend by putting more funding into their school libraries and reading programs. You’d be wrong.

According to Todd Oppenheimer in his book The Flickering Mind: The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom, and How Learning Can Be Saved, from the early 1990s through the first part of this century, school districts across the country spent billions of dollars promoting computer-based learning, promising that computers would engage students in a way that books could not. A school district in Union City, California, spent $37 million to buy computer equipment and software—and paid for it by cutting science equipment and field trips. An elementary school in Los Angeles dropped its music program in order to hire a “technology manager.” But we need to ask ourselves: After nearly two decades of this philosophy, have we seen a rise in literacy? The answer, sadly, is no—or at the very least, not nearly enough to justify what we have lost in the process.

But there is one bright spot in these sobering statistics: You must be functionally literate in order to use the internet. This has led to a phenomenon called e-literacy, a practice begun and perfected by millennials.

E-literacy incorporates all of the reading children do online as opposed to offline hard-copy text. Chances are that any random child spends more time instant messaging, texting, blogging, creating or adding to wikis, doing online research, tweeting, or using social networks like Facebook or MySpace than curled up with a good book. But when parents and teachers criticize the amount of time kids spend online, they’re forgetting one key fact: You have to be literate to use the internet effectively. By focusing children’s enthusiasm for online exploration and expression on powerful educational tools, parents and teachers can promote literacy alongside technology.

Kindles and Readers and Nooks—Oh, my!

The Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, and the new Barnes and Noble Nook are great tools to have for casual and avid readers alike—with some drawbacks. You can put thousands of books into your digital reader and take it on vacation with you. It also allows you to adjust the font size for easier reading; if you need a large-print book, you can simply buy the original version and resize it. And e-book pricing can’t be beat: You’ll pay anywhere from $6 to $10 per book, so if you’re a voracious reader, the digital reader will pay for itself in lower book prices. You can even take notes in the electronic margins of the e-book you’re reading, just as you would in a hard copy. And the ability to wirelessly download a book instantaneously makes it almost a no-brainer to buy, right? Wrong.

The same things that make digital readers great can make them not so great, and sometimes in a scary way. In July 2009, Amazon pulled digital copies of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 from its Kindle store because the publisher of those books decided it didn’t want to offer a Kindle edition anymore. In an ironic Big Brother-esque twist, Amazon also remotely deleted every copy of those e-books that people had already purchased and offered instead a voucher for a future purchase. This action was tantamount to somebody sneaking into your house in the middle of the night, taking one of your books off your shelf, and leaving in its place a bookstore gift card for a different title. One major problem (besides the obvious one) is that some people—college students in particular—had taken notes in the margins of their e-book copies of 1984 and Animal Farm in advance of writing a paper or taking an exam. Those notes—along with their books—vanished into thin air.

This is the biggest drawback to digital readers. There are other e-book downsides that hard-copy book readers don’t need to worry about. Books don’t have batteries that run out. You don’t have to turn your book off on takeoff and landing, which has to be very annoying to e-book readers; after all, isn’t one of the biggest advantages that you can take lots of books with you on vacation in one small device? And at the beach, spilled tanning lotion or rogue waves are apt to be less destructive to your paperback.

But Kindles, Readers, and Nooks can actually help parents, teachers, and librarians make children more literate. In a recent informal poll of a 5th-grade class, students were asked how many would admit to not reading as much as they think they should—to which approximately half replied in the affirmative. That half were then asked how many thought getting a digital reader for the holidays would inspire them to read more. Half raised their hands. Simply by having a cool new gadget in their hands with the ability to download their books instantly,  could potentially increase literacy in one grade in one school by 25%. If boards of education across the country still want to spend the bulk of their funds on digital initiatives, I would submit that they consider putting digital readers in the hands of their students, instead of subscribing to the Next Great Thing in the digital realm: the digital library.

The Google Project and digital libraries

One of the greatest advantages to having a digital reader is the ability to wirelessly download content 24 hours a day. If you’re just looking for free e-books, then Project Gutenberg is the place for you. There are over 30,000 books available for download to any portable device: PC, cell phones, or readers. Most works are classics whose copyright has expired—hence the cost-free price tag.

The convenience and accessibility of e-books haven’t gone unnoticed by many library organizations, most notably the Internet Archive, which boasts “over one million books—free to the print-disabled.” But there’s much more than that; the archive allows for downloads of movies, software, and audio files as well. Other similar projects include the World Digital Library, sponsored by UNESCO, NetLibrary (until recently operated by OCLC and now operated by EBSCO), and the Internet Public Library, which has special areas for kids and teens. Many online libraries allow for the download of digital content for a specified period of time, after which the content is disabled.

But no digital library has garnered nearly the attention that Google has for its efforts to digitize every book ever printed. To that end, in 2004 Google teamed up with the New York Public Library to digitize its collection and shortly thereafter joined forces with the Library of Congress to do the same. It didn’t take long for Google to run into a wall: authors didn’t want people to be able to download their books for free. Lawsuits were filed, and to date the issue hasn’t been resolved. And although Google continues digitizing books each day some book content simply cannot be accessed online—most notably books written after 1915 (most books are copyrighted until 95 years of publication, after which they fall into the public domain).

You may have heard about this but never realized what a great research tool it can be for use in the classroom, library, and at home. Let’s say you need to find the passage that depicts one of the greatest images in American literature: Tom Sawyer whitewashing a fence. Navigate your web browser to Google. At the top where it says "More," use the dropdown menu and click on "Books." Type “Tom Sawyer” in the search box, then click on the first book that comes up, which should be The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (if not, it should be second or third). In the search box on the left, type “fence.” Every instance of the word fence in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer will be displayed on the screen. The scene you’re looking for can be found within the first 20 or so pages, so you’ll want to click on one of the lower page numbers. And there you have it: You’ve found a famous literary passage in less than a minute (with practice). Using the advanced book search at the top helps you to refine search terms and keywords to get exactly what you’re looking for.

This powerful tool in helping children to “get back to literature” uses the thing they love most—technology. It’s also just one small thing that parents, teachers, and librarians can use to help society develop a culture of literacy and get our kids reading again.

Creating a culture of literacy

Computers, it must be said, are causing irreparable harm to our literary history and heritage. Visit the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City some time and revel in the different drafts written by Dickens, Hemingway, Faulkner, and the like. Look at all the cross-outs and notes in margins that give us a peek into the creative process like nothing else can. Read entire sections of text that never made it into the finished masterpiece as you ponder what, exactly, made this passage unworthy of the final book.

Then, think of the fact that books aren’t written like that anymore. Future masterpieces may not have drafts that we can look at and pore over in wonder. Everything is done by computer now; the first draft is written, then changed and changed again—possibly with previous versions deleted or unsaved. We may never have any way of knowing what was going on in the thought processes of our present and future literary masters.

But we will always have the buildings they helped to create: temples built for the love of books. It always escapes me why teachers hardly ever think to take their classes on field trips to our country’s greatest libraries. For me, every trip to Washington, D.C., is crowned by a visit to the main reading room of the Library of Congress. You think the dome in the Capitol Building is beautiful? It pales in comparison to the pantheon of books at the Library of Congress, and the new myLOC program allows students to register a passport, then use it to answer questions about the library by examining their surroundings. They can also download and save images from LC to their passport account and view it all online from home.

New York Public Library is one of the most beautiful structures in the city and houses one of the 48 copies in existence of the Gutenberg Bible as well as the original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals that A. A. Milne based his books on—all on public display. Blocks away is the Morgan Library and Museum, which houses one of the greatest private collections of books and manuscripts ever amassed. The items on display are constantly rotated, so frequent visits there are always rewarded with something new.

Another way to get children interested in reading is through reading groups. Adults have them and should encourage their children to get friends together and form groups of their own. The Harry Potter rage was a phenomenon because it became a social event. It transcended the literary realm because it was marketed into every facet of our culture: movies, T-shirts, games. Midnight release parties and costumed events became part of a child’s social world and were accepted by almost everyone. We’ll probably never see its like again—the Twilight series came close but only gained a fraction of the interest worldwide.

If we can’t socialize books on such a grand scale again, we can do it on a smaller town-by-town basis. Reading groups socialize children and make them feel like they belong to a club. They can choose what they want to read without being told what to read by a teacher. Each child feels important when it’s his or her turn to choose the next book for the group to read, and groups held at different houses allow the parents to host their own social event while the children discuss the book. I’ve seen it work in various towns, and it has a somewhat viral effect; the more kids who are involved in the group, the more kids who want to join. Nonmembers begin to feel like they’re missing out on something. Physical–not digital–libraries are the cornerstone of democracy. They must not–and will not–fail.

Robert Darnton of Harvard University makes this point in The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future. Libraries are the one place in the world where books and technology meet. And since copyright issues will most likely never be resolved, people will always need to find a physical book on a physical shelf. Also, not every book can be digitized; there have been different versions of books throughout history, and permission will never be granted by every institution to digitize those editions. The works of William Shakespeare are an example: They have been changed and modified through successive editions over the last 500 years. We will never see every version of his works on Google.

And if you’re still thinking that I’m a little strange for dwelling so much on a book’s physical properties—size, shape, feel, and, yes, even smell—consider this interesting tidbit from Darnton’s book: In a recent poll taken at a French university, 43% of students queried considered smell to be an important aspect of a book and refused to buy the electronic edition. CafeScribe, a French online publisher, has tried to counter this aversion to digital books by supplying stickers to their customers that give off a “bookish” smell when affixed to their computers. It turns out that the tactical and olfactory experience is just as important to a reader’s enjoyment of a book as its content. I feel vindicated.


RALPH RAAB has been a teacher of music, computers, and study skills in East Hanover, New Jersey, for over 20 years and is the author of The Dewey Deception: The First Adventure from the Biblio Files, as well as the forthcoming The Gutenberg Gambit. He can be reached at

Courtesy: American Library Association


Filed under: Article of the Week, , ,

e-Books: Averting a Digital Horror Story

O’Reilly: "We see ourselves as canaries in the coal mine" Eric Millette

By Spencer E. Ante courtesy:

Click here to find out more!

On Christmas Day, for the first time in its history, (AMZN) sold more digital books than the old fashioned kind. It was a watershed moment for the book industry—but it’s scaring the hell out of traditional publishers. Even though they make the same amount on sales of both kinds of books, they see Amazon’s digital dominance as a looming threat to their business, and with good reason. Their big worry: Amazon will end up with the same kind of pricing power in books that Apple (AAPL) has in music, and that the book industry will suffer the same kind of bruising decline.

One goal for publishers is to dilute Amazon’s power. Hachette is selling e-books through more than a dozen partners, including Sony (SNE), Apple, and small retailers such as Fictionwise. By partnering with multiple outlets, publishers hope to regain control over pricing and gather purchasing data that could fuel future sales. They’re unhappy Amazon has dropped the price of some new digital best-sellers to as little as $7.99, compared with $35 for hardcovers. Hachette and Simon & Schuster plan to delay the release of certain digital books for several months to avoid undercutting the sale of best-sellers. "We are giving away the family jewels," says David Young, chairman and chief executive of Hachette Book Group, which publishes authors Malcolm Gladwell and Walter Mosley.

Publishers are typically paid about half the hardcover’s retail price, whether a digital book or hardcover is sold. But Amazon has been pushing to pay them less, and many publishers think cheap digital books will open the door to lower industry revenues in the future. Amazon, for its part, says publishers’ concerns are overblown. "We are selling a lot of books for publishers. We feel like that relationship continues to be a good one," says Ian Freed, Amazon’s vice-president for the Kindle business.

Several publishers are trying to reinvent their businesses before Amazon, or someone else, does it for them. "We are thinking very hard about what opportunities there are to prevent our business from being destroyed," says Young.

Next year Hachette is coming out with a digital version of Sebastian Junger’s War that will include video clips, a first for the company. (The book, scheduled for release in May, is based on the author’s reporting in Afghanistan and the footage will feature firefights and interviews with soldiers.) HarperCollins is selling a collection of classics on the Nintendo (NTDOY) DS handheld gaming device. Meanwhile, O’Reilly Media, which produces software user manuals, is testing completely new pricing schemes. Instead of selling individual books, it’s offering unlimited access to 10,000 titles, videos, and pre-publication manuscripts on the Web for $42.99 a month. "Our mission is not making books," says Tim O’Reilly, the company’s CEO and founder. "It’s changing the world through spreading the knowledge of innovators."

Young believes people are interested in paying for variations on the standard book, say a single chapter or a searchable database. In late September, two authors, a few editors, and a technologist gathered in Hachette’s New York City office to work on an iPhone application based on the popular food book, What to Drink with What You Eat. The heavily illustrated volume will have to be adapted for a screen smaller than a playing card. Gurvinder Batra, chief technology officer of Kiwitech, a Washington (D.C.) startup Hachette hired to develop the app, handed out printed shots of the screen and navigation. "To get to the right info I should not do more than two or three clicks," said Batra.

The team decided the app should be like a virtual sommeliercum food critic, featuring food and wine pairings and tutorials on flavor balancing. Then they moved on to the touchy subject of pricing: Should they charge for the app? Most iPhone apps are free or very cheap. "We are in publishing," said Siobhan Padgett, digital sales and marketing manager at Hachette. "We have to make money." The hardcover of What to Drink with What You Eat lists for $35, and the Kindle edition goes for $19.25. Hachette editors eventually decided to charge $4.99 for the app, which is coming out in January. "We think we can sell a whole lot of these at this price," says Padgett.

Hachette doesn’t disclose how much revenue it pulls in from its digital efforts, but the company is doing well. Strong sales of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, Teddy Kennedy’s True Compass, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers helped boost revenues 15% over the first nine months of the year.

Harlequin Enterprises, the 60-year-old publisher of romance novels, started offering all its books in electronic form in 2007 and is now experimenting with several new digital formats. One, called Spice Briefs, seeks to publish short-form erotica, running 5,000 to 20,000 words long, as e-books. Another involves publishing short digital prequels, which bring in extra revenue and tend to pump up print sales. Gena Showalter, a popular author of young adult novels, wrote a prequel for her Lords of the Underworldseries that came out one month before the first print book and sold for $2.99. The book, The Darkest Night, debuted at No. 8 on The New York Times bestseller list and has sold 220,000 copies, vs. 130,000 copies of her previous book.

Harlequin CEO Donna Hayes says electronic books account for about 6% of total sales now, but she expects that to double in a few years. She says digital sales appear to be adding to the company’s revenue, rather than cannibalizing traditional sales. Harlequin’s revenues rose 7% over the first nine months of the year, while U.S. book sales were up 3.6%. "It has grown our business so far," says Hayes.


Tim O’Reilly may be pushing experimentation further than anyone. His company’s decision to sell monthly subscription access to all its user manuals and other materials has been a hit with companies, universities, and training organizations, growing to 20% of overall revenue. "We see ourselves as the canaries in the coal mine," says O’Reilly.

Today, O’Reilly is trying out several new digital products, including one he calls the "networked book," an attempt to get readers involved in the creation of books through interaction over the Web. The company began by letting readers review authors’ original manuscripts several months prior to a book’s publication and now is allowing readers to post comments on manuscripts.

In the company’s San Francisco office, engineer Keith Fahlgren fired up his laptop to show off a Web site for a book called The Real World Haskell, a user guide for a computer programming language. Software that Fahlgren created let 750 people post 7,000 comments for the authors to read. Many reader postings influenced the final version of the book. "This chapter seems a little bit too much like an essay," wrote one reader. "Follow the old rule, show, don’t tell." Co-author Bryan O’Sullivan wrote on his blog that the feedback had "a profound effect" on the book. "We have used your input to make our coverage both more correct and more accessible," he said.

O’Reilly and other publishers are cultivating Apple as an alternative to Amazon. One reason: More than 50 million people have the company’s iPhone or iPod Touch, which can be used to read digital books, compared with just four million who have electronic book readers. O’Reilly says his company is generating far more sales from Apple customers than Kindle users. O’Reilly currently offers 500 books on the iPhone, compared with 350 Kindle titles. Another 500 iPhone titles are in the works.

O’Reilly is already reaping the benefits of his investments in technology. But Young and other publishers acknowledge they don’t know how all this experimentation will pay off. Still, they know they need to figure out the digital future before they lose out to Amazon or another aggressive newcomer. "We’ve got a long way to go before we can recoup our digital investments. The costs have been huge," says Young. "But I am optimistic, provided we sustain a healthy industry."


Filed under: Article of the Week, , ,

100 Links to E-Books



You already know that the Internet is one of the most convenient, effective means of researching and finding information for your classes, but did you know that in some cases it can replace all of your hefty textbooks and reading assignments too? With ebooks, you can read, stream, and listen to lessons, classic literature, poetry and reference books on the Internet or your mobile device. Here are 100 useful links for ebook lovers.


These ebooks are all free, so you can download as many as you want without having to set up a textbook budget.

  1. Gutenberg: Project Gutenberg was the first to supply free ebooks, and today they have almost 30,000 free titles in stock.
  2. Besides browsing topics like biography, fan fiction, games, history or tutorials, you can submit your own ebook, too.
  3. You can conduct an advanced search, type in a title or author, browse categories or select books by language, from Finnish to Bulgarian to Catalan to Swedish.
  4. DailyLit: Get free downloads sent to your e-mail by RSS feed.
  5. iBiblio: Find archives, ebooks, tutorials, language books and more from iBiblio.
  6. Authorama: This public domain book site has a wide variety of ebooks for free, by Lewis Carroll, Emerson, Kafka, and more.
  7. askSam: Search free ebooks and archives in categories like literature, political, government reports, and legal and judicial.
  8. Bartleby: Whiel Bartleby charges for some titles, it has a free ebook store here.
  9. bibliomania: You will find over 2,000 classic texts from bibliomania, plus study guides, reference material and more.
  10. Baen Free Library: You can download ebooks for HTML, RTF, Microsoft Reader and for Palm, Psion and Window CE.
  11. has many classic lit selections for free.
  12. Read Print Library: These novels, poems and poems are all free.
  13. Fictionwise: Fictionwise has plenty of fiction, plus nonfiction books, mobile downloads and audio files.
  14. ebook Directory: From children’s books to IT books to literature to reference, you’ll find lots of free titles and book packages here.
  15. Planet PDF: Planet PDF has made available classic titles like Anna Karenina and Frankenstein for free.
  16. Get Free Ebooks: This website has free ebooks in categories like from writing to environment to fiction to business, plus features and reviews.
  17. FreeBookSpot: Search by title, ISBN or author, or browse categories like Chinese, Geosciences, hardware, and others.
  18. Globusz: There are no limits on the number of free books you can download on this online publishing site.
  19. eBookLobby: You’ll find lost of self-help, hobby and reference books here, plus children’s fiction and more.
  20. Bookyards: This online "library to the world" has over 17,000 ebooks plus links to other digital libraries.
  21. The Online Books Page: You’ll be able to access over 35,000 free ebooks from this site, powered by the University of Pennsylvania.
  22. These novels and anthologies were last updated in 2006, but you’ll still find an interesting selection of online and virtual novels.

eBook Readers

Get reviews and product information for all kinds of ebook readers, including the Kindle.

  1. E-book Reader Matrix: This wiki makes it easy to compare ebook reader sizes, battery life, supported formats and other qualifications.
  2. Amazon Kindle: Learn about, shop, and discover titles for the Kindle here.
  3. Abacci eBooks: All the books here are for Microsoft Reader.
  4. eBook Reader Review: TopTenReviews lists reader reviews from 2009.
  5. List of e-book readers: Learn about all of the different e-book readers from Wikipedia.
  6. E-book readers at a glance: This guide reviews and compares the new, cool readers.
  7. Free iPhone ebook readers head-to-head: Reality Distortion ranks iPhone ebook readers.

About eBooks

These links will connect you to ebook news, new title releases and ereader information.

  1. TeleRead: This blog shares news stories about ebooks and digital libraries.
  2. MobileRead Forums: Learn about new ebook releases, clubs and readers.
  3. E-book News: Technology Today has made room for a whole section on e-book news.
  4. Get the latest headlines about readers, troubleshooting, titles and more.
  5. eBook Authors: Get news and releases here.
  6. The eBook coach: Learn how to write a successful ebook.

Audio and Mobile

Get ebooks on your iPhone, iPod, BlackBerry, Palm or other mobile device.

  1. Feedbooks: You can download books for any mobile device here.
  2. Mobipocket: Find ebooks and an ebook reader for PCs, Smartphones, BlackBerry, Palm, Windows mobile and more.
  3. Stanza: If you want to read an ebook on your iPhone, use Stanza.
  4. Books in My Phone: Read ebooks on a java-enabled phone when you download them here. You can also manage a reading list.
  5. Barnes & Noble eBooks: Get NYT titles, new releases and more for your iPhone, BlackBerry or computer.
  6. MemoWare: Get literature, poetry, and reference books for your PDA.
  7. Here you can download books to your iPod or mp3 player.
  8. iTunes: iTunes has audiobooks for iPhones and iPods.
  9. LibriVox: Get free audio book files on this site, or volunteer to record your narration for other books.
  10. eReader.comMobile: Get the mobile-friendly version of here.

Business and Education

Turn to these ebook lists and resources for help with classes and your career.

  1. Open Book Project: Students and teachers will find quality, free textbooks and materials here.
  2. Students can download free textbooks, from economics to biology to study abroad here.
  3. Digital Book Index: This site has over 140,000 titles, including textbooks and a pending American Studies collection.
  4. Classical Authors Directory: Get lesson plans, audio files, ebooks and more from authors like Washington Irving, Benjamin Franklin and Homer.
  5. The Literature Network: Find classics, from Balzac to Austen to Shakespeare, plus educational resources to go along with the plays, short stories and novels.
  6. You can download lots of history and literature books and texts here.
  7. All kinds of business, hobby, education textbooks, and self-teaching books are available for free on this site.
  8. Free Ebooks and Software: Learn how to do your own taxes and more from the books here.
  9. The Franklin Free eBook Library: This is a great site for downloading classic literature and poetry, history books and texts, reference materials, and more.
  10. eLibrary Business Ebooks: Get emarketing, how-to, and other business ebooks here.
  11. Free Business eBooks: This guide has links to all kinds of free business ebooks.
  12. Data-Sheet: Data-Sheet finds ebook pdfs.
  13. Type into the search box the type of book you want to read, like business education or vampire fiction.
  14. Ebook Search Engine: Simply type in your search and choose to have results displayed as PDFs or Word documents.
  15. PDFse: Look for ebooks, especially in science, reference and education, here.
  16. Ebook Engine: This engine brings up free ebooks.
  17. eBook Search Queen: You can search ebooks by country here.
  18. Browse by category or type your search into the box to bring up your query.
  19. Addebook: Free Ebook Search Engine: This tool is Google’s ebook search engine.
  20. Boocu: Boocu can pull up thousands of ebooks and digital resources.


Keep up with ebook news, new titles, ereaders, and more by following these Twitter feeds.

  1. @AnEbookReader: Get tech reviews, accessories news and more for ereaders and ebooks.
  2. LibreDigital: This company helps people find what they want to read and watch, on any medium.
  3. @e_reading: This feed comments on Kindle news and more.
  4. @RogerSPress: Roger publishes ebooks and has been reading them for 10 years already.
  5. @DigiBookWorld: Read about the latest trends in digital publishing.
  6. @ebooksstore: Follow @ebooksstore for interesting ebook news and releases.
  7. @ebookvine: This feed is all about Kindle.
  8. @vooktv: Now you can watch books on high-quality video online.
  9. @ebooklibrary: This is a feed for anyone who wants to learn more about free ebooks.
  10. @ericrumsey: Eric is a librarian who loves ebooks, his iPhone and the Internet.
  11. @namenick: Nick Name is an ebook addict and mobile fiction writer.
  12. @KindleZen: Get the latest in Kindle news and hacks.

Tech eBooks

Get programming, design and other tech assistance when you head to these ebook resources.

  1. Find magazines and IT books for reference and general interest.
  2. Find free computer ebooks on networking, MySQL, Python, PHP, C++ and more.
  3. KnowFree has mostly tech books for download, plus some business titles.
  4. This site has downloads in categories like artificial intelligence, functional programming and parallel computing.
  5. Zillr: From graphics to Linux to Office to Cisco, you’ll find all kinds of computer and tech books here.
  6. Tech Books for Free: From the web to computer programming to science, you’ll find all sorts of tech ebooks here.


Find poetry ebooks and collections here.

  1. Read classic poetry on this site.
  2. Greatest Poems: Here you will find a collection of 365 of the greatest poems ever written.
  3. Download poems in PDF format here.
  4. Poetry: You’ll find poetry ebooks for download on this site.


Share these interactive ebook resources with young students.

  1. International Children’s Digital Library: The ICDL is a colorful site devoted to children’s ebooks.
  2. ebook88: On this site, there’s a Christmas Bookshelf, and plenty of other kids’ ebook links.
  3. Children’s Storybooks Online: Find kids’ storybooks, home schooling materials, and more.
  4. Tumble Books: This Tumble BookLibrary features fun, animated, talking picture books.
  5. This is another interactive kids’ book site that helps kids learn to read.
  6. Children’s Books Online: the Rosetta Project, Inc.: Here you’ll find loads of books and translations for kids.
  7. From children’s classics to in-progress digital books, has excellent ebook resources.
  8. Storyline Online: The Screen Actors Guild Foundation presents Storyline Online with streaming videos of actors reading children’s books.


From social networking and ebooks to bundles of books, turn here.

  1. Scribd: This ebook finder and social network shares what people are currently reading, and lets you upload your own book.
  2. Diesel: Diesel has 500,000 ebook store downloads, including custom bundles, mobile downloads and some free titles.
  3. Get NYT bestsellers for $9.99 each, plus all kinds of academic ebooks, non-fiction and more.



Filed under: E-Books, , , ,

“Kindle”,the E-Book Reader




Stuart F. Brown

Scientific American

More and more people are gazing at electronic-book readers—lightweight slates about the size of a thin paper­back that can store up to 200 downloaded books. Although prior generations fizzled, Sony’s Reader, introduced in 2006, and Amazon’s Kindle, which debuted last year, are both selling well. The key difference is the screen.

Interactive: View the insides of the Kindle E-Reader

Researchers had wrestled with e-book readers for decades, but most sported power-thirsty, backlit LCD screens that glared in low light or were drowned out by bright sunlight. The breakthrough this time is a screen made with “electronic paper” from E Ink Corporation in Cambridge, Mass. Sony, Amazon and other makers worldwide are using the material.

E-paper displays are reflective: ambient light bounces off them, so they look and read like ordinary paper. The screens are very energy efficient, too. “The only power used is when you turn a page,” says Isaac Yang, manager of software product development at Sony in San Jose, Calif. No current is needed to sustain the characters on a page once it has been called up. Yang says about 7,500 pages can be turned on a single battery charge. Downloading books consumes additional power.

Sony’s Reader, roughly $300, has a stated capacity of about 160 books, which are found by linking it to a computer via a USB cable and going to the company’s online bookstore. Amazon’s Kindle, $400, can hold about 200 books and can download them by connecting to Sprint’s wireless data network. Amazon also offers paid subscriptions to certain newspapers and magazines. Newly released books typically cost around $10. Enthusiasts who have posted online reviews note, however, that the software for downloading and managing files can be a bit cumbersome.

The fonts on both the Sony and Amazon handhelds can be made larger or smaller, and both can display black-and-white jpeg and gif images, Microsoft Word documents and RSS news feeds. Each item, of course, will occupy some of the roughly 190 megabytes of memory.

Market analysts remain unsure about whether e-books and readers will ever become ubiquitous. Some people are fiercely attached to the tactility—and even the smell—of paper books and periodicals, whereas others love the idea of carrying around heaps of documents in a device weighing 10 ounces. Perhaps the next frontier—color screens—might sway the masses. E Ink is working on prototype e-paper that incorporates the red, green and blue filters needed to show full-color imagery; such a surface could potentially support downloaded video and books on a screen much bigger than a cell phone but much lighter than a laptop.

Did You Know …
RESOLVED: Reader screens made with E Ink paper have a resolution of 167 dots per inch (dpi). A typical ink-jet printer achieves 300 dpi, a Web page 72 dpi.

CHINA, FRANCE: eRead Technology’s STAReBOOK is popular in China, as is Bookeen’s Cybook in France. Les Echos, an electronic newspaper publisher in Paris, offers editions that can be downloaded over Wi-Fi connections onto the iLiad reader made by iRex in the Netherlands.

FORERUNNERS: Researchers at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center worked on an oil-filled microcapsule system named Gyricon in the 1970s. In 1971 Michael Hart, a University of Illinois student, obtained mainframe computer time to begin to digitize and archive books and other items, with the goal of someday distributing a massive digital library.

THE LAST BOOK: In 1997 Joseph Jacobson, a young professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and an eventual founder of E Ink, published a paper called “The Last Book.” In it he envisioned a hardcover book containing several hundred blank electronic pages. Futuristic memory chips in the book’s spine would hold the entire catalogue of the Library of Congress, and a simple control would display any one of those titles on its pages.

Stuart F. Brown is a writer in Irvington, N.Y.

Filed under: Article of the Week, , ,



colouring book for children


Filed under: Snippets,

New E-books



by Charles dickens 



 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle



by Franz Kafka

Filed under: E-Books, ,

Read online

Theory of Relativity


Tom Sawyer

Alice in wonderland


For more E-Books, visit

Filed under: E-Books, ,


Reading4Pleasure School 2020

Reading 4 Pleasure School 2020 Award



Real time News on Kendriya Vidyalayas on the web

Little Open Library (LOLib)

Tools for Every Teacher (TET)

Face a Book Challenge

e-reading Hub @ Your Library

Follow Us on Twitter

Learn anything freely with Khan Academy Library of Content

A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

Interactive challenges, assessments, and videos, on any topic of your interest.

Child Line (1098)

CHILDLINE 1098 service is a 24 hour free emergency phone outreach service for children in need of care and protection.

CBSE Toll Free Tele/Online Helpline

Students can call 1800 11 8004 from any part of the country. The operators will answer general queries and also connect them to the counselors for psychological counseling. The helpline will be operational from 08 a.m to 10 p.m. On-line counseling on:

Population Stabilization in India Toll Free Helpline

Dial 1800-11-6555 for expert advice on reproductive, maternal and child health; adolescent and sexual health; and family planning.

Kendriya Vidyalaya (Shift-I)
Thiruvananthapuram-695 004
Kerala India

Mail: librarykvpattom at