03/1/14

Are Free E-Books Any Good?

images (3)If you own an e-reader, or just a simple computer or smart phone, you can find a virtual gold rush of free e-books to download. You can read these on your e-readers, smart phones, or your personal computer. The main complaint about all of these free books is that people figure that anything that is given away cannot be all that good. It is true that most free e-books are self-published. There are many professional authors who self-publish who produce very high quality work. Some of them are well known or are becoming well known. Some of the authors are not very well know, but they hope to establish themselves as fan favorites. Actually, some classics and older books have expired copyrights, and they have moved into the public domain. There are organizations that accept donations and use volunteers in order to publish these books so people can download and enjoy them.

03/1/14

Free Craft Books to Download on Kindle

Free Knitting and Craft Books. Finding books online: You should check for free versions of older books before buying older ones to download, as many are now in the public domain (the ones people charge money for have often been reformatted in some way). Searching for specific terms, like “embroidery” instead of “sewing or “knitting” instead of “craft” is often necessary, as there are few keywords in free books descriptions to help you find them!

Kindle Books- You can download a kindle app to read these on your computer, phone, and iPad. Kindle books might not work on the Nook, Sony, or other eBook readers. These book can all be found to download for kindle or can be read through the Gutenberg website (which often has the pictures for the book, if available).

Exercises in Knitting. No pictures for most of the patterns. Includes patterns to make finished items and patterns to design your own (lace patterns, etc). Patterns do not tell you what abbreviations mean (for increases, for example), so it is hard to tell if the patterns are correct. Handbook of Wool Knitting and Crochet Includes instructions for sweater, hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, etc in knit and crochet. The Ladies’ Work-Book Containing Instructions In Knitting, Crochet, Point-Lace, etc Includes both a large number and wide variety of patterns, from childern’s clothing to housewhere.images

The Ladies’ Work-Table Book Containing Clear and Practical Instructions in Plain and Fancy Needlework, Embroidery, Knitting, Netting and Crochet
Variety of patterns, limited instructions (old patterns did not include as much information as patterns do now) Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving. Includes information on tools, set up, and weaving.

Vegetable Dyes Being a Book of Recipes and Other Information Useful to the Dyer. This book needs a review all by itself. Suffice to say, like most old dye book, the information may not be completely accurate (this book contains information on dyeing with dandelion root, which people have not been able to duplicate the color of). Vegetable Dyes is, however, an interesting read, and unlike many of the natural dye book on the market, is chock full of text and information, not just pictures.

Embroidery and Needlework Books: Beeton’s Book of Needlework. Tatting, knitting, and embroidery patterns. Keep in mind that written patterns often use different language and make different assumptions than we do now.Art in Needlework  No pictures, but describes various embroidery types and stitches. General Craft Books: Things To Make by Archibald Williams

Geared more towards the home inventor than crafter, it is all about building models and useful things for the home (shed, bench, rain gauge…). However, there are no pictures in the free version. A Course In Wood Turning by Otto K. Wohlers and Archie S. Milton. Exactly as it sounds. Gutenberg version of Wood Turning includes detailed pictures.

03/1/14

Did You Know That You Can Get FREE Foreign Language Books?

downloadAre you tired of getting out the credit card every time you want to obtain a new foreign-language learning tool? When you start to tally up, the bottom line can be shocking: a couple of software programs, listen-and-speak audio package(s), dictionary, grammar textbook(s), reading material, audio books … KaCHING! It adds up quickly.

However, there is a plethora of FREE foreign language reading material available on the Internet. Whenever you have a few minutes to spare, you can read on your computer, Blackberry, smartphone, PDA or other electronic reading device. It is easy once you know how. This article explains.

The first thing you must do is to obtain software. Mobipocket.com (an Amazon.com subsidiary) is your first stop. Go to the “Free Downloads” area on the left hand side of the page and click on “Free Software”. Download and install both Mobipocket Reader and Mobipocket Creator.

Return to the Mobipocket.com home page and select “Download free eBooks”. Pick the language you are learning and download the eBooks in which you are interested. Within just a few minutes, you can be reading public domain classics. The software bookmarks your spot whenever you leave a book, so you never lose your place. As this article is written, Mobipocket hosts over 11,500 free books in more than 25 different languages.

You can find even more books at Project Gutenberg – Gutenberg.org. Some books at their site are already in mobi format. Others can be formatted very quickly and easily by using Mobipocket Creator to import text, html, pdf, or Microsoft Word files.

Under the Project Gutenberg “Free Books” area, choose the link for their “Online Book Catalog”. Choose a foreign language and alpha browse by author or title – or scroll down on the page until you see a book of interest. This site presents over 50 languages with more than 28,000 books. They also have partners and affiliates, increasing the total number of titles available to over 100,000. That should keep you busy for awhile.

Be sure to check the above websites for links to others providing similar or complementary services. Still looking for more? Try a search in your favorite search engine for “free books online”. Alternatively, try something like “free books online German”, substituting “German” for the foreign language you are learning. You will never lack for reading material – and it is absolutely FREE.