Free books for the Kindle

A while back I broke down and bought the Amazon Kindle, which I love. I have been waiting for a perfect ebook reader since I would like to get rid of any material possessions that are not necessary. Let’s face it, books are pretty useless unless you’re actively reading them. Books are an inefficient medium in that they are heavy and take up a lot of space.

One of my goals is to reduce my material possessions to the absolute minimum. Like many people I no longer own CD’s for music (having sold them several years ago), but I have also been scanning in all paper records and photos and have sold a lot of furniture and junk on Craigslist. I would eventually like to get to the point where my possessions consist of: a car, some clothing, computing tools, and a few personal effects.

We should welcome the transition to digital books. With digital books, no book has to go out of print and we can further remove the obstacles for authorship. When books are not printed on dead trees, anyone can be an author and publisher.

Anything that is essentially information: video, audio, text, etc. should be freed from its physical prison, like a soul from the body. We should focus on creating better output devices to display words. The Kindle is a step in the right direction and it makes me excited for the future.

In an age of mass production and cheap materialism, we are seeing a trend of devaluing mass-produced items while growing to appreciate true artifacts. In the near future, wealth will be measured in freedom rather than material accumulation, so it will be less important to own things, especially now that most things are cheap. Our lives are becoming cluttered with crap because crap has become cheap and commonplace. We ship bales of used clothing to Africa because we simply have no desire or need for it.

Through the wonder of market capitalism, the average American has more material wealth than the wealthiest individual one hundred years ago. Think: air conditioning, cheap food, transportation, television, cheap textiles, etc. As things have become cheaper, they have become less important. We will declutter by transitioning to digital formats and by focusing on durable items of high quality or items that are high in artifact value.

As usual, I digress. I started this entry to show you how to find free ebooks using Google. For any title or author, including for works currently unavailable on the Kindle, do a Google search like so: “fountainhead filetype:pdf” or “allinurl:dune frank herbert filetype:txt

If anyone has uploaded any of the books you are looking for to a web-accessible directory, chances are, Google knows about it. To get the book onto your Kindle, just email the file to your Kindle device email address and Amazon will convert it to the Kindle format and download to your Kindle.


  1. Charles Wilkes

    A nice Google trick I hadn’t tried. There’s no end to the depth of Google.
    Also I really envy your transition to a minimalist. I am terribly burdend with material possessions I can’t bear to just throw away, but would really like to see end up in the possession of someone who can appreciate them. I’m 82 years old now, and need to escape from my many too many years of accumulation for the sake of owning things, into the digital world of unlimited sstorage (perhaps on Google’s hard drives?) of things I bought in physical form due to lack of other means of ownership. These include books, music, video, and who knows where this can go in the future.

  2. You certainly can’t take it with you. The problem is that everyone has things they’d hate to see not appreciated. But, I guess if we all tried to pass along everything sentimental it would get pretty overwhelming.

  3. I so feel your pain here. Growing up moving every couple years, I think I developed an unhealthy attachement to things; as I had attached my memories to the “things” I could take with me to my new place.

    As an adult, and hopefully as I’ve matured, I’ve learned to attach belonging not to things, but to the thoughts, songs, art, photos, smells, etc. that rekindle those memories even more powerfully. I relish any opportunity to trash things now. I love to take car loads to Goodwill and send bags of outgrown clothes to friends. It’s to liberating.

    Books are treasures – not becuase of the paper they’re printed on, rather their wealth of experiences. I applaud your adoption of ebooks. But then again, you were always one smart cookie – and a fabulous memory. ;)

  4. I totally agree on the need to cut the clutter, BUT I’m so in love with real books. There’s something about the feel of the paper in my hands.

    However, I do make a point to shop only at half-price books or buy used books off Amazon… I love the idea that I’m reading something that someone else already read. And then, I only hold onto the ones that really spoke to me… the others go back into the stream. The idea is that someday I can have one of those cool libraries at home, full of all the stories I know and love. Geeky and sad, but we’ve all got our dreams.

  5. You damn well know who

    It’s not true that the ‘average’ of today have more than the wealthiest of the past. The wealthiest of the past always had things like gold and stocks that could be traded for services that most can’t access, and the ability to travel. They always had land and deeds to property that the average don’t. They had large places to live, more time to eat their food, and were more certain of food and a place to live for their children.

    There’s no “wonder of market capitalism” unless you WONDER at factory wastelands, large islands of plastic in the ocean, slaves in china, communities of people who live off trash-drumps in Mexico, people burning to death in factories in Thailand, and ecological collapse due to short-sighted “market capitalism.”
    Come on,
    WAKE UP! Wealth of the U.S. and Europe is due to theft, genocide, slavery, and imperialism.

  6. The average person has access to more material comforts. By and large, poverty is no longer equivalent with hunger, at least in the first and second world and for most of the third world. That is beyond dispute.

    As for the remainder of your comment, my reply is that there are two common ways to see the current state of the world: either as being better than it was 100-200 years ago or worse than it was 100-200 years ago. Most people, faced with those two options would agree that things are better now than they were 100-200 years ago. The reality is that some things are better, some things are worse. All the catastrophes you cite, are clearly exceptions that prove the general rule, ie. that market capitalism, human industry, has improved prospects for most people. Certainly, you do not claim that Thai factory fires are the rule? Certainly you do not advocate for a centrally planned economy? Where there is freedom, there will be capitalism.

    Is capitalism short-sighted? To me this question is the same as, is evolution short-sighted? Capitalism is value neutral. Whatever is important to the society will be important under capitalism. Capitalism is just a tool. If individual freedoms are important, they will be important with or without capitalism. I would actually argue that capitalism can facilitate the development of freedom by encouraging self-interest. While Chinese Communism has grafted on capitalistic principles we have just seen the beginning of the rising middle classes who will guarantee the further liberalization of China.