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Monday, May 22, 2023

Seniors Can Settle Down with Free eBooks

Tens of thousands of free eBooks are available on the internet with just a few clicks.

If you’ve ever wished that you had something good to read right now, consider the advantages of downloading books from the internet. You’ll never misplace a book or pay a late fine again. Ratings from other readers and authorities are right there to guide your picks. You can easily search for classics or bestsellers. And you never have to buy a book. That’s right: there is an enormous amount of free content if you know where to look.

The Best eReader  

While you can use your iPad or Android tablet for reading, a dedicated e-reader will make your experience much more enjoyable. E-readers have light that floods pages from the side for reading in dark spaces, rather than a backlit tablet. They also eliminate the distractions of email, texting, and other apps. And the best ones have access to a huge library of content. 

The Amazon Paperwhite Kindle Kids offers the best bang for your buck. Although designed for youngsters, seniors will appreciate the quality of this device paired with several extra features. It offers outstanding hardware, including an ample 6.8” screen size, USB-C port for faster, easier charging and soft-touch plastic that is lightweight and comfortable. Unlike most e-readers, it’s also waterproof for reading at the beach or in the tub, and it comes with a plastic cover. 

For about $160, the Paperwhite Kindle Kids provides crisp text with software that makes it easy to swipe or turn a page. The touch target to tap a footnote is larger than on other e-readers, and it’s simple to access Settings for adjusting brightness or changing to airplane mode by tapping the top of the screen. Stream audiobooks via Bluetooth and access the mammoth Amazon ebook catalog for reading material.

Did we mention the two year warranty or ad-free content? Although “kids” is in the name, everything about this e-reader makes it an ideal choice for older (or any) adults. But don’t be surprised if your grandchild wants to borrow it! The e-reader comes with a one-year free subscription to Amazon Kids+.

To view some other recommended ebook options, look here.
Happy reading!

  • Project Gutenberg. Featuring the world’s great literature, made available by volunteers who digitize works with expired copyrights. Find classics from Shelley’s “Frankenstein“ to Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice”.
  • Open Library. Users have donated more than a million ebooks searchable by title, author, and subject. It includes famous authors such as John Grisham and Roald Dahl.
  • Free eBooks. Contains a wide variety of material from business books to mysteries. Complete with reviews and ratings.
  • Hoopla and Libby by Overdrive. Use your library card to sign up for ebooks and audiobooks, including the most recent best sellers. (Some library systems use other platforms, but these are two of the most popular.) The drawback is that libraries only offer a set number of copies at any time. You can likely increase your chances by getting a non-resident library card in another city.
  • Feedbooks. The “public domain” section of this service will allow you to access books such as “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad or Jack London’s “The Scarlet Plague”. You do have to sign up, but it’s quick and easy.
  • PDF Books World. Plays, poems, and classic literature are available on this site. Read London’s “Call of the Wild” or Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”.
  • Librivox. If you prefer to access content via audiobook, this is the place for classics and works available in the public domain. The books are read by volunteers from around the world.
  • ManyBooks. More than 20,000 titles on subjects ranging from adventure to biographies. 
  • Bookboon. If what you’re looking for is a business book or educational textbook, this is the place to look. There’s no need to register to search the catalog.