Category Archives: Free Books

Calvin and Hobbes Go Free!

The entire run of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is now free to read online or via the Go Comics mobile app (again, for free). Calvin and Hobbes have been some of the best Sunday funnies reading ever. The strip has been put online in a promotional effort for an upcoming documentary called Dear Mr. Watterson.

Go read the strip

Calvin and Hobbes

I know I am going to check in on Calvin and his tiger ever day. I wonder if the film will be any good….

Church Street Books Scavenger Hunt

The bookish barristas at Church Street Coffee & Books have organized something cool next week. They call it ‘Bookstravaganza’ and it kicks off on April 22nd, with a books-themed scavenger hunt, ending April 26th. Starting on the 22nd,  the indie bookstore will start posting cryptic clues for their Facebook and Twitter followers. Once decoded, the answer will points to another local Birmingham business where a free book is waiting on the first successful code cracker. So that’s four days of following for freebies. Sounds fun!

They are also running a neat promo inside the store, which I’m anxious to go by and try out. Basically, they’re inviting you to scan the books, on the shelves, with your smartphone to get the super-secret discount (10%-50% off)  price. Some of the books will also score you a free cookie or coffee.

Other events planned during the week that is Bookstravaganza 2013:

April 22nd at 7p.m. – Q&A with murder-mystery author Jenny Milchman about her book Cover of Snow

April 23rd (all day)World Book Night giveaways, with hundreds of books to be given away free to help encourage reading. Many of which volunteers will hide in places around the city. This is a global event and very cool that they are participating.

So grab your decoder ring, smartphone barcode reader and follow Church Street Coffee & Books on Facebook and Twitter to play along next week. Bookstravaganza sounds like four days of fun promoting local businesses, reading and books, books, books!

Free ebook – The Da Vinci Code

da vinci code book coverThe publishers of Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code have made all ebook versions of the book FREE until March 24, 2013. This promotion is partly to note the fact that the book  is 10 years old and that Brown’s new book Inferno, ships in May 2013. These free ebooks all include a chapter from the upcoming Inferno book.

Here are some links to get your free copy on your preferred reading platform:

Amazon Kindle – The Da Vinci Code – Free

Google Play – The Da Vinci Code – Free

Apple iBooks – The Da Vinci Code – Free

Kobo – The Da Vinci Code – Free

Don’t forget you have until March 24th to download your free ebooks.

inferno dan brown book cover

Read Library eBooks on your Apple iOS Device

You can now download and read free ebooks from the JCLC OverDrive system, on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. I’ve been doing this for two weeks now, and other than a lack of sleep from all of the reading, I have had no issues. This week I finished up two paper books and three ebooks, all thanks to the BlueFire Reader app and the JCLC eBooks system.

It’s a pretty straight forward process. I get pretty detailed in my steps, so please don’t let the number of steps deter you from trying this. Here is how you check out and read the library eBooks on your iOS device:

  1. Download the free BlueFire Reader app (iTunes link) to your device and create an account.
  2. Download the free Adobe Digital Editions desktop reader and create an account. This puts the Adobe Digital Editions program on your computer, which will act as “home base” and authenticate your ebooks.
  3. Launch the BlueFire Reader app, on your device, tap on “info” and authorize your app with your Adobe Digital Editions password.

Now, that you are all legit you are ready to check out a book!

  1. Go to the JCLC site (or your library’s downloadable site) and sign in.
  2. Check out a book. An .acm “key” file will download to your computer. Use your Adobe Digital Editions program to open this file, this will download the .epub (the actual book) file to your computer. You can now read that book on your computer.
  3. From your computer, send yourself an email, with that .epub file as an attachment.
  4. Now check your email on your iOS device. The attachment will appear with the BlueFire Reader logo.
  5. Tap and hold on that icon until the fly-out menu appears saying “Open with BlueFire Reader”, which you will select.
  6. BlueFire Reader app will now launch and you can start reading! Once your “checkout period” has expired the file will deactivate from your iOS device and your computer desktop.

I’ve also heard of people using free services like DropBox to get the book file on their device, but I haven’t tried it. The BlueFire folks are on Twitter and have been really responsive to all of my support questions. The OverDrive team is on Twitter too. I know that OverDrive and Sony have both promised Adobe DE-friendly apps soon, so BlueFire won’t be the only option. But as of right now, it’s certainly the best.

Let me know what you think and if you read anything good!