Now that the traditional U.S. school year has ended, we begin the annual balancing act of entertaining our boys while trying to maintain a level of educational learning (or at least preventing the loss of everything they learned during the year). Both boys have at least four weeks of camps planned for the summer, including Boy Scout camp, kayaking trips, running camp, and zoo camp. They need time to recharge for the upcoming school year, but also need to maintain a high level of engagement to keep their minds developing. We have never been a big television watching family; however, we are all big readers. Since the boys were very young, they knew Mom would not always buy them toys, but would always buy them books.
While traveling, this practice became very heavy and expensive. We would often leave behind boxes of books that would not fit into our suitcases. A few years ago, the boys bought me a Kindle so I could download my books instantly instead of waiting for them to be shipped from England to Germany. My first book was downloaded on the Autobahn on our way to Calais, France. Last year, we bought the boys an iPad for their book collection. With our boys each reading a book a week, this activity became expensive.
Three websites I like for free or inexpensive ebooks are Gutenberg Project, BookGorilla and Lendle. We read books on our computers, iPads or iPhones ( I do not read on the iPhone because the font is way too small for me). The Gutenbook Project has over 42,000 classic ebooks to choose from for download. This site offers ebooks in English, German, and Portuguese. The books range from classics to self-published. I find this site difficult to browse when you do not know the title of the book, but good for just looking for any book to capture your interest. It is a great resource for classic books too.
My favorite site is BookGorilla. This site allows you to set your preferences to 22 different categories, from children’s books to cooking to how-to books. Every morning, you will receive an email from the categories you selected. Most ebooks are $1.99 and under with many selections FREE. I have downloaded over 30 books for the boys, from Rick Riorden’s new short story ($1.99) to classics such as The Three Musketeers ($ 0.99) and Treasure Island (free). I have most of my education research and cooking ebooks there. For Curtis, I have downloaded how-to optimize your e-business and how-to be competitive online ebooks.
Another site worth a look is Lendle, a virtual library for ebooks. You can upload your own current books to share with other e-readers and borrow others books free of charge. If someone wants to borrow a book you own, you will receive an email request. The loan is only for 14-days after which the ebook is automatically returned to your Kindle. Lendle has a selection of all of the current books on the best seller’s list. This is a great option if you can guarantee you will complete the book in 14-days.