If you go to the Kindle Store by way of your Kindle’s wireless connection and type “free ebooks” into the search store window, you’ll discover a couple of not-free ebooks on how to obtain free ebooks! I was amused by the irony of this. There is, however, an absolutely free way to find and download free e-ooks for your Kindle. Here’s how:
On your computer go to Project Gudenberg’s download page for the Magic Catalog. The Magic Catalog is itself a free ebook (in .mobi format, which is compatible with Kindle). The Magic Catalog contains thousands of free ebooks stored on the Project Gutenberg server. I quote from Project Gutenberg’s website: “Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.”
Once you have the magic catalog downloaded to your computer, connect your Kindle to your computer by the USB cable which came with your Kindle. Open the icon for the Kindle. (Windows users will find this icon by going to the start menu at the bottom left of the screen, then clicking on “Computer” or “My Computer”, and then double clicking on the Kindle Drive icon, Drive F).
After double clicking you will see the contents of the Kindle drive. Locate the Magic Catalog .mobi file you downloaded earlier, and drag and drop it into the Documents folder of the Kindle drive. Congratulations! You have now installed the Magic Catalog on your Kindle. Disconnect your Kindle from your computer.
You’re now ready to use the Magic Catalog. Turn on your Kindle and make sure its wireless connection is turned on. (The on/off toggle for the wireless connection is the top listed item when you press the “Menu” button.)
Press the “Home” button. If you have a few ebooks on your Kindle you should see the Magic Catalog listed on the first page, but if you have a lot of ebooks installed, you may have to press the page advance button to find the page where the Magic Catalog is listed among your installed ebooks. With the Kindle selector button (the four-way selector button with a dot selector button in the center), advance the bold underline downward by means of the downward arrow until it comes to rest under the title, “Magic Catalog of Project Gutenberg.” Press the dot portion of the selector button.
You will now be reading the contents of the magic catalogue. You are ready to search its contents. Press the “Menu” button and advance the bold underline with the downward arrow of the selector button until it rests under the words, “Search This Book.” Press the dot of the selector button. Use the Kindle’s keyboard to type in the author or book title you wish to search for. Press the right arrow on the selector button, which highlights the “find” button. Now press the dot of the selector button. A list of all the ebook entries bearing your search string will appear, divided into numbered locations. This list may be many screens long. You can view subsequent screens by pressing the page advance button.
Browse this list of available ebooks bearing your search string. If you see an ebook that you would like to download, advance the bold underline with the selector button until it rests under the location in which that ebook is listed. Press the dot of the selector button.
You are now ready now to select and install the ebook you want. Press the down arrow on the four-way selector. You will see a pointing finger now, instead of a bold underline. Advance the finger until it points to the ebook you want to download and install. Press the dot of the selector button. A window will appear asking whether you want to download the .mobi file you have selected. The “yes” button is already highlighted, but if you have second thoughts and don’t want to download that ebook, select the “no” option.
Assuming you pressed the dot of the selector button, you will find the ebook installed on your Kindle. (When you are using the wireless mode of obtaining Kindle ebooks, downloading a file from the server automatically installs the ebook on your Kindle. There is no separate installation process required).
So where is the ebook you installed? You will find it listed among your other installed ebooks, by pressing the “Home” button. To read your new free ebook, advance the bold underline until it rests under the title, then press the dot of the selector button.
You will notice that Project Guttenberg ebooks begin with some introductory content concerning Project Gutenberg. Just keep pressing the page advance button to get past this content and to the meat of your free Project Gutenberg ebook.
By the way, Project Gutenberg works entirely by voluntary contributions of time and money, so if you would like to help provide free ebooks to others, go to Project Gutenberg and see how you can get involved.