A man ought to read just as inclination leads him, for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
--Samuel Johnson

Many book reviews at MrFloresReads have links for buying e-book and audiobook versions of the books Mr. Flores has read and reviewed. Here's some information about e-books and e-readers.


E-books are electronic forms of books. Instead of being printed on paper, words and images are stored in a special file that can be read using a computer program, a special device, or an app on a smartphone or tablet. E-books can be purchased through various online stores, and some (mostly classics) can even be downloaded for free! Many library systems are starting to offer e-books for free checkout. Here on MrFloresReads, many books appear with links to purchase the e-book version directly from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Audible. To enjoy the books, you will need the appropriate device or app.

E-books are cool because they can be carried easily on your portable e-reader or mobile device. You can have a whole library with you wherever you go without having to carry a stack of books! Also, most e-reader devices and apps have cool features like bookmarking, note taking, and the ability to look up unfamiliar words using a built-in dictionary.


The NOOK Color Reader

The Barnes & Noble NOOK is the device Mr. Flores prefers. He reads novels on his black & white e-ink NOOK Simple Touch™, but there are also the full-color NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet for reading novels or picture books and even watching movies. NOOKs reads books in a file format called EPUB (".epub"), which are available at many sites. Virtually every e-reader (except Kindle) can read EPUB books.

If you don't have a NOOK, you can still read NOOK and other EPUB e-books on your computer, tablet or smartphone using the free NOOK Apps. Just download an app, register with Barnes & Noble using an e-mail address, then start reading!


A white Kindle e-reader

The Amazon Kindle is the most famous and most popular e-reader out there. Like the NOOK, it also comes in many "flavors" including different sized e-ink readers and the full-color Kindle Fire. It reads its own special file format called Kindle(".azw"). No other e-readers can read this format.

Also like the NOOK, the Amazon offers free Kindle Apps for reading Kindle books on your computer or handheld device.

Audible Audiobooks

Mobile devices running Audible app

Audiobooks are not the same as the e-books described above. Do you like having books read to you? If so, then you will love Audible.com! Of course, the best way to listen to a book is to have a loved one like Mom, Dad, or an older brother or sister read it to you. But for times when they aren't around, Audible is your best friend! Download and listen to books on your iPod, MP3 player, computer, or smartphone. The Audible Apps are free, of course. Audiobooks are great anywhere, but they are super for long trips in the car. Going on vacation? Get a good novel and the next thing you know, you've arrived at your destination! Often, Mr. Flores will actually sit in his car an extra few minutes because he can't wait to hear what happens next!

Other E-readers

There are dozens of e-readers out there. Other fairly popular makes are the Sony Reader™ and Kobo eReaders. Both of these brands of e-readers also read EPUB books, so if you are looking to get a book featured on MrFloresReads onto those devices, you can buy through their stores or click on the "Get this book for your NOOK" link. After you buy it from B&N, you can download it to your computer and sync it to your reader.

There are also tons of apps for reading on smartphones and computers. Mr. Flores uses Cool Reader to read free EPUBs on his Android phone. It is a fast, free reader with lots of features and it even integrates with Fora Dictionary for looking up unfamiliar words.

For checking out e-books from the library, Mr. Flores uses Adobe Digital Edition. It opens books downloaded from the library and connects directly to the e-reader device to load it on there. Check with your local library if you are not part of the Riverside County or San Bernardino County (California) library systems. They can let you know what you need to check out e-books from them.

Mr. Flores has piles of free e-books. (Wait, is it possible to have "piles" of electronic files?) To keep track of them and transfer them to his e-reader, he uses Calibre. It can transfer e-books to connected devices and it can convert book formats and create e-books from specially written files. Mr. Flores uses these functions, but you probably won't ever need this specialized app. The apps and devices made specifically for your product should be exactly what you need.

Free E-Books and Audiobooks

online library graphic

The good news is that there really are free books available! The bad news is that there are only a few good ones for kids. The best place for current free novels in e-book form is your local library's online site. More and more libraries are offering this service so take advantage. One downside to this great, free service is that you may have to wait for the e-book to become available. Mr. Flores had to wait almost two months to check out The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. But it was free! The more popular the title, the longer you may have to wait, just like in "real life" where you would actually go to the library building to check out the printed version.

Another good source for free books is Project Gutenberg, which is named after the inventor of the first printing press to use movable type. (Check out a video of how a Gutenberg press works.) This site provides e-book versions of books that are in the "public domain". This means they were published a long time ago, but there are a lot of really good books that are considered "classics". Classic children's literature that can be found at the Gutenberg Project include Little Women, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, as well as lots of other lesser-known stories and novels. Virtually all versions are offered in both EPUB and Kindle versions. You will need to connect your reader to your computer to copy the downloaded e-book to your device.

If you are looking for free audiobooks, check out LibriVox. Again, the books here are all classics in the public domain. They are all read by non-professionals so some versions are really well done but others, not so much. Also, you have to download and sync the chapters by hand (there's no app like for Audible audiobooks).

Finally, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer free books for their e-readers. Unfortunately, they are mostly public domain books or stories aimed at adults or both. Barnes & Noble storefront You can check out "Totally Free kindle Books" if you own a Kindle or have a Kindle app on your mobile device. But, if you own a NOOK and live near a Barnes & Noblestore , you can read any e-book they have for free! If you are in the store with your NOOK, you can connect to their wi-fi and read any book they have in their e-book catalog for an hour a day. Another reason Mr. Flores prefers NOOK!

Ami - 10/28/2012


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