Saturday, December 17, 2005

Free books and free software!

Okay, it's way too early in the morning, but I was up for my daughter's diaper change, and can't go back to sleep yet.

If you've been following my book reviews blog, you'll know I love science fiction. At the Baen Free Library, you can get quite a few free science fiction books that Baen has published over the years. From their point of view, they get to hook readers onto new series and new authors, so that you want to buy the new books when they're published. From your point of view, you get free books!

Okay, so free books are great, but I've never liked reading books on the computer. The Baen Free Library gives you books in formats suitable for different eBook readers, but I've never been attracted to those, either. Lately, though, I found a piece of free software that works perfectly for me.

It's called yBook, and is an eBook reader that tries to simulate the feeling of reading a physical book. It provides two facing pages, you can turn pages, and the background and typeface tries to simulate the printed page. I've read a couple of books using it now, and find that it fixes whatever problem I was having reading books on the computer.

You can get yBook free from SpaceJock Software. The best part is that yBook will load web pages, correctly parsing out formatting such at italics or bold text, and display it in the yBook format on screen.

So, you can download the HTML version of books from the Baen Free Library, and then use yBook to read it on your computer. If you absolutely must have a printed version, yBook can print the books.

A great combination of free books and free software should keep you busy reading for quite some time!

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