iPad iBookstore to include over 30,000 free books

Apple definitely isn’t known for giving things away for free. However, folks who shell out the $499 for an iPad next month won’t have to max out their credit card on book purchases. AppleInsider reports that the Mac maker has already listed over 30,000 free books on its iBookstore.

The free titles, all public-domain works, were digitized by Project Gutenberg—and it sounds like they span the entirety of the volunteer effort’s library. (The Project Gutenberg website describes itself as "the place where you can download over 30,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, iPhone, Kindle, Sony Reader or other portable device.")

Aside from beefing up the iBookstore and further legitimizing the iPad as an e-book reader, the addition of Project Gutenberg e-books may also help keep Apple in control of print content on the device.

AppleInsider points out that, when the iPhone App Store first opened, third parties offered many individual "apps" containing single public-domain books. Making the same titles available for free on the iBookstore could keep the App Store uncluttered and ensure users do their reading in the official iBooks app. Also, according to AppleInsider, keeping books off the App Store will make the task of managing adult content easier.

Comments closed
    • Willard
    • 13 years ago

    At the risk of betraying my utter ignorance of things Apple, I have to note that the link goes to Appleinsider, which links to a blog called appadvice, which links to another article in the same blog. So is this just a scam to increase link counts, or is there really an online “iBook” store?

    • Trymor
    • 13 years ago

    Dude, chill. I have never even touched a blackberry, or an android device. The last device I used before my current *[

    • albundy
    • 13 years ago

    heh, well, since it is apple, I’d assume that it’s 100% gay porn. i could be wrong. there might be a -[

    • jdaven
    • 13 years ago

    So in your eyes the ‘smart choice’ is RIM or Android. Lol! Let me guess, that’s what you have. Lol! People never cease to amaze me.

    I like myself. I think I’m smart. Therefore everything I do, say, buy, etc. is well you know, the ‘smart choice’. Arrgghhh. When will people realize that what’s best for them is NOT THE BEST FOR EVERYONE (or even the ‘smart choice’).

    The world doesn’t revolve around Trymor. Neither does the world revolve around where Trymor works.

    • opinionated
    • 13 years ago

    I imagine any bookstore would gladly give you a free book that didn’t cost them anything if they could sell you a $500 widget to go with it.

    • Trymor
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • Mr Bill
    • 13 years ago

    Maybe Apple just wants to keep people in the habit of expecting the DRM built into Apples book management system. Too many things that really are free could get people to wondering why they should pay so much for crippled books.

    • Trymor
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • Xenolith
    • 13 years ago

    How good is their porn collection?

    • Trymor
    • 13 years ago

    Doh! 10

    • designerfx
    • 13 years ago

    no.

    all they’re saying is “hey! look at us! we’re caught up to the rest of the world!”

    Meanwhile, it’s not even 30 thousand books. This is just a number they fabricated. You can tell, because, oh, it’s 30 thousand.

    • jpostel
    • 13 years ago

    This is a check box for comparing the iPad to ereaders. If the masses will be using the iPad as an ereader, then they will want to get all books and magazines and newspapers the same way. So opening Safari and browsing to gutenberg is one step too many for the process.

    The logic is well established for the iPhone. Why are there so many apps for things that can just be seen via Safari? e.g. apps for website content like Engadget. Because some people prefer it that way.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 13 years ago

    Apple is making it easy for you to get free content. That’s kind of remarkable.

    Imagine if you walked into a book store and asked an employee where the Shakespeare was. He then took you to the section where they are selling it and said “or you can just have this book for free.”

    • Skrying
    • 13 years ago

    You would be shocked how many don’t know Project Gutenberg even exists let alone what titles are available on it. Additionally surfing the Gutenberg website isn’t exactly a joy. I’d be happy if any major industry force creates a quality interface to access those works. Just so happens Apple is doing it. So yes, it is newsworthy.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    Have you all tried the website? It basically sucks. I’ll just stick with the library, it is also free, BTW. And I will not be surprised if they adopt this concept and then every book in the Library of Congress will be freely available.

    It is a marketing gimmick from Apple. I think they are just scared cuz the iPad is not the next hotness.

    • blastdoor
    • 13 years ago

    IT guy enjoys screwing over employees, making their lives more difficult. Film at 11:00.

    • jdaven
    • 13 years ago

    For me, I always have a nice laugh when someone requests a work issued 1 GHz digital oscilloscope and they write “LeCroy” on the request form. The look on their face when I hand them a Tektronix is priceless. LeCroy gets no love at my work.

    Oh wait, we are just talking about any random commercial product handed out in the work place and not fixating on an irrational hatred towards something made out of silicon and metal, right?

    • d0g_p00p
    • 13 years ago

    I always have a nice laugh when someone requests a work issued smartphone and they write “iPhone” on the request form. The look on their face when I hand them a Black Berry is priceless. iPhone gets no love at my work.

    If Apple ever gets serious with supplying enterprise level features for the iPhone it might gain more market share over RIM. As it stands though BB still have the edge over the iPhone for a business smartphone.

    • jdaven
    • 13 years ago

    Whereas I agree with the fat and lazy part about Americans, I have never seen a trend where a product line became more and more complicated as a feature. Even Linux has gotten easier to install and use over the years. I find it hard to believe that Palm, Microsoft or RIM would advertise tricky interface and difficult to use in any future products as a feature.

    • Trymor
    • 13 years ago

    I agree. For the lazy masses, making it easy, slick, entertaining to choose from over 10,000 books is a win.

    Look what the iPhone did to Windows mobile. WM is/was a much more capable platform. Apple is even convincing RIM users to eschew their business provided Blackberries for a slick, easy iPhone.

    Remember our stereotype (in the U.S. anyway)…fat and lazy. It looks like technology is just serving to enforce that trend…

    • sweatshopking
    • 13 years ago

    it isnt news worthy. NEWS ALERT APPLE LETS YOU USE FREE STUFF FOR FREE!!! WOW!! WHAT A DEAL!!! sorry. who cares. if they didnt, F them even more.

    • Ardrid
    • 13 years ago

    How does that matter though? We’re talking about public domain works. Anyone can download them for free. While it’s nice that Apple is making Project Gutenberg directly accessible through the iBookstore, there’s nothing that would stop someone from using Safari to do the same. I have to agree: this isn’t newsworthy..

    • HiggsBoson
    • 13 years ago

    Public-domain content is only “free” as in speech, so yes, if they are allocating server space and bandwidth to provide this content for free, as in beer, it’s newsworthy.

    Edit: meant as a reply to #1

    • glynor
    • 13 years ago

    I think it would be newsworthy if /[

    • Hattig
    • 13 years ago

    It’s good that you’ll be able to get the Gutenberg library of titles with ease and integrated into the iPad’s software rather than a download/copy/tweak/munge process. This will expose those titles to a massive audience. There’s a lot of great titles there.

    • crsh1976
    • 13 years ago

    It is for Apple, considering nobody believes in their Kindle-crushing plans.

    • Farting Bob
    • 13 years ago

    Is offering public-domain content for free really newsworthy?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!