The real secret advantage of eBooks, the real reason to buy and eReader and start downloading, may be that you can get a lifetime’s worth of reading for about $25â€”the collected works of Dickins, Hardy, Twain, James, and many others are all available for under $5 each from MobileReference, a company that makes these and other public domain works available on Kindle and other eReaders. Of course, you can get all fo this for free through Project Gutenberg, but not with meticulously (and conveniently) linked tables of contents and some measure of textual authority, which is what you get with the MobileReference editions.
Most likely some of you have heard about MobileReference and have some of their eBooks on your eReaders, but we were so excited–we’ve cleared the calendar for the next few cenmturies–that we wanted to share our excitement on a Friday. Check out the Mark Twain edition: you get all the major novels, including Tom and Huck; the stories, such as the one about the jumping frog and “The Diary of Eve”; the important nonficiton works like ‘Life on the Mississippi’; and a whole bunch of other stuff you’ve never heard of. And the linked TOCs are really helpfulâ€”from the main TOC you can drill down into each individual book’s own linked TOC, to get to specific chapters or stories. And, of course, it’s all searchable.
Public domain works have always been fairly cheap, and big publishers like Penguin puff them up a little with fancy annotations and introductions. But if you’re just looking for something great to read, not to carry with you to ‘Intro to Lit: 200BC-2012’, well-made eBook editions of the classics like these can’t be beatâ€”you can carry several bookcases with you on an eReader wherever you go. Right now, amidst all the pricing battles, frontlist eBooks may indeed be a ripoff; these MobileReference classics are anything but.