So you have eReaders for your class? I do hear of more and more classrooms picking up some nooks or Kindles for reading kiosks throughout their classroom. A good idea too, to motivate kids to do some reading, or maybe you give a reading group the nooks. Whatever the reason, it definitely poses a challenge for getting additional content on them. It’s not like schools give teachers a credit card to use, and some places, like Amazon, do not accept purchase orders. So what to do?
Well, the first thing is remember, even if you do not possess eReaders, you can use eReading content in your classroom. Yup, you can download nook and Kindle apps to your phone, iPods, iPads, tablets, or even desktops. So no excuse to not possess this great content. So where to next? The first place to check would be Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page). Here you can find 33,000+ eReader titles. These free downloads are available in all eReader formats, ePub, .pdf, HTML, and Kindle. They do ask for a small donation, which I would think I teacher could donate $5 or so when downloading a bunch of content. A note on Copyright–the content at Project Gutenberg has cleared US Copyright. Check your country to make sure it cleared there.
Of course we all know what Google is trying to do with books…digitize them all. At http://books.google.com/, you can search through their large collection of digitized works. Depending on what you want, you will find most of the Classics in their entirety. From the books page, most cannot be downloaded, but you can read them through a browser, whether on a tablet, phone, or desktop. The Google Bookstore, however, does contain eBooks in all the popular flavors. Most are to purchase, although purchasing through Google allows you to download to a reader, but always read from the website as well. Of course, they contain many public domain works to freely download.
Finally, a newcomer, Manybooks.net (http://manybooks.net//). Here you can also find a wide variety of content. They advertise 29,000 titles, and while you will find many of the typical ones elsewhere, it gives you a clean way to search, or just go by categories of title, author, etc.
Lots of ways to get great content. While much of the ‘free’ stuff is the Classics, I see no reason for any teacher not to use this. With some creativity, you can use it in a high school English course, obviously, but also in a K-5 classroom. Definitely a way to generate interest in reading, at a good price.