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FREE eBooks with Google Books - Magazines & Kids Book Too!

Updated on May 3, 2012

So the other night at work I had a rare evening that presented itself with a unique situation: I was bored! That’s right, I had done everything there was to do, and I simply didn’t have any customers to deal with. I was expecting a much busier night so I actually didn’t have any of my standard entertainment or reading materials. I ran through all of my blog reading online, and there caught up on all the news from the day before. As my eye lids slowly began to close I realized I had to do something to keep my mind occupied for the next 6 hours.

Since I didn’t have anything interesting to read, I decided to seek out an eBook to read and figured I would need to find out a fancy way to actually read it on the company computer. As it turns out I just happened to stumble upon a perfect solution. Through a bit of web surfing, I realized that there really isn’t anything that Google can’t do of you! You may not know it, but Google actually has a service called Google Books. At first I thought it was just another eBook store that I would have to pay a few bucks for an interesting read, but I was wrong. Google books is so much more!

The launch page for Google books is the standard minimalist design, with a simple search tool and login. Although you don’t necessarily need to register for the site I have found it beneficial to log into google books using my Gmail account. (More on that later) At this point, I had absolutely no idea what I was in the mood to red, so I decided to click on the “Browse Books and Magazines” link. Wait.. Backup a bit….. Magazines too? That’s right, it’s not just books, they also have magazines as well!

When I started browsing the books and magazines they had to offer, I was pleasantly surprised to find many categories from classic books to a few of the more current items on my potential reading list. As far as magazines go, don’t expect to get the most current issue of Popular Mechanics, but instead think of this as a repository of back issues! I found everything from Jet magazine, to Vegetarian Times. Of particular interest was the Weekly World News that I used to love flipping through at the grocery store! You can literally flip through old magazines and they are faithfully reproduced on your computer screen in all of their glory! They are actual scans of the magazines themselves. I also thought it was pretty cool to check out a few of the really old Life magazines to see the different types of advertisements in them. Things certainly have changed quite a bit.

So what about the little ones in your life? Google Books has you covered there too. There are classic books available for free, and there seems to be a pretty big selection of actual eBooks you can purchase as well. I was surprised to find one of my childhood favorites”The Mouse And The Motorcycle” was available as an eBook. Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s really lame to read your kid a bed time story at the computer desk and then whisk them away to their bed after the fact right? I certainly agree and I don’t even technically have a kid yet. Google also has you covered. You can download a free app on iPad, iPhone, and even an Android app is available to get your books to where your kids are. Do you have a nook or a kindle? Many of the books are also available in an ePub of PDF format, which many of the popular book readers can view as well.

If you have a Gmail account, you can actually log into google books and create your own digital library! You can group books and magazines together, create public bookshelves (sorta like Amazon Lists), and keep track of which books you have read and plan to read. The best reason for getting a login for the system though is that google will automatically remember the last pay you left off. You can’t really beat a digital bookmark.

Overall, I think this is great idea and a pretty good alternative to the Barnes & Noble ebook store. I certainly don’t mind spending a few bucks on a good digital book, if it’s available across multiple platforms even better. Even better than a low cost ebook? A FREE eBOOK! Google really got this one right, and look forward to spending my time on their site!


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