Tag Archives: Ebooks

Click a Few Buttons To Get a Free $1 Kindle Ebook Credit

If you have any inkling that you might want to buy a Kindle ebook before the end of the month, here’s a free $1 credit. All you have to do is hit “Subscribe” on this page to sign up for Amazon’s daily Kindle Deals newsletter, then hit “Claim this promotion” to have the $1 credit added to your account.

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This Free Ebook Teaches You How to Combine Typefaces In Your Designs

This Free Ebook Teaches You How to Combine Typefaces In Your Designs

Getting your typeface right in an image is important to designers and non-designers alike. Once you’ve got a handle on the basics, this free ebook teaches the more advanced tricks of combining multiple typefaces.

The book, from now-shuttered publisher Five Simple Steps, offers insight into how to choose typefaces that complement each other and fit within the context of your design. Whether you’re working on an advertising campaign for a multimillion dollar company, or just making a flyer for a lost cat, the typefaces you choose can make a huge difference in how much people pay attention to your design.

Combining Typefaces: Free guide to great typography | Adobe Typekit Blog

Amazon’s New Kindle Oasis Is $289 Worth Of Luxury Ereader

Amazon's New Kindle Oasis Is $289 Worth Of Luxury Ereader

Today, Amazon announced a brand new addition to the Kindle lineup. The Oasis is by far the most expensive Kindle around, but it also aims to be the nicest.

The Oasis has a curved edge, designed to fit neatly into one hand while you’re reading. It shares the same 300ppi screen as the Kindle Voyage, but it contains more LEDs so you can adjust the brightness to more varying degrees.

The Oasis also comes with a leather case, which includes a built-in battery. Slimming down the Oasis itself removed some space for the battery, but the case helps boost it back up. Amazon says that the combined dual-battery strategy makes the device last months.

Whether or not it’s worth the $289 is up to you. For avid readers who never put their Kindle down, the Oasis is probably the nicest one you can get right now. For casual readers, though, it could be a bit of sticker shock. Fortunately, you have a lot of cheaper Kindles to choose from if that’s the case.

Kindle Oasis | Amazon

Get 50 Classic Children’s eBooks for Free from Billion eBook Gift

Get 50 Classic Children's eBooks for Free from Billion eBook Gift

Reading is fundamental. Not only is that true, it’s the name of the nonprofit that is giving away 50 free ebooks to all families, starting today in honor of #GivingTuesday.

The books are digitally mastered in HD and available in both English and Spanish. To get them, you’ll need to create an account at Billion eBook Gift and then either use the ustyme app on Android or iOS or read them from ustyme’s web site. (Ustyme is a free app platform that distributes family content including books and games. It also has a Facetime-like live video feature, so you can read with your kids from afar.)

It’s a nice collection of short, well-illustrated stories including classics like The Three Billy Goats Gruff, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and The Tortoise and the Hare. There are a couple of holiday books in there as well.

Billion eBook Gift via GeekDad

Give The Gift of Bottomless Books With Up To 40% off Kindle Unlimited

Give The Gift of Bottomless Books With Up To 40% off Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is basically Netflix for ebooks and audiobooks, and Amazon’s offering a very rare discount on the service today for Cyber Monday. You’ll save 25% if you lock in a 6-month subscription, 33% for a full year, and 40% for two years. If you love to read, this should pay for itself. [Up to 40% off a Kindle Unlimited Subscription]

More Cyber Monday Deals


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Send deal submissions to Deals@Gawker and all other inquiries to Shane@Gawker.

Technical Books and Videos from O’Reilly Are Half Off Through Cyber Monday

Technical Books and Videos from O'Reilly Are Half Off Through Cyber Monday

O’Reilly is one of the biggest sources of tech ebooks and videos. If you or someone you know could use a new book or two on programming, design, and other techie topics, this weekend and Monday are the perfect time to shop.

Everything is half off on the site through the end of Cyber Monday, including the company’s Safari learning library, which includes a year of access to video training, O’Reilly conference content, and books from over 200 publishers. Normally it’s $399, but $199 with the sale.

The titles available aren’t all computer or programming related either. Jeff Potter’s excellent Cooking for Geeks, for example, is available for half off.

The sale is even better if you spend over $100: You’ll get 60% off your purchase.

Use discount code CYBER15 by December 1st at 5am PT to save on your tech learning wishlist.

Cyber Monday Sale | O’Reilly

Make Google Book Searches Feel More Like Browsing a Virtual Library

It’s nice to immediately find what book you’re looking for with a quick search, but part of the magic of libraries and bookstores is stumbling upon great books you weren’t looking for. These tips can make exploring Google Books feel more like that.

In the video above, from YouTuber PSWG3, you’ll learn several ways to turn the Google Book search engine into rows of bookshelves to explore. Start by heading to Google Books. Search a favorite author or book, then find the “About this book” link. You’ll get a bunch of great information about the book and author, but you’ll also find links that lead to “virtual bookshelves” of other books by the author and other books that fit in the same genre. With these tips you might just discover a whole virtual pile of new books to pore over. Nothing beats perusing a real library or bookstore, in my opinion, but exploring this way is a nice alternative.


1MM Browsing the Virtual Bookshelf | YouTube via Free Technology for Teachers

The Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You May Have Forgotten About

The Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You May Have Forgotten About

If you shop online, an Amazon Prime membership is easily worth it for the free two-day shipping alone. But that’s not all a Prime membership gets you. Here are some of the perks you may have forgotten.

Whether you’ve forgotten that Amazon offers other services, or just assumed your membership fee only covered shipping, there are some benefits you should be taking advantage of:

  • Prime Music: Everyone and their mother is trying to get you to pay for premium music streaming services, but you’re probably already paying for one without realizing it. Prime Music gives you unlimited, ad-free access to Prime Playlists and over a million songs. You can even download songs for offline playback.
  • Prime Instant Video: If Netflix and Hulu don’t have what you’re looking for, Amazon’s video streaming service offers tons of free movies and TV shows to Prime members. You can also stream in your browser, on your tablet, and even consoles.
  • Prime Photos: Prime membership gives you unlimited—yes, unlimited—storage for your photos in Amazon Cloud Drive. You also get an additional 5GB of free storage that you can use for whatever else you want (videos, music, etc.).
  • Prime Pantry: As a prime member you can get all of your grocery, household, and pet care shopping done online. There is a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each order, but you can buy as much stuff as you can fit in a box. If you plan your shopping ahead of time, you can definitely get your money’s worth.
  • Prime Early Access: Prime members get to check out Lightning Deals on Amazon.com and MyHabit.com 30 minutes before anyone else. A lot of these deals are first come, first serve, so early access is essential to get some of the best stuff.
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: If you own a Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone, you can borrow one book from the Lending Library every month. There are no due dates when you borrow an ebook, but the available titles may change from month to month, so keep an eye on it. You can’t view the entire lending library very easily, but there’s a simple trick to get around that. As a Prime member and Kindle owner, you’re also eligible for the Kindle First program, which gives you a free “editor’s pick” book every month. That’s two free books a month you could be reading!
  • Amazon Mom: If you’re a new parent, or just a caretaker, Amazon Mom is a free program for Prime members that lets you save on product subscriptions like baby wipes. You also get a 20% discount on select diaper subscriptions. If you’re a parent, you don’t need me to tell you how awesome that is.
  • Membership Sharing: A lot of people forget about this one, but it’s a valuable perk: You can invite up to four people to share the free shipping benefits of your Prime membership at no additional cost to you or them. (Technically, they’re supposed to be in the same household, but Amazon does not restrict you to sharing this with people at the same shipping address, so you could share it with whoever you want). You can also share the other benefits of prime—Instant Video, Music, etc.—with one other person as long as you have them set as an “Adult” within your Amazon Household.

An Amazon Prime membership costs $99 a year, but it’s more than just free shipping. Heck, some areas are starting to have same-day delivery for Prime members. Keep in mind, however, that all of these perks for the full Prime membership. Amazon Student memberships start out as free and cost less, but they may not include all the perks listed here.

Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, too. If a Prime-eligible package arrives after the guaranteed two-day delivery date, Amazon will extend your Prime membership for a whole month (and you can do this up to 12 times a year). If you use an Amazon Store Card, you get a pretty sweet 5% cash back as a Prime member. You can also opt out of Prime’s free two-day shipping and earn music, video, or ebook credit whenever you like too. If you don’t have Prime, it has a lot to offer. If you already have it, make sure you’re using it to its fullest potential.

Illustration by Tina Mailhot-Roberge.

Most Popular Ebook Reader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Most Popular Ebook Reader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Which ereader delivers the best reading experience, access to books, and bang for the buck isn’t a simple question. Last week we asked you for your favorites, then looked at the five best ebook readers. Now we’re back to tally up the votes and crown your favorite.

Most Popular Ebook Reader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the winning ereader was a Kindle, but it wasn’t Amazon’s new, shiny model—it was the Kindle Paperwhite, bringing in over 55% of the vote, taking the top spot by a wide margin. Its $100 price point and bang-for-the-buck feature set earned high praise in the nominations and the voting rounds.

Second place and 20% of the vote went to the other Kindle in the roundup, the Kindle Voyage—Amazon’s new flagship model with a higher resolution screen and adaptive lighting. Most of the discussion around this versus the Paperwhite came down to the Voyage’s $100 price premium over the Paperwhite, and whether the perks that came with the Voyage made it worth the extra money. Third place with close to 11% of the vote went to the eminently hackable Nook Simple Touch, one of our favorite ereaders for rooting and tweaking Android on so you get the best of an Android tablet and an ereader in one package. Fourth place and over 7% of the vote went to the Kobo Aura HD, a beautiful, customizable ereader backed by Kobo’s massive library of books, and bringing up the rear is the soon-to-be-released Kobo Glo HD, which, when it’s out at the beginning of May, will have specs to rival the Kindle Voyage.

For more on each of these and the honorable mentions not listed here, make sure to head back to our full Hive Five feature to read more.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

Five Best Ebook Readers

Five Best Ebook Readers

If you like taking your books on the go, you’ve never had more options. The best ereaders are slim, have batteries that last for weeks, and come in both e-ink and color varieties, have multiple screen sizes to suit you, and come at different price points. Let’s look at five of the bes, based on your nominations.

Earlier in the week we asked you which ereaders you thought were the overall best—either they had the best features, the best access to books, the best battery life, or the best bang for your buck. You gave us tons of models and options, but here are the five that rose to the top, in no particular order:

Kindle Paperwhite

Five Best Ebook Readers

Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is perhaps Amazon’s most popular Kindle model. It’s a simple 6” e-ink tablet with a built-in backlight, a battery that lasts for weeks on end, and enough capacity to hold thousands of books. It comes in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi/3G versions, with and without ad support ($119 with ads, $139 without.) It’s light, easy to use one-handed, syncs wirelessly with your Amazon account, and allows you to track your reading place and your book collection on multiple devices. The e-ink display is great in bright sunlight, and just bright enough to read by at night without keeping anyone else in the vicinity awake—and you can still adjust it if you want. Like any Kindle, you can take notes and make annotations in the virtual margins of your book, look up words on the fly, adjust text size and font to make reading easier on your eyes, read footnotes and references with a tap, and more. Of course, it’s also wafer thin—less than a half-inch thick, and only about seven ounces heavy.

Those of you who nominated the Kindle Paperwhite specifically noted that it’s probably the ereader against which all others are judged—even other Kindle models. It’s the perfect size for one-handed, on the go reading, small enough to be comfortable on the train or a plane but still hefty enough to enjoy holding and using. Some of you bemoaned Amazon and its DRM-laden books, but you also noted that the Paperwhite supports DRM-free titles from other bookstores (with the notable exception of ePub files), as long as you can get them onto the ereader to view. Plus, many of you noted the price is right as well, as it’s been on sale for as low as $99 in the past, and its around-$100 price point is generally a good place for an ereader. You can read the entire (massive) nomination thread here.

Nook Simple Touch

Five Best Ebook Readers

The Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch may not technically be for sale anymore (although it’s easily available—you can buy one for about $52 at Amazon and even less elsewhere) it’s still a popular option for those people looking for the most bang for their ereader buck. B&N has moved on to the Nook Glowlight as their primary e-ink ereader, but the Simple Touch is an Android-powered tablet with great software, access to B&N’s catalog of books, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to be rooted and transformed into a full-fledged Android tablet for free. Once you’ve done that, the possibilities are endless. It’s been a while since we put together our guides on the topic, but people are still rooting their Nooks, using them as B&N ereaders when they want and Android tablets—complete with Wi-Fi internet access, other ereading or comic book apps, email, books from Google Play Books and even the Kindle app for Android, and more whenever they want to. The Simple Touch has a 6” e-ink display with soft buttons on the bezels designed for one-handed use, a battery that lasts for weeks, expandable storage, and more—all in a package that’s about seven ounces.

Those of you who nominated it praised that hack-ability, and all of the great things you can do with a Nook Simple Touch once you make it yours. Many of you praised its battery life, and many of you praised Barnes and Noble’s built-in software for allowing you to do things like change font size and type, define words, customize the brightness and the scale of the display, and more. Best of all, you can switch back and forth between Android’s base UI and the B&N software on the fly once you’ve rooted it. By and large, the tone of the nominations thread is that once you get one of these and root it, you’ll have an experience unparalleled by any other ereader on the market—and one you’re in complete control of. ead all about it—and other people’s experiences—in the nomination thread.

Kindle Voyage

Five Best Ebook Readers

The Kindle Voyage is Amazon’s new flagship ereader, with the highest-resolution, highest-contrast display they’ve ever built, adaptive lighting (like you see in smartphones, that gets dimmer and brightens up when necessary) a touch-sensitive display that lets you turn pages one-handed with a tap, or swipe pages away like you would a real book, a built-in backlight, and a battery that lasts for weeks on end, even considering that super-bright screen. It’s also Amazon’s priciest Kindle model, coming in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi/3G models starting at $200 for the ad-supported model and $219 for the ad-free model. It also packs a 6” display that’s still e-ink but high-enough resolution for things like comics and manga—all into a frame with a thinner bezel that’s actually smaller than the other Kindle models in its family. It’s also thinner, about .3 inches thick, and lighter than the other Kindles, at under seven ounces. However, like other Kindles, you still get all of the software features that make Kindles popular, like one-tap dictionary definitions and Wikipedia entries, synced book catalogs and reading places with your Amazon account and services like Goodreads, the ability to take notes and make annotations, and more.

Those of you who nominated the Kindle Voyage noted that it’s likely the direction that all of Amazon’s Kindle models will go in the future, and sports the type of display that makes it just multipurpose enough to use it for more than just books, but not so multipurpose that you feel like you should have a tablet, or make you wish you could start downloading a ton of distracting apps and do other things. Many people debated whether or not the Voyage was worth the hundred dollar premium over the Paperwhite (many of you thought it was, others thought not so much), but there were plenty of you who said that the Voyage is the ereader you were waiting Amazon to make, and you didn’t regret buying one. Read more in its nomination thread here.

Kobo Aura HD

Five Best Ebook Readers

The Kobo Aura HD is a limited edition Wi-Fi powered Kobo model, retailing for $149 direct (although it’s long since sold out, and you’ll have to get one elsewhere, or pick up the Kobo Aura, which is $129 direct) and its release offering some of the best specs for an e-ink ereader available. It packed a 7” high-resolution display that was at the top of the market until the Kindle Voyage was released, offering both larger real estate and higher resolution in a package that was still about the same size in-hand as its competition. The Aura HD offers specific controls for text rendering, font type and size, and scaling, so you can really customize your reading experience. It supports virtually every ebook format including ePub (including Amazon’s DRM for library-loaned ebooks), and a shiny, firm plastic body that feels a bit more premium than the matte plastic of other ereaders on the market. The built-in light is adjustable for any ambient light level you want to read in, features expandable storage, can sync with your Kobo account to save your place and your book library, and more. The Aura, its slightly smaller cousin, packs a 6” screen with many of the same features, a long-lasting battery, and a similarly portable-yet-premium design. Kobo’s software is worth commending as well, with its adaptive home screen that shows you modules and options based on the things you do with the tablet. If you read magazines, for example, it’ll bump your magazines to the front and bury things like books, for example, if you don’t use your Kobo to read them.

Those of you who nominated the Kobo Aura HD praised its high resolution, big, bright display, and noted that despite the Kindle being the juggernaut of the category, Kobo’s offerings are worth a look, and in many ways Kobo’s onboard software offered a better use experience than your Kindle did. Some of you praised the Kobo’s integration with Pocket and Read It Later, and noted that the new Kobo parent company just acquired OverDrive, the company that provides thousands of libraries with ebooks to loan out for free to their customers. Many of you went out of your way to prasie the build quality on both the Aura and the Aura HD models, and the Kobo app, which gives you the ability to manage your book collection, read, and keep your place in your books on any device. Read more in its nomination thread here.

Kobo Glo HD

Five Best Ebook Readers

The Kobo Glo HD is a contentious nominations, but it earned the supporting votes to make the top five—namely because it’s not really out yet. Sure, Kobo has announced it, and it has the specs necessary to take on the Kindle Voyage in the high-end ereader market, but it’s not available for general purchase yet. When it is, it’ll be a Wi-Fi powered 6” e-ink ereader for $129 with a high-resolution display like you’d see in a smartphone or a tablet, but still battery-sipping e-paper. It’ll weigh about six ounces, come in at .35 inches thick, and pack Kobo’s customization-heavy software, which will give you tons of font choices, font size options, and font weight and sharpness settings. It’ll also have a built-in adjustable light, and will, like all Kobo models, support ePub and other popular ebook file formats. Also like other Kobo models, the Glo HD will learn from your reading habits, and float books you were in the middle of to the top of its UI, highlight apps that you use most often while hiding ones you don’t, and so on.

Those of you who nominated and supported the nomination of the Glo HD probably knew that the product wasn’t out yet (it’s due to hit stores May 1st, so it won’t be long now) but it’s likely going to be a top contender for people shopping to ereaders, especially given the fact that Overdrive and Kobo are under the same roof, like we mentioned above. It also helps to remember that Kobo does have its own ecosystem thanks to the Kobo app and its own bookstore, all of which make it easy to read on multiple devices if you want, or just use the Kobo when you choose. You can read more in its nomination thread here.

Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to a vote and determine the community favorite:

Honorable Mentions

The honorable mention this week goes out to any iPad or Android tablet, which many of you chimed in and nominated because you felt you didn’t need a stand-alone ereader when you could just get a tablet like an iPad or a Nexus 7 and go from there—combined with ereading apps from multiple book stores like Amazon’s Kindle app, Google Play Books and Movies, Apple’s iBooks, and others, you have access to more material on a tablet than you might using a store’s branded ereader. However, the downside though is that you give up those late-night friendly e-ink screens or screens designed specifically for reading, long battery life, and lightweight portability in favor of often more expensive (even if they are more versatile) higher-end devices.

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

Title photo by Hajime Nakano. Kindle Paperwhite photo by Tatsuo Yamashita.