I’ve been merrily playing with the Sony CLIÉ that I got for my birthday, installing apps and loading it up with data, and one of my bright ideas is to start playing around with eBooks. See, the CLIÉ runs the PalmOS, for which there is a really nifty free eBook Palm Reader available from Palm Digital Media. Palm Digital Media also offers a fairly extensive catalog of eBooks for sale (and a few for free); think Amazon of Palm eBooks.
I downloaded two of the free eBooks, The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling, and The Coming Technological Singularity by Vernor Vinge, and I read the Vinge work while in Las Vegas.
But the cool thing— the really cool thing— is that Palm Digital Media provides you with the software and the means to create your own eBooks for the Palm Reader.
So what I’m thinking is that there’s a real dearth of free eBooks out there—aside from the two I mention above, about the only other free books I found are texts from the Bible. Yet with the software to make books, and the wealth of content available from sites like Project Gutenburg, I don’t see any reason why there shouldn’t be a lot more free eBooks for Palm.
You can probably see where this is going.
My bright idea relating to this is to start creating Palm Reader eBooks (from works in the public domain), and offering them for download from this site. And then distributing them accordingly. For free.
Because it just seems like a neat thing to do.
The first books I plan to convert, I think, will be Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (and then Huck Finn), and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
But then, you know… the sky’s the limit. Any particular book you’d like to see? How many people out there are using Palm-compatible PDA’s, anyway? And how many would read eBooks on them? Email me with answers to these questions, or any other ideas for Palm books.