Microsoft’s free eBooks are up

Microsoft has a new version of their Reader software available for download (for desktops and laptops, a 3.58MB download if you don’t already have it installed, a 1.74MB download if you do — see the site for Tablet and Pocket PC versions).

Reader is Microsoft’s free product to allow you to read eBooks — electronically distributed versions of regular old books … books that you’d buy at a bookstore. You can buy eBooks at Barnes and Noble,, (of course) and a number of other online shops. eBooks are “locked” which means you can’t just loan a copy of an eBook to a friend like you can a paperback but, still, if you don’t mind reading on your PC, it’s a good way to pick up books and not worry about them getting lost or dog-eared. The new Harry Potter book isn’t available but Stephen King’s “Dreamcatcher” is, for $6.99.

To help motivate people to download and use Reader, Microsoft’s offering 3 free eBooks each week from now through November of this year. I heard about this last week but couldn’t find anything about the books on their site until this week. Now they’re on the site and available for download (see this link to the Free eBooks page for a synopsis as well as the download links). You’ll need to have the Reader software installed for the download to work. This week’s titles:

“Candy and Me” by Hillary Liftin
“Last to Die” by James Grippando
“A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson

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