More free e-books

In addition to some of the other free e-book resources I’ve mentioned in the past is this latest addition. It seems that renowned computer book publisher, O’Reilly has put some of their out of print books and some books that have been written under open licenses up on their “Open Books” website for free download.

I wish that more publishers would do this. It really makes sense, especially with older books. Once a book (or a paper or conference proceedings for the more academic among us) goes out of print it can become quite difficult to get ahold of a copy. If I were a publisher I would make my catalog available for free on the internet but provide links for people to purchase print copies (even of out-of print titles, doable with new short-run printing technology). After all, if it’s really a useful or interesting book most people still want a paper copy, in effect you’re letting the book sell itself. Of course if the book is junk you won’t sell very many copies but I don’t especially have a problem with that.

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