Sunday, December 23, 2007

Interesting... a commenter at the preceding blog post (thanks, Avagee!) alerted me to this site:

BooksInMyPhone - read books on your cell / mobile phone, carry a library in your pocket!

The site provides eBooks that can be installed and read from your mobile phone.

It's an excellent alternative for people who want to access eBooks on the go, but find products like the E-ink eBook reader expensive.

Browsing through their website, their About and FAQ pages, I have the impression that their ebook content are likely to be from Project Gutenberg.

They explain that if your phone can play Java games, then you should be able to install the ebooks (see "Technical Requirements" at the FAQ page).

The downloads were free (but I stopped short of installing on my phone).

There are instructions on installing the ebooks (either via your mobile phone direct, or to your computer for subsequent transfer).

If you're wondering about Copyright, look at their sidebar on the left. I quote:
The books offered here are either licensed under Creative Commons or out of copyright in the USA and many other countries including Australia, Canada, and the UK. Most of the books are out of copyright world wide, please check the copyright laws that may apply to your country prior to download. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are not breaching the copyright laws that may apply to you. This is part of our Terms and Conditions of Use. By using this website or downloading a book, you are indicating that you acknowledge and accept our Terms and Conditions of Use and the license under which the book is offered (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License).

Apart from the copyright disclaimer/ advice, the site verifies the user's eligibility to download the content, based on the user's I.P. address.

For instance, when I clicked on the download link to Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina", the download wasn't made available to me:
Our systems see your location as: Singapore. We believe this work is in copyright in your location and so do not provide a download link.

BooksInMyPhone - read books on your cell / mobile phone, carry a library in your pocket!

If I think the system has made a mistake, then I was advised to email them (made sense!)

I like how they've provided the book synopsis. It increases the chance of the user finding a suitable book and making a download.

Of course, you get what you pay for in terms of content. Meaning, you won't find Harry Potter here (for that, go borrow/ reserve from your nearest public library!)

But if you're looking for "classics", then you might want to check out the site. I noticed works from Jules Vernes, Lewis Carroll, Miguel de Cervantes, Robert Louis Stevenson, Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and H. G. Wells.

I also spotted some futurists and SciFi authors that I like, and whose works are offered under the Creative Commons license. Like James Patrick Kelly, Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross, and Lawrence Lessig.

Hmm... Now I'm interested!

But before I attempt to install, I'll check with some of my knowledgeable and trusted friends whether doing so carries any risk, e.g. inadvertently loading a computer virus onto my handphone.

Can't take security for granted. After all, it's my phone, so better safe than sorry.

Perhaps the folks at might want to address that in their FAQ, i.e. "What about the risk of computer viruses".

Also, it would give me greater confidence if they reveal more about who they are, like some names at their About Us page.

Better yet, if they can partner with a public library in their community and have the library endorse them.

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