There’re any number of new Kindle owners out there now, thanks to the holiday gift giving season. Mayhaps you picked one up for yourself, but chances are good that many new owners are those who didn’t see it coming. The first thing you’re going to want to do, of course, is get some reading done! The fact that the Kindle is one of the few eReaders to come with no preloaded content can be a bit off-putting to new users for exactly this reason, but there are options! You just have to know where to look.
The easiest books to find cheaply, or in this case freely, have always been those out of copyright pieces that nobody really has any claim to. If you’re interested in classic literature, and I’m going to assume that you are, then you want to check out the Kindle Popular Classics section of the Kindle Store. They have thousands of titles sitting around for you at no cost that you are almost certain to recognize.
Didn’t find what you were looking for there? The major standby for free classics is, of course, Project Gutenberg. They have everything you can think of, in most cases, but it’s a little bit harder to use since it means an extra step to get those .mobi files to your eReader. Still, with 33,000+ books to choose from it might be worth the dragging and dropping to your Kindle via USB. Technically you can even download these and email them through the Whispernet wireless delivery option, but that might well cost you a few cents and it isn’t that much more convenient unless you completely lack USB ports free.
Other sites endorsed by Amazon as great options are Manybooks.net, openlibrary.org, and archive.org. You’ll find a lot of overlapping content, but each has its own uniquenesses.
You’ve got two main types here. The easiest one to find in any quantity is the Kindle Limited Time Promo listing. From time to time authors or publishers find it beneficial to push new authors, books, games, etc by giving them away and spreading the potential word of mouth range a bit. Take advantage! You might not find any of your favorite authors on here, but it’s a great place to try to find something new.
The other type can be a little bit harder to come up with. In this age of self-publishing, some authors will throw out their first couple books, or the first couple in a series, for free on an ongoing basis. As yet I haven’t found a reliable way to search specifically for this as a category, but look around and check some reviews and you’re likely to have some luck at least coming in cheaply.
Overall, your options are plentiful even without spending a dime. I’m not claiming these are all of your options, or even the best of them, but they are the easiest given the Kindle‘s lack of open format support. If you’re new to the eReading marketplace, chances are you’ll have a good long while before you work through what you have available right off the bat. Enjoy your new toys!