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|by Candida Martinelli of Candida
Martinelli's Italophile Site
These lessons in whole or in part, can be printed, reproduced and distributed, but not for profit!
Please understand that you follow these lessons at your own risk. I am not to be blamed for anything and everything that happens with your computer. If that sounds serious, sorry, but it has to, otherwise its not legal! Having said all that, If you follow these lessons you will no longer be a computer novice, and a whole new, wonderful world of books will be opened up to you, your family and friends.
[I update this periodically, but the technology is rushing along, with new readers, new formats, new everything. I try to update things only when they are available worldwide, but I will not feature specific readers. If you own one, it is best to consult their manual to understand which formats you can read, and how to download them from the sites I mention in these lessons. Ciao!
Below I've listed various sources for free e-books on the Internet. You may recognize the last five from the list of on-line sources for e-texts because they offer both types of books.
You may need another e-book Reader to read some of the e-books listed at these sites. You can download these Readers yourself if you want. Just use the links I provide at the beginning of Lesson 3, then use the download and installation instructions from that same lesson as a basic guide. But that's something for later, when you've finished these lessons.
E-books are available in various formats, which you will see on many of the sites listed below. The main three formats that you will see on pretty much all these sites are:
http://www.archive.org/details/texts The Internet Archive lets you search through 7 on-line text archives at once for books by author, title or subject or keywords. Once you find a book, you can often choose between various e-book formats including text files. You need to create a free account, but it is WELL worth it.
http://gutenberg.net/index.html Project Gutenberg is the Internet's oldest producer of FREE electronic versions of books (e-texts) for download, and many you can read on-line. They have expanded their inventory to include e-books of varying formats, and much more content that can be read on-line in HTML format. This is a wonderful place for bibliophiles!
http://gutenberg.net.au/ Project Gutenberg of Australia provides e-texts to read online in HTML format, and many, many e-books. They expanded into e-books recently, but their vast catalog is wonderful, so the e-books are wonderful.
http://www.ebookdirectory.com/ The eBook Directory claims to be the biggest directory of free e-books on-line, and they certainly do have a large selection. They are ordered by category, but you can search on an author, title or subject keyword. The e-books are in various formats: PDF, LIT, EXE.
http://www.free-ebooks.net/ Free eBooks.net offers thousands of free e-books ordered by category. You can search by author, title or subject. The e-books are in various formats. The subjects available are varied but if you are interested in business and self-help you will find a wide selection. There is even a category for fan-fiction. This site also issues an informative free newsletter, eBooks 'N Bytes, that regularly offers to-purchase e-books as prizes.
http://esspc-ebooks.com/default.htm Mr. Ken Mattern has a site that offers nearly 450 free e-books formatted for the Microsoft Reader (LIT format). The books are mainly classics in various genre, but there are also modern works, too. Once you have the Microsoft Reader installed, you just need to access one of his books and it downloads automatically to your PC. Donations are accepted to keep the service up and running.
http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/ebooks/ebooklist.html The University of Virginia's E-book Library lets you search by author for a text that is then free to download as an e-book for the MS Reader and the Palm Reader, and as an HTML text that you read in your Internet Browser window.
http://www.munseys.com/ This site offers a wide range of free e-books. Scroll down their main page to check out their category list.
http://www.cwru.edu/UL/preserve/general.htm Case Western Reserve University has digitized books into PDFs from their regular circulating collection that have become too fragile or brittle to allow normal circulation. The pages are actually scanned images of the actual book pages. I can't get this link to work all the time, sorry. You'll just have to trust me that it is a great resource!
Note: Once I've finished walking you through the downloading of two free e-books, I'm sure you'll want to continue downloading more on you're own. You may want to access this page and connect to the archives by clicking on the links above. That's okay, but to complete this lesson, it is best to print out the lesson and continue from this point forward using the printout to guide you. To print this lesson, follow the instructions in the top left corner of this page.
Right now, I'm going to have you:
START UP your Internet Browser and TYPE this location into the ADDRESS line http://www.ebookdirectory.com/ , then press ENTER.
This link is to the eBook Directory archive's main page. They offer lots of information about e-books, but what is of most interest to you at this point is the SEARCH feature, and the CATEGORIES.
You can browse the categories just like you might browse around a brick-and-mortar bookstore. For this lesson, however, I would like you to use the SEARCH feature. You'll find the SEARCH field near the top of the screen. It looks like this:
TYPE in PINOCCHIO, then CLICK on the SEARCH button.
We are looking for the e-book The Adventures of Pinocchio by Lorenzo Collodi. This is a classic children's story that is available as an e-text from the Gutenberg Archive. However, there is a PDF version of the text that is illustrated and formatted for easy reading by parents and children. I know, because I made it!
This should appear as a result of the SEARCH:
The important information for you is the format of the e-book. It is a PDF document that you can read in our new Adobe E-book Reader.
CLICK on the TITLE of the e-book. This opens a link to a page that tells you more about the e-book and Pinocchio. Sometimes a TITLE LINK connects you immediately with the e-book file, automatically opening up your PDF Reader and loading the e-book for you to view. Sometimes it links to a web-site, as it does in this case, offering more information before you make the decision to view and download the e-book. (If things don't work as described, you can always click on this link to the PDF: The Adventures of Pinocchio.
You can look over the page if you want to learn about the e-book, see sample pages, learn about Pinocchio's author, etc. When you are ready, CLICK on the TALKING / SINGING PARROT ICON in the right column. This is the link to the PDF file of the Pinocchio e-book. The e-book is 321 pages long and contains more than 100 images, so it takes a few seconds to appear in the Reader window.
In Lesson 3, when you viewed the Wine Brochure, I showed you how you could click on the PAGES TAB to view the book pages and move to any page with just a CLICK. The Pinocchio e-book gives you another option to move around the text quickly: Bookmarks / Table of Contents.
Most e-books let you use the BOOKMARKS TAB to access a Table of Contents. The BOOKMARKS TAB may already be open, having appeared automatically when your Reader opened. If it is not open, just CLICK on the tab labeled BOOKMARKS in the left part of the Reader window.
Now move the mouse cursor over one of the CHAPTERS that appear listed and wait a moment. This causes the entire text of the chapter title to appear. Now CLICK on one of the CHAPTER TITLES.
This changes the page that is displayed in the Reader window to the first page of the chapter you clicked on. I made this e-book so one page fits in the Reader window. It may need adjustment when you first open it in the Reader. Use the SCROLL BAR ARROW to position the page squarely in the Reader window.
Once the page is positioned correctly, you can use the PAGE ICONS at the bottom of the Reader window to turn the pages. CLICK on the RIGHT ARROW.
This presents the next page in the book. CLICK as many times as you want on the RIGHT ARROW to continue paging through the e-book. When you want to go back, CLICK on the LEFT ARROW.
When you click on the BAR AND ARROW, next to the arrow, you are presented with the first page of the E-book (LEFT BAR AND ARROW) and last page (RIGHT BAR AND ARROW). Try that now.
As you can see, it is not difficult to page through an e-book with the Reader when the pages are the same size as the Reader window. This is very different from the Wine Brochure you viewed in Lesson 3, which was larger than the Reader window. Just know that E-books come in various page formats, most commonly:
I formatted this e-book with this page size because it is easiest for a child to use when reading the book alone, or for a parent to read to a child from a laptop computer or a PC. The child can look at the image on the book page as the parent is reading, just like a printed book.
To save this PDF e-book to the LIBRARY folder on your PC, CLICK on SAVE A COPY in the top left-hand corner of the Reader window.
As usual, the SAVE AS box appears showing you the contents of your MY DOCUMENTS folder. DOUBLE-CLICK on the LIBRARY sub-folder to open it up. The only PDF in the LIBRARY is probably the Wine Brochure you downloaded in Lesson 3.
TYPE the name you want to use to identify the Pinocchio book in the FILE NAME field, then CLICK on the SAVE button. You can follow the same style we have been using: Author, Title. Or you can just use the title of the book, as most people don't know that a man named COLLODI wrote PINOCCHIO. I've entered the author and title for this lesson.
Saving the e-book to your PC should only take a few seconds. When it is done, you remain in your Browser with the Reader open to the Pinocchio book. To check if the e-book was saved to your LIBRARY folder, just CLICK again on the SAVE A COPY icon. The SAVE AS box appears and you can see the contents of the LIBRARY folder.
You have just added a children's classic to your electronic library!
Now we're going to access a website that offers free e-books, and download one to the LIBRARY sub-folder in your MY DOCUMENTS folder.
TYPE this location into the ADDRESS line of your Internet Browser http://www.healthrecipes.com/free_cookbooks.htm , then press ENTER.
This link is to a website that offers free books as a promotional device. This is quite common and you will be able to find free e-books on just about any subject that interests you.
The sites I listed at the beginning of this lesson are archive sites. You can use a Search Engine, like Yahoo or Google for example, to look for free e-books on a specific subject. Just enter what you are looking for into the search engine SEARCH FIELD. For example, you could search for: free ebooks cookbooks, or free ebooks economics.
The healthrecipes.com site has a selection of PDF cookbooks. They are simple books with a few recipes each. I'm not recommending their site, products or even their recipes, but this is a good lesson in downloading from a website.
You will notice, no doubt, the message at the top of the screen that advises the visitors that they will need the Adobe Reader to read the free books. You are one step ahead of that, now.
SCROLL down the page and CLICK on one of the FREE COOKBOOKS. There are perhaps 10. Be careful not to click on one of the books they are selling at the bottom of the page.
This is one part of the lesson that I'm allowing you to choose an e-book on your own. You can choose whichever cookbook you find most interesting. Even if you won't use it, later you can send it to a friend, if you want.
Once you click on a book, you are presented a page that:
You can always see if it is the right point to click by using this simple trick. HOLD THE MOUSE CURSOR OVER THE CLICK POINT. This will show the link at the bottom left of your Internet Browser screen. It might look something like this (I held the mouse over the Diabetic Cookbook click point):
The PDF ending on the link tells you that if you click on this point, your Adobe Reader will automatically open and load this PDF e-book.
If you are unsure which book you want, you could always:
When you have the cookbook you want open in the Adobe Reader window in your Internet Browser, CLICK on the SAVE A COPY option.
If you're doing this lesson all in one sitting, the the SAVE AS box will appear with the LIBRARY folder opened for you because it is where you saved the last PDF document. If the LIBRARY folder is not open, DOUBLE-CLICK on it to open it up.
TYPE a name for your cookbook in the FILE NAME field, and then CLICK on the SAVE button.
As always you can check that the PDF was saved correctly by clicking on the SAVE A COPY icon again. This is what I see when I do that.
You should be able to see the new PDF cookbook you have added to your electronic library. Download more if you wish, as long as you are at the site.
We are done with this part of the lesson. Take some time, if you want, to visit some of the archive sites listed above to download some more PDF e-books.
You are quickly building up an electronic library on your PC. And like any library, you are going to need to keep it well organized if you hope to find anything. With that the goal, I will now show you how to:
To do this, you need to use the WINDOWS EXPLORER program. CLICK on the WINDOWS EXPLORER Shortcut on your desktop to start the program:
Up to this point in the lesson, I've had you use the left-hand column of the WINDOWS EXPLORER window to open up folders in the right column. There is another way of opening up folders that I want to explain now, if you haven't already discovered it for yourself.
Let's work in the right-hand column of WINDOWS EXPLORER. I can't see what you see, so I'll cover what you might see. The contents of your computer may be in the right-hand column. That means you are looking at the drives on your PC including drive C:. If you are, DOUBLE-CLICK on the C: drive to open it up.
If the C: drive is open in the right-hand column, DOUBLE-CLICK on the MY DOCUMENTS folder to open it up.
Now you should see your LIBRARY folder. DOUBLE-CLICK on it to open it up.
At least these files (a different cookbook perhaps) should be in your LIBRARY folder:
I will help you create categories in which to store these files. Later you can create more categories for the e-books you download, or change the categories we make now if you prefer different ones.
I hope you are getting a feel for the folder structure on your PC. Try to imagine it as a Fur tree:
If you want to use that imagery, we are now going to create some of those bristles, or sub-sub-folders in your LIBRARY. You've actually already created a folder in this way, when you created the LIBRARY folder way back in Lesson 1.
MOVE your mouse cursor into the right-hand box, but not over a file, and RIGHT-CLICK the mouse. A menu appears that looks like this:
MOVE the mouse cursor over the NEW option on the menu and hold it there. You don't have to click. A sub-menu appears automatically after a few seconds. The bottom part of the menu will vary depending on the contents of your computer. But the top of the sub-menu will always appear like this:
Click on FOLDER to create a new folder in LIBRARY. Immediately, the menu and sub-menu disappear and the new folder appears at the bottom of the right-hand box. It looks like this:
TYPE as the new folder's name: MYSTERY, then press ENTER. The new folder should look something like this:
Repeat this process to create these new folders: CHILDREN, BROCHURES, COOKBOOKS.
To move the e-text and e-books into their categories all you have to do is what is called drag-and-drop. CLICK on the CASTELLO BANFI WINE BROCHURE. It should become highlighted like this:
Now POSITION the mouse CURSOR over the highlighted brochure and hold down the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON. Keeping the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON DOWN, slowly drag the mouse cursor in the direction of the BROCHURE folder. You will see the highlighted brochure moving with the cursor. A circle-with-a-slash symbol appears at the center of the brochure.
When you reach the BROCHURE folder, make sure this circle symbol is over the folder name. When this happens, the BROCHURE folder will become highlighted too, meaning it is open to receive the document you are dragging with the mouse. This is when you should let up on the left mouse button. This drops the file into the folder. That's why it's called drag-and-drop.
Try this again with the other files, dragging and dropping them into the right folders. I want you to do something for me at this point. Purposely put one file in the wrong folder. This will help me explain other way of moving files / documents around in WINDOWS EXPLORER.
To correct the mistake of dropping a file into the wrong folder, all you have to do is drag-and-drop it into the right folder that appears under LIBRARY in the left-hand column.
The folders you just created appear there and you can drag the file you need to move over the divide between the columns to drop it in the correct folder.
As you can see, the whole purpose of WINDOWS EXPLORER is to make it easy for you to organize what is on your computer. It is the tool you will use to organize your electronic library.
What do you do when you want to read your PDF e-books? You actually have three choices.
You can CLICK on the Adobe Acrobat Reader Shortcut on the Desktop to start-up the Reader.
You open a file in the Reader the same way you open a file in MS-Word, from the FILE PULL-DOWN MENU. Open the FILE pull-down menu and CLICK on OPEN.
Then the OPEN BOX appears showing you the contents of the MY DOCUMENTS folder. DOUBLE-CLICK on the LIBRARY folder and then on the appropriate SUB-FOLDER to locate the PDF e-book you want to read. When you find it, DOUBLE-CLICK on it to open it up in the Reader.
You can CLICK on the WINDOWS EXPLORER Shortcut on the Desktop to start-up the program.
You now know how to locate your files using WINDOWS EXPLORER so go ahead and locate the PDF you want to read. Use whichever method you are most comfortable with: opening the folders in the left column, or double-clicking on the folders in the right column.
When you've located the PDF e-book you want to read, DOUBLE-CLICK on it and the Reader will start-up automatically and load the e-book for you.
I had you create a Shortcut on your Desktop in Lesson 1. It is a good idea to create Shortcuts to specific e-books, especially children's e-books. This makes it very easy for children to start up their favorite e-books already loaded in the Reader. I'll walk you through the process again.
From your computer's Desktop, and without the mouse cursor resting on an existing Shortcut, RIGHT-CLICK the mouse to view this menu:
Rest the mouse cursor on NEW. There is no need to click because after a few seconds a sub-menu appears. The top of the sub-menu is what interests us.
CLICK on SHORTCUT. This box appears:
CLICK on the BROWSE button. The standard BROWSE box appears.
DOUBLE-CLICK on the MY DOCUMENTS folder to open it up. DOUBLE-CLICK on the LIBRARY folder to open it up. Then DOUBLE-CLICK on the CHILDREN folder to open it up.
You have to change the FILE OF TYPE option so you can view ALL FILES in your folder. The default option is PROGRAMS which will not show us the PDF documents.
CLICK on the DOWN ARROW to the right of the FILES OF TYPE field to open the list. CLICK on the list option ALL FILES, to select it.
Immediately you will see the Pinocchio e-book appear in the contents box.
DOUBLE-CLICK on the e-book to automatically enter into the BROWSE box field. Then CLICK on the NEXT button, and then the FINISH button. This creates a Shortcut on your Desktop that looks like this:
If you want to make it still easier for you and your children, you can change the name of the Shortcut to PINOCCHIO. You do this the same way you change the name of any Shortcut.
I did this for the children's book, so the Shortcut looks like this:
When you want to read Pinocchio, or a child wants to read it, all they have to do is DOUBLE-CLICK on the Shortcut on the Desktop. The Reader starts-up and loads the Pinocchio e-book.
You can do the same with e-text files you have stored as MS-Word documents (DOC endings). When you click on that Shortcut, MS-Word opens automatically and loads the document file for you.
This is the end of Lesson 4. You now have access to many archives on the Internet from where you can download e-books. There are also all the websites that offer free specialized subject e-books that turn up in web Searches. Lots of companies offer promotional e-books for free. Spend some time looking around the Internet and downloading free PDF e-books that interest you.
In Lesson 5 I'll cover what you need to know to buy an e-book over the Internet, and add it to the electronic library you are building on your PC. This is the way of the future, and you are now ready for it.