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Wowio is a website that lets you download eBooks from their library for free. They are in Adobe Acrobat format, so you don’t need special software to read them. Also, great news for me — no DRMs to hassle with, so the files can be easily transferred between computer and PDA.

You have to verify your identity to be able to join —  which is a fairly painless process. You need to supply one of the following:

  • A non-anonymous e-mail address (no yahoo, hotmail, or gmail). A work or school e-mail should work fine, I used my school address.
  • Credit card – Will not be charged
  • Scan of ID (Driver’s License or Student ID) – I’d probably avoid this. At least with the credit card you have built-in fraud protection.
  • Friends and Family code – Each new member can “vouch” for 3 others who don’t want to or can’t do one of the above.

The titles are pretty limited, so you won’t find any New York topsellers just yet. But there is a wide selection, from classics to comic books (which they refer to as “graphic novels”). You get five downloads each day. The catch? There doesn’t seem to be one. I guess there are ads (for Wowio) at the beginning and end of the books, but nothing too obtrusive.

Currently in my cart:

  • The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut — the only Vonnegut title on there that I haven’t read
  • On Photography by Susan Sontag
  • Health Secrets of the Stone Age (2nd ed) by Philip J. Goscienski, M.D.

Ahh — when I went to dowload my books, I received the following message: “The retail value of these books in print is $35. Thanks to Verizon Wireless for making them available to you for free.” So, I guess we can thank Verizon for this free service.

Right now, Wowio is also having a promotion where if you refer 10 of your friends, they will send you a free iPod shuffle.
This is actually a pretty easy deal, as it’s absolutely free to join and you don’t even need a credit card number. When you sign up, at the end they will ask you for the e-mail of the person who referred you.

If you decide to join, please use my email as your referrer (it’s been garbled to avoid spam):

stnfield  [@t] asu [d0t] edu

I found out about Wowio from Jonathon at MyMoneyBlog. On any other blog or ad this would have automatically screamed “SCAM”, but I consider this a trustworthy source of information — and I’ve checked it out and it seems like a very useful service.

2 Responses to “Free eBook Downloads From Wowio, Plus Refer 10 Friends For A Free iPod Shuffle”

  1. psyche_ren says:

    Sirens of Titan is awesome. I’d have let you borrow my own if it was not a tattered mess.

  2. admin says:

    Haha, tattered mess = definite sign of good book. But with Vonnegut, how can you go wrong?

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