Here are 20,000+ more books for your Kindle, free and legal

I promise, these Kindle-related posts will stop.

However, I wanted to point to this Staci Kramer post on PaidContent.org . Unlike me, Staci gets to chat with people like Jeff Bezos. In her recent conversation with him, she asked if the display of color was planned for the Kindle. His answer: “We would love to have color but electronic ink doesn’t do color.”

Amazon is, no doubt, now the largest customer of the company that manufactures electronic ink (E Ink) and therefore Jeff Bezos is the expert on this topic — even if he’s wrong. E Ink has issued press releases before stating electronic ink DOES do color. Again, Jeff Bezos is likely now the E Ink’s largest customer, so his perception of what E Ink products do or do not do is more important than any reality that may have been announced in an E Ink company press release.

But that’s not why I am making this follow-up post to my way too-long Kindle post last night .

I’m making this post because I think many people don’t know that there are 20,000 free eBooks in a Kindle-friendly format. If you don’t mind spending the 10¢ e-mail fee Amazon charges, you can even e-mail these books to your Kindle without hooking it up to a computer.

Here’s how to get 20,000+ free eBooks for your Kindle (or your computer or iPhone):

1. Go to Project Gutenberg , one of the most amazing treasures of the web.

2. Search through its catalog of 25,000+ public domain titles.

3. Download a PDF version of any book you want to read.

4. Synch or email it to your Kindle.

An even better alternative suggestion: While the Kindle will display PDFs and text documents, I’ve found the best format for books from Project Gutenberg are those saved in the mobi format. There are several incredibly community-spirited people who have converted thousands of Project Gutenberg files into the mobi format already — and now they are just calling it the "Kindle" format so people like me won’t be confused by the term "mobi" and the several other initials the same format goes by. There are several sources for these ready-for-Kindle free books, but I’ve become a quick fan of one called ManyBooks.Net .

Sidenote: Like when Apple figured out that the iTunes store would be more compelling (and they would sell more iPods) if they incorporated free podcasting content into the ITunes Store, Amazon should incorporate free books from Project Gutenberg results into the Amazon Store. Of course, they won’t do this because Amazon (unlike Apple) has the DNA of a retailer and not a device marketer. Apple discovered that easy access to free content sells hardware. I have my doubts about whether or not Amazon can make that leap.

Bonus links: Merlin Mann has some more sources of free eBooks for your Kindle including my soon to be new favorite source, Feedbooks.com. He also points to this blog post that explains how to get free eBooks for your Kindle. The coolest thing Merlin points to is this mobi file one can download to their Kindle that has a means for Kindle users to click-through to other books. This is a innovative work-around to avoid the Amazon Store when downloading books.