Amazon’s Kindle is very useful e-book reader, and if you upgrade to the Kindle Fire, you can use it as a basic tablet computer, as well.
While you can download a number of free e-books from the Amazon site, there are literally tens of thousands of e-books available that are not compatible with the special mobi format used by the Kindle Fire. These are mostly classics that are in the public domain where copyrights no longer apply.
Almost any e-book can be converted for compatibility with the Kindle Fire using Calibre, which is a free e-book manager and format converter. There is a video tutorial on the Calibre site that explains how to use it. It is both powerful and intuitive, so don’t be afraid to try it.
If you have been using Calibre for a while and found that the conversion does not work with the Kindle Fire, download the current version. Calibre included a Kindle Fire format selection since version 0.8.39, which came out around December of 2011. When using a USB cable, Calibre will also transfer converted books to your Kindle. Calibre will convert an e-book from almost any popular digital format to the special mobi format used by the Fire.
If you like classic books, such as those by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan and John Carter of Mars), Marry Shelly (Frankenstein), and thousands of authors that have passed into eternity, there are a number of web sites offering free downloads of these books. Here are some of our favorites.
Many Books – Free E-books – This is probably one of the easiest sites to use. Just do a search for either the title or the author and select the book that you want. Books can be downloaded in over a dozen formats. We found some fairly obscure books here that were not available on other sites.
FeedBooks – Public Domain Books – Download public domain and some paid e-books in the epub format.
Project Gutenberg – Has over 40,000 free e-books in several formats.
Remember that Calibre can convert almost e-book format into the correct format for your Kindle. You will need to convert most downloaded e-books in order to use them with the Kindle Fire.